Let’s Talk Menstruation

Not very long ago, two generations back, women were still sitting in a dark isolated corner which was ill ventilated and ill lit during their periods, in fact it was looked upon as one of those inconvenient days in a month but nowadays in the urban setup, it is no more so but rural women still need to overcome the stigma and as their sisters we need to give a helping hand to get rid of the Taboo.

 A girl spends on an average 30 to 35 years (from menarche at ~12 to menopause ~47y) menstruating that is an average of 4500 periods or a good 10 years in menstruation.

So, understanding her menstrual cycle to help plan work travel other events keeping menstruation as the centre point it would go a long way.

Girls (younger and older) do experience bloating, breast tenderness, discomfort in stomach, cramps, backache, headache and mood changes so while keeping up with regular activities a small window to take rest has to be created as well.

As an Obstetrician and Gynaecologist consultant and associate professor it gives me a unique opportunity to interact with a large variety of woman and hence, I firmly believe that counselling youngsters is the best way to go about it, Afterall we are talking about a tiny 70-gram uterus which is shedding an average of 50 to 80 ml of blood.

Creating awareness through school camps and college workshops, teaming up with NGOs and other authorities, we are making slow steady progress on menstrual hygiene awareness.

From sanitary napkins to menstrual cups to tracking cycles on menstrual apps it has been an interesting Journey but let’s not stop here, men are also equally important whenever men get involved it only adds to the strength and success of any endeavour is double DHAMAKA.

Menstrual blood is recently been studied for harvesting stem cells.

Fun facts:

• Till maturation of the HPO (hormonal axis) for 12 to 18 months after menarche cycles can be irregular.

• Only 15 % ladies have a 28-day cycle to cycle variation of 24 to 35 days in normal.

•  Regular cycles can be seen in almost 20 percentage of women.

•  Average blood flow is anywhere between 30 ml to 80 ml of blood per menstrual period.

•  Average cycle of 7 days bleeding is considered normal.

So, from Taboo to time of celebrity healthy young woman going through a fairly normal menstruation is what I would like to see in the days to come.

‘Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) is far more important’