On the bright side, there's been some movement recently to change the conversation and policies about how we deal with menstruation. In 2016, Barack Obama became, as far as anyone can tell, the first president to ever talk about periods publicly. Think about that. Presidents take the time to pardon a damn turkey every year, and yet before that, one never mentioned what half the population goes through every month.
And it's not like Obama's talk inspired much confidence. He admitted that he had no idea why tampons and pads were subject to luxury taxes. That's right; unlike, say, anti-baldness foam, or candy, or Viagra, menstrual hygiene products aren't "necessities" according to the tax codes of 40 states.
A lot of this comes down to ignorance. We don't talk about periods, and not everyone has them, which leaves about half the population basically in the dark. There is a downright weird amount of stories about adult human men who don't know that menstruation doesn't work like peeing -- that you can't "hold it" until you get to a toilet or reasonably private patch of shrubbery. A 2011 survey of college men found that they had only a slapdash understanding of menstruation, cobbled together from the whispers of relatives, friends, and girlfriends.