Contributed by – Preksha Buttan
Every woman around you gets her period. She has to deal with it all alone because talking about it is not allowed. And men have so much wrong information that women can’t rely on them even in case of emergency. Even after Akshay Kumar’s Padman, things have not changed much. So, with some hope, here are some not so common period questions answers of which everyone (men included) should know.
Are periods painful?
The pain women get during their period is not equal to a headache or normal tummy ache that all of us experience every other day. Period pain or period cramps can be so intense that doing the simplest of tasks like walking (yes, even walking) could seem impossible. Some women have to take a day off from work and spend all day in bed. This unbearable period pain has a medical name – dysmenorrhea. So, yes period pain is real and women do need extra care during that time of the month.
Why is it always “that time of the month”?
This is one of the all wrong information guys have about periods. You need to know there’s a difference between menstruation and menstrual cycle. Menstruation is the actual days when women bleed and the menstrual cycle is the time from one period to the next. Another popularly known myth is that each woman’s menstrual cycle is of 28-35 days. Well, that’s wrong too. 28-35 days is just an average duration of the menstrual cycle and each woman has a unique menstrual cycle. It could shorter or longer than the average menstrual cycle.
Why are women on their periods supposed to act normal?
Since women are considered impure when they are on their periods and the topic is discussed in hushed voices, women always end up acting as if there’s nothing even when they are having unbearable menstrual cramps. Boys often freak out when they hear the word “periods”. If we all start seeing periods as something natural, only then women would not end up suffering in silence and will start asking for help.
Is it OK to bath, swim, go to temples and do all the “normal stuff”?
You cannot go to the temple, enter the kitchen, swim, run, bath, eat sour food items… the list is endless. And people believe all this stuff blindly. These are nothing but superstitions. A woman can and should do anything she wants to do during her periods. In fact, it is extremely important for a menstruating woman to bath regularly otherwise she can be at risk of infections. Note that the importance of menstrual hygiene is being actively discussed these days. So, we urge you to stop believing in these things and start thinking logically.
Are periods really a personal issue?
Periods are not a personal issue. In reality, menstrual hygiene is a public health issue. Many girls all over the world don’t have access to proper menstrual hygiene. There’s a lack of information, resources, and support which is making the situation worse. Calling menstruating women impure and avoiding them won’t ever solve the situation. Only with an open conversation about periods, pads, tampons and hygiene can the situation be changed and women can have safer hygienic periods.
Can virgins use tampons and cups?
Pads, tampons, and menstrual cups are all just menstrual hygiene products. If a woman finds pads uncomfortable she should always be given a chance to try other available options. Virgin women shouldn’t fear losing their virginity by using tampons or cups. They cannot take your virginity away, only having sex can do that. Also, using a tampon or cup can be painful for some women, whereas they are absolutely comfortable for others. It all depends on comfort levels. Use different menstrual hygiene products available and find what works for you.
Missing period means pregnancy?
Missing period could be a sign of early pregnancy but that’s not true all the time. If you have not had sexual intercourse, then there’s no way missing a period is a sign of pregnancy. It could be a symptom of PCOS, anemia, thyroid disorder, stress, pre-menopause, hormonal changes, and other illness. So, if you’ve missed your period, then you should visit your doctor without any question.
Is PMS real?
Tender breasts, mood swings, bloating, back pain, pimples – all these are PMS symptoms or signs that your periods are on their way. PMS can affect you physically, emotionally or behaviorally. They are not an excuse. PMS is real and can affect you every month. You cannot change reality but can always find ways to deal with it.