During my adolescent years, periods was something I always saw girls my age being hushed up about. As if it was a mystery, a secret that the world couldn't know. The word "tampons" or "Sanitary napkins" was whispered into the ears of the store manager, as he nodded sympathetically and handed back a black plastic. There were thousands of questions infesting my mind.
Periods. What is it about the word that has the power to silence an entire room of educated adults?
Fascinating Period Facts Across The World Throughout History -
- Ancient Romans Believed That Menstruating Women Practiced Black Magic - Throughout the history, misleading facts about menstruation have surfaced time and again. A Roman Naturalist, Pliny, claimed that menstruating women could prevent hailstorms, whirlwinds, lightning and also had the power to kill bees, crops and impair weapons with one look.
- Wood was Used As Tampons In Ancient Greece - In Ancient Greece, small bits of cork sized wood were encased with lint and used as tampons and even contraception.
- The Hoosier Sanitary Belts - From 1890s to 1970s, there were no hygienic and comfortable options available for menstruating women. Most women wore pinned rags or placed a piece of cloth under their vagina. These belts became the new norm. It was finally sometime in the 1970's, that adhesive pads were invented.
- India Has Festivities In Celebration Of Periods - The Goddess Kamakhya is believed to menstruate once a year, this day is observed with high regards by the people.
The Ambubachi Mela which marks the four day fertility celebration attracts thousands of pilgrims from all across the country, who come together for this festivity every year in June. This Mela is held in Assam.
Here Are A Few Myths That We Are Going To Debunk For You Today -
- Exercising Is Harmful For The Body During Periods - I am sure all of us had physical education in school. P. E would definitely qualify as one of our favourite classes, where we could run around and play with our friends after a long day of tedious courses.
Belong to an all girls school, one would think that our school was definitely more open to discussion regarding the subject of menstruation.
But Alas! Anytime that our coach even had the slightest hint of a girl being on her period, the girl was sidelined and termed "ill".
This is an age-old belief that a girl on her period should rest and not be active.
But you know what they didn't tell us?
Periods is not a sickness. Period doesn't make you weak. It's not an excuse to sideline you. You have the ability to do whatever you wish to do, even while you are menstruating, yes!
- Pregnancy is avoidable when you are menstruating - Even though there are chances of not getting pregnant if your body has been maintaining a regular cycle, it is risky and highly possible to get pregnant. Women usually conceive when they are ovulating but it is still a safer option to use a contraceptive. Women who have irregular cycles may face higher risks of getting pregnant.
- PMS is just an excuse - For all the guys who fail to understand how PMS works, this is for you. No, girls do not use PMS as an excuse to bombard with you with their cranky behaviour and mood swings. There is a continuous change in the hormones caused by menstruation. Different hormones are released and impact our physical and mental sanity, which causes irritability, anger, crankiness and a plethora of emotions that you feel overburdened with. So the next time she snaps at you while menstruating, keep your cool and don't bash her up for being cranky, it's natural.
- A Bath Is Unhealthy - Even though hot water has the tendency to increase blood flow, a soothing bath helps in rejuvenating your mood and releasing pain caused by menstruation. Not only does a relaxing bath uplift your mood but also makes you feel fresh.
- Water Stops The Flow Of Periods - There's a common myth that swimming while menstruating attracts sharks and then of course you become the meal they've been waiting for. While this is just one myth that prevents girls from venturing out into the oceans during their periods, another one claims that getting in the water temporarily stops the flow of blood. Even though this is not true, the pressure exerted by the water will force your blood to stay in place up the vagina. However, periods mean business. They ain't going anywhere once they are here to visit you. The moment you step out of the water body, the flow returns to normal. Therefore, if you want to go swimming during your periods, it's always a safe option to depend on tampons.
- Women are always menstruating - No, we are not! This happens to be the most important point that people overlook. There is a fine line differentiating periods and the menstrual cycle.
When a woman actually discharges blood it is known as periods while the time gap between two periods is known as the menstrual cycle,which can range anywhere from 28 days to even a longer or shorter time period, depending on a woman's medication, or travel history and emotions.
Let's educate people about menstruation and why it isn't something one should feel ashamed of. Let's teach our boys how to respect periods without scrunching their noses and girls to talk about periods regardless of it. Let's educate people that tampons or pads are not to be hidden, it's not a crime. Let's teach everyone that shedding blood is a sign of life and not a walk of shame.