We reach a phase called puberty whereby the reproductive organs mature and secondary sexual characteristics like pubic hair growth takes place. In females, the menstrual cycle activates which continuously repeats itself after a period of time. But not all are aware about its mechanism. So here we go.
Every month, an egg- the female gamete- is released into the fallopian tube and waits for its fusion with a sperm- the male gamete. Meanwhile, the uterus prepares itself so as to provide a healthy environment to the embedded zygote. If there’s no sperm available, the egg alongwith the extra layers of the uterus ruptures and flows out in the form of blood. Many hormonal changes takes place during this whole cycle.
Main hormones being: Luteinising Hormone (LH), Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH), estrogen, progesterone. This is a natural process. Earlier some rules were made in the male dominant society in order to provide relaxation to a woman during her days of period.
Gradually we started following these rules blindly without knowing its origin and reasons that existed long time back then. With developing times, these taboos have been reduced to a great extent in urban areas. But it still continues in rural and tribal areas. Some of these taboos are:
- During periods, impure blood is flowing out so for that period you become impure as well.
- Girls/women are excluded from social and religious events and even not allowed to enter into kitchen.
- Keep a distance from males (father, brother, friend, etc.).
- Access to sanitary pads is difficult.
- In urban areas, girls can now discuss their experiences freely duevto social media but this isn’t the case in villages and towns.
“It’s time to not silence them with shame, but give them the freedom and knowledge to deal with the pain. Social media is a powerful tool and it should be used to spread positivity and awareness among the people,” says Mr. Gera.
A girl/woman has to go through pain and mood swings each time she has her periods. Such myths and taboos add on the mental stress and make it worse. It leads to lowered self-esteem and may have serious implications in future.
Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
it’s one of the mental health problems, almost faced by 3 out of 4 women. Its symptoms include anxiety, mood swings, irritability, anger, appetite changes, insomnia, social withdrawal, poor concentration, abdominal bloating, breast tenderness, fatigue and joint/muscle pain. Though exact causes haven’t been found yet, but cyclic changes in hormones and chemical changes in the brain may push towards PMS.
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)
it’s an extended or more serious version of PMS. Its symptoms of PMS along with pain in pelvis, panic attack, hopelessness, excess sleepiness, depression, feeling overwhelmed, increased sensitivity to rejection and self-critical thoughts. The causes haven’t been found yet, but cyclic changes in hormones and chemical changes in the brain may push towards PMDD like PMS.
it’s very common, before and during the period, due to the changes in hormonal levels like serotonin. Its symptoms include feeling sad and demotivated ti do any sort of task.
Managing your emotions
- Take good sleep
- Take small meals
- Enrich your meal with calcium supplements
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol and sweets
- Try to cope up with stress
- Maintain proper hygiene