Updated: Nov 20, 2020
All girls hitting puberty face mensuration. At first, they feel scared (like the movie the girl_1991) in which the girl was thinking she’s about to die, because she’s started bleeding, later she was informed that it was a natural cycle of a woman life. The girl in the movie got sad and rather became sluggish during her first period. I just mentioned that, because most of the girls, at first, don’t like that important aspect of their biology and later they think they have to cope with it. Over time they‘d learn that it’s quite natural rather and It’s all part of growing up!
Your health and periods
All girls and women bleed almost every month for 5 days till they hit menopause. First and foremost is that they need proper nutrition. The reason is simple, though periods are a natural process in a woman’s life; still, it puts stress on them. The amount of iron requirement for a woman is 2mg per day as compared to men’s (1 mg). If the girl’s nutrition is not accordingly increased, she may turn anaemic, which may halt her chances to prosper in life. The demand for iron intake in the girl’s body is higher as explained earlier. Proper intakes of iron along with other nutrients are very important and vital for her future life and progress. A healthy person can be useful to society, so parents should be educated about their kids’ nutrition while they are in different stages of their lives.
This is very important that girls take care of their cleanliness during these days. For hygiene used sanitary pads, tampons and sometimes cups are used too. Before the introduction of commercially available disposable pads, women usually used knitted reusable pads or homemade cloths along with some strings or belts. The nurses started using the special bandages made for soldiers from wood-pulp during the wars. Those bandages were cheaper to make, so easily disposable, and after the war, there was a surplus of them, which was introduced in the market in 1888 (Wikipedia). At first, the target market was only for the rich and wealthy, but later on, they became part of every young woman’s life. In many developing countries, still, the disposable-pads are not widely used due to its cost and the lack of proper education about mensuration.
In India a man (Arunachalam Murugananthat) took the initiative to make his own cheaper sanitary pads, for his wife, he later known as Padman. A movie has been made by the same name, in which Akshay Kumar (a famous Indian film star) and Sonam Kapoor has worked. Arunachalam Murugananthat has successfully turned it to commercially low-cost pads for rural India. In Africa too, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation awarded Nairobi-based ZanaAfrica a grant of US$3 million. ZanaAfrica explores creative approaches to menstrual health education for adolescent girls.
The stigma attached to mensuration
Still, in many cultures, it is forbidden to openly talk about menses. Even in the west, it was very hard to advertise (sanitary pads) or talk about mensuration openly till 1950 - 1960. It took until 1985 for the word “period” to be said in a TV commercial by none other than Courtney Cox.
In ancient times, if one goes to hunter-gatherers era, girls coming out of age were considered divine. In some cultures still, it is treated as a celebration and considered very vital for society’s growth. Since the arrival of the Patriarchal culture woman natural cycle was treated as some sort of illness. A menstruating woman was forbidden to enter the temple and which is still practised in some parts of the world. Women were and still are asked by some cultures to sleep and eat separately, during mensuration. In today’s world too, many girls feel embarrassed or ashamed during their periods, mostly because of the risk of stains on their clothes or being made fun of or looked down upon by their peers.
The embarrassment, and sometimes shame attached to it, can lead to poor hygiene, unnecessary stress, not paying attention to one’s health and so on. UN, along with many organizations and activist, is working to lessen the problem through proper education.
Pills used to stop periods
Pills to stop menstruation were first used only for medical purposes. Later on, they were being used by a number of women, mainly for professional or personnel usage. Now women sometimes used it, sometimes continuously, in order to stop their periods. Continuous use, without consulting your doctor, can lead to lots of health issues, which may be temporary but sometimes permanent damage can occur. If you have regular periods and once in a while you want to use those over the counters menses stopping pills, it’s okay. Continuous usage or medical use (irregular –periods or other gynaecological problems) without consulting your doctor can be harmful to your health, in the long run, or short-term.
The proper way of pad disposal
In today’s world, girls go to school, colleges, travel, and work freely during mensuration. Most of the people are getting aware and educated about that. I have noticed that in public restroom, mix or separate, used pads have been thrown in open. I got often appalled, not because it should be a secret or sign of embarrassment, but it is not a good way to dispose of any used dirty sanitary products as well as aesthetically. One must dispose of it properly, and by doing so, you are not just respecting yourself but accepting the facts of life in its totality. We should not only take care of our hygiene but the sanitation of the place too. Please wrap them before disposing of. Never flush them in toilets; you are going to block the toilet.
There are few tips to keep smiling during the days which I managed to gather from different internet resources:
Keep hydrated, because you are losing water along with blood too
If you feel cramps, don’t wait to take pain-killers (doc recommended)
Take good care of your cleanliness; take shower the way you do before
Keep changing your sanitary pads, tampons or cups regularly.
Avoid alcohol or caffeine, if you may feel bloating.
Try to remain active as it increases the flow of blood and you will feel relax, as well as you have fewer cramps
Do light exercises, light walking, running, and avoid belly exercises etc.
The myth about sex in mensuration
Any healthy woman who is menstruating can do sex and there is no harm in it, as long as she and her partner are comfortable.
Please do contact me, I may have more tips for you.