Portuguese Language Blog

Period-related vocab Posted by on Mar 26, 2017 in Culture, Customs, Learning, Vocabulary

Oi, gente! Hey everyone!

On March 8th, we celebrate Dia Internacional da Mulher (International Women’s Day). This date is extremely significant because it bears the symbolism of a centuries-old struggle for a society in which there is gender equality. One of the flags of the feminist cause is the demystification of menstruation, which is something natural but is seen as something dirty and deserving of disgust. Since they are little, girls are taught to hide to be ashamed of their own menstruation, as if the cycles were not part of life. So how about today we break this taboo by tackling the subject and learning some words related to menstruation in Portuguese?

Moreover, from a communication standpoint and controversies aside, it is crucial to learn more about your corpo (body) and saúde (health) in a foreign language in case you ever need to express yourself about these issues.

(photo by: Servier Medical Art)

  • Útero – Uterus

Menstruation is the name given to the blood flow coming from the uterus.

  • Sangue – Blood

Menstrual blood is considered by many people as disgusting.

  • Endométrio – Endometrium

But it is nothing more than the result of the peeling of the endometrium, the layer that lines the útero (womb) internally.

  • Ciclo menstrual – Menstrual cycle

The period between the beginning of menstruation and the dia (day) before the beginning of the next one is called the menstrual cycle.

  • Ovulação – Ovulation  

Usually midway through the ciclo (cycle), between 12 and 16 dias (days) before the next menstruation, ovulation happens.

  • Ovário – Ovary

Ovulation happens because the hormonal changes make the ovary to release an óvulo (egg).

(photo by tipstimes.com/pregnancy)

  • Gravidez – Pregnancy

The release of the egg allows for the fertilization and, consequently, pregnancy.

  • Cólica – Colic/ Cramps

It is very common to experience cramps before and during menstruation. Some women also feel it during ovulation.

  • Tensão pré-menstrual (TPM) – Pre-Menstrual Tension (PMS)

Cramps are only one of the symptoms of premenstrual tension, which also involves mood swings, sensibility of the breasts, changes in appetite, back pain, among many other things.

  • Absorvente – Sanitary Pad

To avoid soiling panties and clothing during menstruation, many mulheres (women) wear disposable pads.

  • Absorvente interno – Tampons

There are also those who choose the internal pad, especially when going to beaches or swimming pools.

  • Absorventes ecológicos – Ecological pads

Ecological pads are cloth alternatives similar to disposable ones. They are preferred by those who have concerns about the large garbage disposal or some kind of allergy.

Coletor menstrual
(photo by: Feminine Wear)

  • Coletor menstrual – Menstrual cup

Recently the menstrual cup option has gained strength, a silicone cup that collects sangue (blood).

  • Canal vaginal – Vaginal opening

When properly inserted into the vaginal opening, the collector gives mulheres (women) plenty of freedom and comfort.

Frases comuns relacionadas a menstruação – Common sentences related to having a period:

  • Estou menstruada – I’ve got my period/ Vou ficar menstruada – I’m about to get my period
  • Você pode me emprestar um absorvente? – Can I borrow a tampon?
  • Preciso passar na farmácia – I need to stop by the drugstore
  • Minha menstruação está atrasada – My period is late
  • Ela está grávida – She’s pregnant
  • Não estou me sentindo bem – I’m not feeling well
  • Estou com cólica – I’ve got cramps/ Estou de TPM (I’m PMSing)
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  1. Sophie:

    Thank you so much for writing about this (unnecessarily) taboo topic in such a courageous, straightforward way. Very helpful!