An awareness of one’s own fertility here arrives unexpectedly, ‘like a miracle’. Collective celebrations of a girl’s first menstruation are found almost universally in the traditional cultures, but are missing in modern western societies. We no longer have rituals that allow us to ‘know’ whether we are fertile or not. The medical books may explain that fertility shortly follows the first menstruation, but that fact is something of which we have no experience; the words with which we are offered such information do not make contact with our bodies and feelings. The arrival of those first few drops of blood means little at the psychological level; there is only a bit of queasiness and maybe the problem of things one can no longer do at a certain time of the month. The popular belief that menstruation is a period of ‘impurity’ that prohibits certain activities perhaps relates to a need for rituals and the perception of a suspended condition preceding a change. But precisely what it is that might be thought to change is far from clear, and the fantasies that surround the subject centre exclusively on hygiene.