We heard that awareness of sex and menstruation at school is bad, so we took it upon ourselves to spread period education.
Our Class 10 Biology chapter titled, Reproduction, caught some giggles and furtive looks between students, and the teachers usually skipped the chapter. In school, periods were like Voldemort, the dark lord, whose name shouldn’t be said aloud. It felt like there was a girl’s only club where men wanted to know what was going on, but couldn’t ask or learn about it.
This incited rumors and myths about period education in the men’s mind. And we have been DYING to involve men in menstruation since time immemorial.
Technically, what is menstruation?
Consider it like registering for a newsletter, which sends you emails every month, as a reminder or a check that you are still subscribed and reading.
Every month the uterus prepares itself by building a soft layer inside its walls, the endometrium, to prepare for a fertilized egg, i.e., pregnancy.
Introduction of menstrual hygiene
When the egg is not fertilized, the inner walls, the endometrium and the unfertilized egg are shed from the body. And with the shedding, comes blood, cells, minerals, and other fluids.
Periods tell the body that it’s not pregnant and the egg is unfertilized. This menstrual cycle starts at the age of 12-15, with some experiencing their periods later or earlier, and continues till menopause, which happens around the age of 40-50. That’s our bit on menstrual education. We won’t bore you with further technicalities.
Do people actually PMS?
Yes, they do. It’s not an excuse to get out of social situations (well, sometimes it is, tbh).
When you hear someone saying “I’m PMSing”, it refers to something menstruators experience a week or two before their periods.
This includes, but is not limited to, mood swings, food cravings, irritation, and many other symptoms.
Read more: The Bloody Lives of Differently Abled
What is the big deal with period cramps?
What other changes do menstruating people go through? Well, menstruating people can experience cramps in the lower abdomen- along with mood swings, irritation, and many different things. Think of it like being stabbed in your tummy and the pain spreading to your back through the thighs.
The intensity, length, and side effects of the cramps may vary from one person to another. Now you know why women fight for period leaves in offices.
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Period Education 101: Menstrual Hygiene
Now that you’re officially part of the period education group, which was formed in school to talk about Lord Periods, let’s learn more about menstrual hygiene.
If you were left scratching your head seeing those vague ads about sanitary pads, which can supposedly absorb the whole ocean,and can lift a girl’s mood, we’re here to explain what those magical things are.
They are known as SANITARY PADS. They help menstruators during their menstrual cycle. Apparently, pads are the most popular menstrual products that people use, other alternatives being menstrual cups and tampons, which are not that popular. It is because menstruators are constantly told that they will lose their virginity with menstrual cups and tampons. Spoiler alert: they can’t.
People on periods can’t get pregnant
Also, pregnancy is out of the question for at least a week after the periods. It’s the safest time to have sex (yeah, we used the s word). The most probable time to get pregnant would be a week before periods.
And again, you CANNOT impregnate them on their periods.
Putting a Period on the Stigma
Now that you know about periods, they don’t sound that scary, not at least like Lord Voldemort, does it? It’s a natural cycle that happens to everyone with a vagina. So the stigma around periods needs to stop.
It’s time to drive social change, no more talking about Whisper in whispers! StayFree and raise awareness on menstrual hygiene and health!