“Woh wale din”,
“Mahina chal raha hai.”
Most of us have heard or said, some or all of these phrases. But have you ever stopped to wonder why we have so many euphemisms for something as natural as periods? If we cannot even call periods by name, how will we ever progress to a society where girls are self-aware enough to seek help when something feels wrong.
The stigma attached to menstruation goes far beyond being forbidden from religious rituals, made to sleep in cattle sheds or not allowed access to communal water supply or even the kitchen in your own home. When it comes to understanding their own body, girls often learn and adapt to what is ‘normal’, through experience-personal or collective – not education. But because of the secrecy that shrouds periods, they don’t always know what constitutes abnormal and if they should seek help.
Let’s take a closer look at menstruation and some instances where you should seek help immediately.
1. Dysmenorrhea (menstrual cramps) -Pain so bad, you can’t even stand.
How much pain should you endure before you ask for help? There is no one correct answer, as there are many factors that weigh in. A good rule of thumb to follow is anything that makes you more uncomfortable than you can handle needs attention.
2. Migraine – That pounding in your head that just won’t stop.
Period migraines are not unusual, though they usually occur in those with a history of migraines. Usually occurring just before the period begins, they often get better after day two of menstruation. Talk to a doctor if you find yourself stuck with debilitating headaches before your periods.
3. Amenorrhea – You end up skipping more than a few periods in a row.
Getting pregnant and some hormonal birth control methods like the hormonal IUD can make your periods disappear. But missing at least three menstrual cycles in succession means you could have something more severe amenorrhea. If you’re not pregnant, it could be because of many other things like PCOS, extreme stress, breastfeeding, excessive exercise, and intense weight loss.
4. Menorrhagia – Large clots can be a big deal.
Anyone with a heavy flow will usually have clots. This happens to stop the body from losing more than two to three tablespoons of blood throughout the entire period. Yet, if you find yourself passing clots that are larger than a coin in size, it might be an indication of menorrhagia.
These are only a few of hundreds of issues girls and women face during their periods. This is why P&G Whisper in collaboration with Network18 is working to bring menstruation out of the shadows and start meaning conversations that raise awareness. But they also understand that young minds are shaped in schools. If adolescent children receive at least Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) education early on, we might be able to help at least some of the 23 million young girls who would otherwise drop out of school when they hit puberty to achieve their dreams. This is the time for us to come together and take a stand for human rights, to make sure periods don’t equal persecution and public shame but power and promise!
Be a part of something bigger than yourself. Sign the petition by filling your details at www.periodofpride.com or by giving a missed call on 9999-671-283 to pledge your support. Help make a change!
This is a partnered post.