Can we talk about Periods?

“Menstrual blood is the only source of blood that is not traumatically induced. Yet in modern society, this is the most hidden blood, the one so rarely spoken of and almost never seen, except privately by women”

-Judy Grahn

Period blood is the only blood that marks a healthy life but still is considered a taboo. The whole world has suffered many years to normalize periods, and it is still suffering. But it is wrong to say that there is complete ignorance, things have changed. People are now talking about periods like any other thing. Why is there a need to talk about periods? I remember when I used to hush about my periods, just talking about it as much as required. Later, I started talking about it, and my female friends started discussing it as well, and I came to know some bizarre things, things that I didn’t suffer from. I came to know about rashes, about irregular periods, about severe cramps, about clotting, etc. Years later I started researching about periods, and I began to know about a section of society that is not females but still bleed through their vagina. These people were called Transmen, genderqueer individuals.  Thy does not identify themselves as females, and in fact, they try hard to avoid any resemblance to the same. But when their monthly cycle arrives, it’s like they don’t know their body. Their body feels alien to them which is called dysphoria. Imagine, only if they could talk about it openly, only if people would understand that it doesn’t matter what your pronoun is, your body is as normal as mine and nothing is wrong with it.  If only this could happen, we can have happier souls in our society.

Females who don’t bleed

There is yet another section of society – Females who do not bleed. It is not a disease, but it is a medical condition that can be caused by many factors. Amenorrhea can make a woman feel less of a woman which leads to alienation towards the body. It is futile to blame society, with people recognizing who they are in the contemporary world and creating their own definition of being, we shouldn’t be aversive towards what we have been taught for so long. We can learn from it, and we can produce new ways of dealing with such a sensitive situation. It’s not a debate – who can get period. Anyone who gets periods deserves care. We need to create an empathetic society where everyone feels free to talk about their periods and what they go through, where everyone can share home remedies or medicines that can make their life easy. There is no good coming from keeping our mouths shut and acting like it doesn’t happen. There have been many instances in my life where people kept suffering because they thought that whatever is happening is normal. Like my neighbor who got such heavy periods that she had to change her pad in every 30 minutes and because she didn’t talk about it, she suffered for so many years of her young life. In another instance, one of my friends used to get a period every other week for two days, and she thought that happens with everyone, but it didn’t. People spend a significant chunk of their lives just suffering in silence.

 What’s in your sanitary pad?

A prominent part of “talking about our periods” is discussing the products we use, what are they made of and how safe are they for our body? Most of the menstrual products we use are not just inconvenient for daily use, but they actually have serious ramifications for our health. No doubt, that past few decades have made periods extremely easy, but still, there is a long way to go for a healthy period. The normal sanitary pad or tampon have toxin chemicals and bad plastic, and you place that harmful material at one the most vulnerable part of your body. Major brands give you the same material in different packaging for extra bucks. It’s called marketing, and you purchase it in the hope of suffering a little less this time. Those harmful materials give you rashes, and you accept it because you think it’s normal, but it’s not. By“talking about it” you gain knowledge and take control of what you want. You choose how you’re going to treat your body through your periods. So, the first step is to unlearn what you’ve been taught; there is no right way of being, there is no right body, there is no right pronoun. You are who you choose to be, and you can create a society where people are talking about not just periods but about everything, where there are no “hush” topics, where bodies don’t feel alien and where there is no confusion regarding who you’re. And this can only happen by breaking the silence and shedding the shame.

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