Does your heart beat? Do your lungs breathe? Do your eyes help you to see? Does you liver detoxify metabolites? Does your uterus shed its own lining along with blood every month?
Did you just ignore the last line or chose to rather not see it since it was never taught to you that this is normal and happens as a part of human physiology? Have you ever thought that in this world, almost half the population bleeds through their vagina every month and people think it is not okay to talk about it? Is it like every other issue – rape, harassment, violence, honour killing – that if we chose to ignore it, it will cease to exist?
Once in every 28 days, due to the drop of a certain hormone called progesterone, a very thick lining of the uterus (endometrium) causes bleeding in women. It is accompanied with severe cramps in some, pendulum like mood swings and pain in most of the part of the body. It starts during puberty and lasts till the late 40s or early 50s. So, a woman experiences menstruation during two-thirds of her life.
When a girl first experiences menstruation, it is usually a horrifying experience since it was never taught to her that it is normal to find blood oozing out of one’s vagina. She thinks that she did something horrible and has no idea what to do further. So every time, she goes to her mother to discuss what is happening. She is told about the process and dismissed and asked never to talk about this with males of the family.
So, the crying caused by cramps and emotional imbalance is restricted to her room where she weeps silently with enough decorum and decency to make sure her cries don’t reach her father or brother’s ears. Oh, and this is not a one-time phenomenon, this story is going to be repeated every month.
When you go to a pharmacy and asks for a sanitary napkin, they wrap it in several layers of paper and a black polybag so as to hide the content from other people.
It is so irritating that women are going through this and aren’t even being given the benefit of the doubt for their restlessness or lack of energy at various places. She has to do everything like her usual routine self because no one likes to talk about it.
We are not asking to give us medical leaves during those 5-7 days but can you please acknowledge the fact that we bleed and it is okay to do so?