28th May is celebrated as a Menstrual hygiene day worldwide. However, in India, Menstruation is considered taboo. So, people avoid talking about it.
Menstruation is a regular system in the body, just like the respiratory or digestive system.
Because of this natural body function, females are prevented from participating in daily activities, including education; why so?
Let’s break the ice today and talk about menstruation.
Myths about menses
- During periods women are impure – Periods are normal body function. Sign that you are growing up and capable of carrying a pregnancy. The sign of you is healthy.
There is nothing such as pure or impure. Menstrual blood is the same blood which flows all over the body. The only difference is menstrual blood contains uterine tissue with it. Due to oxidation (mixing with oxygen) before starting or ending periods changes into brown colour.
- You should not touch the plant during your periods – If you touch a plant while you are menstruating, the plant will die, which is a common myth in India.
Plants thrive on water, sunlight, and our care for them. But, they don’t differentiate from where these all come from.
- Do not touch pickles, curd, or spices during menses – People believe that if we touch pickles or curd during menses, it will impact your menstrual flow.
How can touching any food product create an impact on your health?
- You should stay away during your periods – During your periods, you should not touch anyone and live in a separate room. Unfortunately, this myth is followed in most Indian rural areas.
Periods are not contagious. They don’t harm you if you sit beside menstruating females.
- Don’t take a bath or wash your hair while menstruating – Taking a bath and washing hair are part of daily hygiene. And you have to carry on during your menses too.
- Avoid any physical activity during menses – You can carry out your daily routine, and you can do regular exercise while menstruating. That will help blood flow to the uterus and reduce your pain.
But if you are experiencing severe period cramps and you want to take a rest, you can go for that.
- You should not talk about your periods in public – People consider menstruation a taboo and avoid talking about it publicly.
Don’t you talk about your health? Don’t you talk about your joint pain, acidity, hairs, and nails in general? You do, right?
Menstruation is nothing different from all these.
- Premenstrual syndrome is all in mind – PMS (premenstrual syndrome) is real. Almost 90% of females experience it. It can start a week before menses and relieve 2-3 days after the period is over.
Due to hormonal changes, you can experience headaches, bloating, irritation, fatigue, and mood changes.
- If you missed your period, you are pregnant – Pregnancy is not the only reason for missing a period.
Due to hormonal imbalance, PCOS, obesity or other health conditions, there are chances of irregular menses.
When your menses are irregular, the best option is to consult a gynaecologist and seek an opinion from them.
Menstruation is normal body function. Don’t discriminate.
Among cancer cases in women, 16% of cervical cancer is due to unhygienic menstrual conditions.
Women are using dirty clothes instead of sanitary pads now also, just due to social stigma and lack of knowledge.
I believe talking can solve most problems. For example, talk about periods, then only you can differentiate what is normal and what is abnormal. And you can diagnose any abnormalities and treat them.
Share this blog with every woman you know and contribute to menstrual awareness.
If you have any queries regarding menstruation, feel free to comment below.