Let’s Talk About Period!

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Periods, Down, Chumming, Aunty – women have kept several code words for their cyclic monthly bleeding, menstruation.

Ok…it is still understandable to feel little shy about the whole bloody flow from the private part but ‘not touching the pickle’ or ‘not washing hair’ for those 5-7 days?

THAT is gross!!

I am not the ones in support of posting bleeding pics on Instagram or making it ‘social’ but breaking rubbish myths by imparting knowledge? I am definitely game!!

Even though most women have been menstruating month on month for a long time, chances are there must be few things about their period which they do not know about.

Reason being – lack of knowledge and periods being considered a ‘dirty topic’.

How strange, isn’t it?

Something you are having for years altogether deserves a fair, vocal debate and needs to be talked, discussed and understood. Here we are picking topics other than the usual and regular ones.

Let’s begin!!

Today, girls are getting their periods – Earlier & Younger

15-20 years back, the average age for girls to begin their periods used to be 13 or 14 but today, they are having an early onset of menstruation. Percentage of girls getting periods at 10 or 11 is higher than the ones those getting theirs in early teens. This may be because of or a combination of change in diet & environment. However, still some girls get their first period in their late teens.

How much blood is normal?

During an average period flow, a woman will not bleed more than 3 – 6 tablespoons (45 ml – 90 ml) of blood in total which is approximately the size of a small shot glass. While it may seem like much more than this but in reality it is not.

Regular, irregular, regularly irregular….

Just like various factors cause the beginning of menstruation, the regularity of your period is equally different for every woman, at various times of life. Irregular menstruation can result in spotting, a late period, a lengthy period, or missing a period altogether. And it can be spurred by everything from stress and diet to weight loss/gain or taking certain medications

It’s not a disease!

It’s as normal as beating of your heart or your kidney’s excreting toxins in form of pee. There is nothing abnormal or unusual about it. Since girls have a different set of reproductive organs and some hormones as opposed to men, it happens to them.

The period taboo

In certain cultures and religious beliefs, menstruation is considered somewhat ritually ‘unclean’ and women are not permitted to perform certain religious duties, enter areas of cooking or where prayers are performed.

Since religion being a touchy and personal topic, we do not want to intervene but again, menstrual blood is not ‘dirty’. It is not a ‘by product’ like urine or stool of the body. It is similar to the oozing of blood from a cut in hand or elsewhere. The consistency thickens and clot formation appears due to other internal factors.

Sex during menstruation

Unlike the mass misconception of period time being ‘safe’, a female CAN get pregnant, before, during or immediately after the period as the mighty sperm can live up to 7 days in vagina and can meet the new egg (ovulation), leading to pregnancy.

So basically, the choice of having sex during periods depends upon partners, if they are ok with little additional mess.

Don’t ditch exercise/swimming

You don’t need to skip gym or other exercising routine because of your period. Rather, exercise can help the whole menstruation process & soothe the period pain! Also, you don’t have to miss out on swimming during periods. Only that, instead of a regular sanitary napkin, use a tampon (easily available at pharmacy stores).

Article authored by Dr. Sania Siddiqui

Image courtesy popsugar

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