What Does The Bible Say About Menstruation

The Religious Debate

Before delving into what the Bible says about menstruation, it is important to consider the wider implications and cultural context of discussing this topic from a religious perspective. There has long been an entrenched dichotomy between religious belief and scientific knowledge when it comes to a woman’s menstruation.

The view of the biological process as unclean or “sinful” has pervaded certain strands of faith for centuries, leading to women feeling shame and dirty for a completely natural bodily process. This stigma can be traced back to the most sacred of texts – the Bible – but where in the Bible does it address menstruation and what are the modern implications of this interpretation?

Theologians and academics have long debated over the concept of “spiritual impurity” and the position of the church when it comes to women’s bodies and the blood they shed during menstruation. While many rely on centuries-old views of menstruation as “impure”, other scholars believe that different translations and interpretations of the sacred texts offer a more progressive and modern view which should be acknowledged and embraced.

Biblical Symbolism of Menstruation

The Bible does address menstruation directly in certain passages, albeit in a symbolic and poetic way. In Leviticus 20:18, for example, menstruation is described as a “flow of blood”, likening it to a kind of “cleansing” associated with atonement, although this interpretation has been contested by some. Similarly, in Isaiah 30:22, the menstrual period is alluded to as a necessary purification for the unmarried woman.

There is also a strong connection between fertility in the Bible and the blood shed through menstruation. This is highlighted in the book of Genesis, where Eve is said to have been given a gift of conception through the shedding of her blood. This representation helps to foster an appreciation of this natural process which celebrates the power of womanhood.

This positive interpretation of menstruation is echoed in other religious traditions, such as Hinduism and Buddhism, in which the physical maturation of women is celebrated and honored.

Contemporary Interpretations

When considering the views of the Bible, it is important to accept that interpretations will differ between modern and ancient beliefs. In other words, many of the passages that discuss menstruation should not be taken literally to condone notions of “spiritual impurity”.

Indeed, many contemporary religious scholars believe that the Bible does not intend to demote women through its discussion of menstruation, but instead encourages women to feel a strong sense of pride in their fertility and the power of the female body.

These modern interpretations reject the notion of menstruation as “sinful”, asserting that women should be empowered by the changes they experience rather than feeling shame or guilt.

The Power of Tradition

While contemporary interpretations of the Bible offer a more progressive view of menstruation, these views are not widely shared by mainstream religious organizations. Some interpretations still follow the ancient texts, forbidding women from engaging in certain activities such as worship and attendance of religious events while menstruating.

Many conservative religious groups believe that traditional ideals should be respected and adhered to, arguing that the Bible is sacred and its interpretation should only be subjected to limited questioning. Such questioning, they argue, can lead to misinterpretations and misinterpretations can lead to a deviation from the beliefs of the faith.

Nevertheless, religious organizations should be open to a dialogue on the interpretation of the Bible, welcoming a variety of views and considering the progressive interpretations being offered by contemporary theologians.

The Taboo of Menstruation

It is also important to consider the wider context of cultural attitudes towards menstruation, some of which have endured through centuries of religious texts being misconstrued and misinterpreted.

The stigma of menstruation still exist today in many parts of the world. It is often viewed as a sign of spiritual impurity and is associated with shame, dirtiness and sickness.

More needs to be done to tackle this taboo and give a voice to those experiencing such discrimination. Women should not be made to feel ashamed for taking part in a completely natural process and open discussions about menstruation should clearly be encouraged.

Education and Legislation

It is only through education and legislation that the discrimination against women who menstruate can be tackled. Governments should ensure that laws are in place to protect these individuals and they should use their power and influence to challenge ancient and outdated cultural norms.

Education should also be a priority, with organizations such as schools and churches providing young women with an understanding of their bodies and equipping them with the knowledge to dispute any kind of improper treatment they might face.

From this knowledge and understanding, women can become empowered to reject any stigma associated with menstruation and denounce any associated discrimination which is encountered in their communities.

Reducing the Harmful Effects of Menstruation

In a practical sense, it is also important for governments, organizations and religious institutions to work together to reduce the detrimental and harmful effects of menstruation. This could include providing sanitary products in schools or offering support to single mothers, so that menstruation does not prevent access to education, medical care or employment opportunities.

As a country, it is our duty to create an environment that is supportive and accommodating of everyone’s needs. This includes addressing the issues surrounding menstruation and working to reduce the harmful effects experienced by many women.


In conclusion, it is clear that the topic of menstruation has been steeped in controversy and stigma for centuries, and is still a source of contention today. Governments, organizations, and the Church must all work together to reduce the harmful effects of menstruation and empower women to take control of their bodies and destigmatize menstruation.

It is also important to stay open to interpretations of the Bible which offer a modern and progressive view of menstruation and to ensure that no one feels ashamed or guilty for taking part in a natural process. The Bible has been, and should continue to be, a source of inspiration and encouragement for all.

Marcos Reyna is a Christian author and speaker. He is dedicated to helping create disciples of Christ through spreading the power of the gospel to others. He has written several books and articles on a variety of theological topics, including matters of faith, worship, biblical studies, practical ethics, and social justice. A trained theologian and devotee of spiritual writing, Marcos has a mission to spread Christian love everywhere. He lives with his family in Nashville, TN where he spends his days encouraging others to seek Christ's grace in all things.

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