In a more high-tech world, significant changes on how women manage their periods have been noticed. More choices are now offered like period pants and organic tampons. Attitudes towards them going through the period also changed a lot; thanks to social media.
There is still a lot of things that have to be changed to completely break the associated taboos. With menstrual equality as the ultimate goal, the gradual changes are slowly taking on all countries across the globe.
And the only way to appreciate how far we have come is to go back to how the idea of menstruation took over through the centuries.
The average woman, supposing she has got no other menstrual complications, will have 400 periods at least in her lifetime. The Lancet once reported that the time between menarche, the first cycle, and menopause, the last cycle, will make around 450 bleeding days. Each period, a woman loses approximately 60 milliliters or 16-20 teaspoons of blood.
Winter amplifies the premenstrual tension. Because days are darker and shorter, a woman’s mood is affected adversely, not to mention the chaotic hormones during the period.
Sunshine is instrumental for the body to produce dopamine and vitamin D, which can boost mood, concentration, motivation, and pleasure.
Winter, on the other hand, means staying indoors, eating more, and moving less. Also, during these cold months, women secrete more hormones, but in shorter cycles. All these produce negative effects on the premenstrual symptoms.
Virga is a Latin word for virgin, which points to a person who has not experienced sexual intercourse. There are cultures that make an unbroken hymen an indicative mark of virginity.
For this reason, a tampon that may damage a woman’s hymen is a tool of taking away her virginity. A lot of rigid physical activities as well as medical examinations can break a hymen; hence, it is not an absolute indication of virginity.
The first ever tampon was released for public use in 1931 and was originally made from cardboard. Today, it is sold in 18s, to anticipate the maximum number of tampons used in a cycle.
A menstruating woman is more likely to spend more money. In a UK research, the University of Hertfordshire revealed that women are on impulsive shopping and spending while menstruating.
The rare condition is vicarious menstruation, it is characterized by terrifying bleeding besides the uterus. The condition is said to be caused by the endometrial tissue spilling out into the bloodstream.
A week prior to the period, a woman’s body goes through an increased allergens’ sensitivity and lowered lung capacity. These impaired immune system functions cause women, especially those with asthma, to experience extreme premenstrual asthma. The Multidisciplinary Respiratory Medicine journal says hormonal changes are to be blamed.
A woman’s exposure to light affects melatonin secretion. The sleep hormone also helps control the secretion of female reproductive hormones, which dictate the start and end of every menstrual cycle. The secret is sleeping with nightlight during the recent two weeks before the cycle.
When a woman is taking birth control pills, her body does not receive the supposed progesterone that are essential in keeping the uterine lining intact and shedding later on. While the flow looks fine and the same, the process that caused it is not the biological processes that normally cause it.
When women are on period, their uterine contractions that are brought about by an orgasm can also release pain-fighting neurotransmitters such as oxytocin and endorphins.
Although the uterine lining still sheds off when submerged fully, the water’s pressure counteracts the blood exiting from the vagina. It does not stop bleeding; it just provides strong pressure to temporarily stop the gravity of blood.
Also, when you are swimming horizontally or floating, the gravity still cannot pull down the flow. When you are done swimming, in minutes, the period will continue.
Menstruation, in many countries, is still a topic that should only be discussed closed doors. Many adolescent girls still struggle to fully understand their body’s processes and completely get rid of the taboos that surround menstruation.
Periods are normal and every single being in the world should know. No religion, culture, tradition, and personal beliefs should cloud how the world should see a menstruating woman.
Their health and well-being are important for the world to see future generations and without fully accepting all of the elements that come with womanhood, it is also impossible to witness women who are comfortable with themselves.