I initially misread this question and am now left wondering what the answer to my first interpretation is.

What did the people of the middle ages call their periods? I'm curious not only about medieval England, but other languages and locations as well. Is there any documentation of ye olde euphemisms? Did our medieval sisters also ride crimson waves (of grain?) and get visited by unwanted aunts? What did they whisper while working the fields so nearby superstition men wouldn't overhear, understand, and suspect their evil lady-curses would bring and end to the crops? How would the unfortunate time-traveler discretely or crudely ask for the time-local equivalent of a pad or tampon?

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    The middle ages covers a span of about a thousand years, and I imagine that over that time there were a variety of terms used even in the same location and language, so you might like to narrow things down a little. – Steve Bird May 31 '19 at 15:15
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    You might want to rephrase the headline to be more specific, too. Right now it could refer to eras, punctuation marks, or menstruation. – C Monsour May 31 '19 at 16:18
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    Here's an interesting source: rosaliegilbert.com/femininehygiene.html – Brian Z May 31 '19 at 16:45

Here is a fairly comprehensive answer for English only, using three dictionaries (DOE, MED, & OED.) I sorted them by date of earliest attestation as best I can. Many of these are medical terms.

"Clænsunge Tid" ("Cleansing Tide", where tide = time):

ono þas wiif, þa ðe heora bearn of unrihtum gewunum oðrum to fedenne sellað, nemne seo clæsnunge tiid forðgeleore, ne sceolon heo heora werum gemengde beon. þa þe þonne in gewunan monaðaðle numene beoð ... heo wæron bewered heora weorum gemengde beon
The Old English Version of Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People, c731

"Monaðaðle (Gewunan)": see above.


þu scealt simle þam wife bæþ wyrcean & drenc sellan on þa ilcan tid þe hire sio gecynd æt wære.
Bald's Leechbook, 9th century

"Menstrual Flux"/"Bloody Flux" (the latter is also used for...other conditions):

[Acorns] stauncheþ and stynteþ menstrual flux and rennyng [L fluxum menstrualem].
De Proprietatibus Rerum, c1398


Þe..superfluyte hatte menstruum, for it folweþ in þe cours of þe moneþ.
De Proprietatibus Rerum, c1398

"Passion Menstrual":

No man hath þe passioun menstrual as wommen haueþ.
De Proprietatibus Rerum, c1398

"Menstrual Superfluity"/"Superfluity of the Mother":

Bodies of mules ben grete and huge for menstrual superfluyte passeth in to norisshynge and fedynge of þe body.
De Proprietatibus Rerum, c1398


And vertu þerof [sc. the lily] tempreþ and naissheþ hard matiere; þerfore it bryngeþ out menstrual purgacioun.
De Proprietatibus Rerum, c1398

"White Blood":

In þe blood þat hatte sanguis menstrualis, the white blood in women.
De Proprietatibus Rerum, c1398

"Blood of Women":

Emachites..stauncheþ..alle blood and namely þe blood of wommen.
De Proprietatibus Rerum, c1398


[A womman] in tyme of menstrue [v.r. menstrewe].
Science of cirurgie, a1400

"Flowers"/"Time of Flowers" (later on, also "fluors"):

A woman schal in the harme blede
For stoppyng of hure flowrys at nede.
Reliquiae antiquae, c1400

"Hour of Privity":

These thynges letten fro dwe of wedloke to be askede..when the wyfe is..in the houre of hire priuyte [L hora menstrui].
Speculum Christiani, c1450


Make a suppository þeroff, and it shall make a woman to haue hyre termes.
A leechbook, or collection of medical recipes of the fifteenth century, c1450

"Menison" (usually refers to... other things):

The Menyson: Menstrua, i. muliebrina..fluxus, sanguinis mulierum.
Catholicon Anglicum, ?c1475


Yt ys mych proffytabyl to wemen for to caus theyr menstrwosyte [Fr. menstrues]..to dyscend.
The kalendayr of the shyppars, 1503

"Custom of Women":

My lord, be not angry that I can not rise vp before thee: for the custome of women is vpon me.
Geneva Bible, 1560


Certaine people maie not bleede: as women whiche haue their times aboundauntlie.
A dialogue both pleasant and piety-full, against the fever pestilence, 1564

"The Reds":

Cummine seedes..dothe staye the muche bleading at the nose, and womens excesse of the reedes.
Proffitable Arte Gardening, 1568


The wilde Basill..stoppeth..the inordinate course of the Moneths.
Niewe Herball, 1578


Beware that they which haue their monethly courses, doe not then..come neare.
Arte Gardening, 1593


The seede of Darnell giuen in white or rhenish wine, prouoketh the flowers or menses.
The herball, 1597


We apply the boxes to suscitate the menstrualles of women.
The Frenche chirurgerye, 1598


The true signe of conception is, when their nature (that is) the fluent humour, out of their secrets ceaseth for a month, or two, or three.
The historie of foure-footed beastes, 1607

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