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The Story of Menstruation (1946)

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Reviews: 8 user | 3 critic

A basic explanation of the purpose and process of menstruation, told largely with diagrams (and completely avoiding the subject of sex).

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Uncredited cast:
Gloria Blondell ...
Narrator (uncredited)


The story of menstruation begins, as the motherly narrator informs us, with the pituitary gland - a gland at the base of the brain that sends hormones throughout the bloodstream that order growth. When a girl reaches an age somewhere between 11 and 17 - the average is 13 - the pituitary gland sends maturing orders to the ovaries, which in turn order the uterus to create a thickened lining, filled with watery fluids and blood. If an egg is fertilized it will remain within that thickened lining for nourishment. But if the egg is not fertilized, the body has no use for the extra nourishment, and it passes out of the body - which is the process called menstruation. The narrator proceeds to disprove taboos against bathing or exercise during menstruation. She advises that girls should keep a calendar that keeps track of the number days between periods. And she notes how good posture, healthy foods and positive attitudes can affect the menstruation cycle. Written by J. Spurlin

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Release Date:

18 October 1946 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The Story of Menstruation is believed to be the first film to use the word vagina in its screenplay. See more »

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User Reviews

More educational value than novelty value, surprisingly
4 February 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

If you scour the internet long enough, you may be able to find some little soundbites, pieces of information, or little projects you may not have known existed. With the ubiquity of Disney and its countless number of products, animated shorts, and films, it's only expected that some of their works get lost in the shuffle only to potentially resurface in the future. Consider the controversial - and still unreleased - film Song of the South, which has been withheld from a release on home video due to its depiction of old-fashioned race relations and politically incorrect mannerisms the United States once possessed. Consider the underground, home-brew short Mickey Mouse in Vietnam, a very brief animated film with anti-war themes of an optimistic, nationalistic Mickey Mouse going off to fight The Vietnam War with true pride only to return in complete agony and despair.

Now take a look at The Story of Menstruation, a ten-minute long educational short film from Disney that defines the menstrual cycle for young girls beginning or currently experiencing puberty. The film chronicles it all, from what the cycle is, why it occurs, how it occurs, how to cope with it, the issues that may arise, how a girl goes through her routine when it's her time of the month, and so forth. The film only goes so far, with the sexual intercourse aspect being untouched, unsurprisingly.

The film is more fun to talk about than it is to actually endure. Speaking as a male who is pretty well-informed on females and their menstrual cycle thanks to actual female friends and the benefits of a high school health class, this is pretty much old news from my perspective. However, that's not to say the short's age, brevity, and obviousness won't teach young girls even in today's world how their body operates. It does a nice, squeaky-clean job at detailing the process and what is exactly occurring in a female's body, which, as we all know, can cause extremely hormonal tendencies, self-consciousness, and confusion in even the most hard-hearted female.

The Story of Menstruation is also the first film on record to use the term "vagina" because of America's long-standing queasiness and apprehension to sexual topics, especially during the time of the 1940's. As novelty viewing and a curious piece of history, The Story of Menstruation holds little conversational value outside of the aforementioned fact and the surefire giggle that will ensue when people are informed that Disney made a film about the menstrual cycle. But as an educational short, which is how the project should be viewed and critiqued in its respect, it's competent and easily-accessible.

Narrated by: Gloria Blondell.

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