Let’s talk about PERIODS.

Periods are a significant part of a woman’s life so it’s really important to know and talk about it. In a developing country like India, talking about periods is yet not normalised. Around 71% of girls remain unaware of menstruation until they experience their first-period cycle. Many adolescent girls still struggle to understand what is happening with them when they experience their first periods. I too have faced this situation as no one told me about periods before I had them.

At the age of 12, I had my first periods. I was shocked and scared seeing so much blood. I didn’t tell anyone about it because I was afraid and had no idea what was happening to my body so I used some cloth. I was not able to sleep at night due to pain and heavy flow. Due to the discomfort and cramps, I even cried. But the next day my mother came to know about it so she gave me a sanitary napkin, explained to me how to use it and all she told me about periods was that it happens with every woman so there’s nothing to worry about.
There are many more girls out there, who aren’t aware of periods. Their parents don’t tell them about it as they still don’t feel comfortable to talk about it openly.

In many parts of India, menstruation is still considered to be impure. Even in some cultures, especially in Hinduism, there are a lot of restrictions for menstruating women which make no sense. Menstruating women are prohibited to enter the kitchen, touch other people, touch prepared food and eat a certain food item like pickles or curd. They are even told to sleep in a separate bed and wash their own utensils. In some cases, a woman is not allowed to wash her hair for the first two days of her periods. A girl or woman on periods is prohibited to enter the temple, offer prayers or even touch a holy book as she is considered to be impure. It’s a natural phenomenon and it shouldn’t be regarded as impure. There are many more countries which have their own menstruation-related customs and beliefs such as some countries in Africa and Indonesia etc.
All such myths and taboos affect the mental state, emotional condition and lifestyle of women so it’s really important to bust them. Both men and women need to understand that it is a natural biological process and not some kind of impurity or a disease. Menstruation education is really important to impart knowledge about periods and make people aware that it is natural and normal so that they can forego all the myths.

Lack of menstrual products.

In India, many girls miss their school due to the lack of menstrual health products such as sanitary pads, tampons, menstrual cups etc. Most girls don’t even have access to menstruation supplies and use rags, cloth, sand, ash and hay as an alternative. These alternatives are neither comfortable nor safe as they could affect health and cause severe infections. According to the National Family Health Survey, 2015-2016 approx 36% of women in India use sanitary napkins during their periods and the rest have no access to them. The country is under lockdown due to COVID-19. According to a survey conducted in April, 84% of women were restricted access to menstrual products during the lockdown due to lack of production and distribution, especially in the rural areas. Availability of menstrual products and proper disposal of them is very important to maintain menstrual hygiene. In view of spreading awareness about menstrual hygiene, 28th May is celebrated as Menstrual Hygiene Day.

Government, as well as various NGOs, are taking the initiative to spread awareness about menstrual health and providing access to menstrual health products to women. We are moving forward and things are changing but still, there’s a long way to go.

Published by Shivani Gupta

Feeling. Writing. Healing.🌸❤

63 thoughts on “Let’s talk about PERIODS.

  1. Hi! First of all, I want to congratulate you for writing on such a bold topic. Appreciate your efforts. But, I feel there need to go for some research when you are writing about any religion. Sanatan dharma is totally based on the science. Let me tell you why women are not going inside the mandir during this period. Ancient Hindu temples are made on the place where earth’s magnetic field is more than the normal. While going to these places during this time there might be chances of reversing the blood flow which is definitely very painful. Again for kitchen and household work, I believe we need more rest that time and can’t serve the family as we do in our regular days. Adding one link for easy understanding. Hope you will guide other people also. God is one and very loving he doesn’t care whether you are pavitra or not. He only care for your love. A pure love!!

    Liked by 7 people

    1. Thank you for making me aware of the actual reasons. But according to the people here, the only reason I get for not entering the kitchen or temple is impurity. Many old age people don’t know the science behind it. Also for kitchen and household work, there are a lot of women who work during their periods including me. It’s no stoppage. I myself have faced these restrictions but then I stood up against it and now I work on my periods, go to the kitchen and even the temple.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I understand and I even faced the same. It’s a human thinking that we don’t want to effort till we need it very much. And if some restrictions are applied we try to break it without knowing the reason. Actually we don’t find people to guide us. Hope you will guide others for this. 🙏🏻😊

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I surely will. But many restrictions are still not scientifically justified. Following old age rituals on the basis of myths and without knowing the actual reason behind it is not justified.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Search for them what u don’t understand, and let me know if I can help u to understand something. If you will try to find; you will get the ans. Believe me. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Top dat je dit onderwerp beschrijft. Velen vergeten ook dat het op zo een moment een zuivering van het lichaam is.
    Men spreekt van onrein juist omdat het ingepraat wordt door de cultuur het land. Want het is de normaalste zaak van het vrouwelijk lichaam.
    Aum Shanthi

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Really you have served a wholesome knowledge in a very lucid way. It is quite sad that there is no any information before the first period. In a part of society people are changing but a larger part is still so much back . Truly mentioned , we have still do much more. Either research , rebel ,or reform . And write about it is its first and strong step. Thankyou to develop my knowledge.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. Choosing such topic is itself a big task in India and you’ve explained it so nicely…well done Shivani….
    Girls/ women are not all allowed to enter in Temple and many pious place but even a hard core criminals are welcomed…..is it so dangerous?
    People are found explaining science and magnetic fields….. Is every temple has higher magnetic field? Is our home temple has also high magnetic field? Is holy books, scriptures also possess bucket of magnetic power? Today’s a few girls/ women participating in worship and going to temple while having periods….are their bodies bleeding more?

    There’s lots of questions floating over such orthodoxial practices. And we can’t spread excuses everywhere.
    I’m also belongs to hindu society but as a human being I thanks everyone who breaks or stands against such logicless customs…
    (It’s totally my own view what I have observed in society)

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Yes, exactly.
      It is okay when a girl gets raped in a temple, but a menstruating woman entering a temple hurts the sentiments of these people.
      How can people give scientific reasons for not touching other people during periods? Does that make them dirty or impure?
      No excuse or reason can justify these restrictions.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are very true…
        People give scientific reason but that’s not based on experiments which is a key features of science. Generally, people makes excuses to satisfy their ego….but these ego and excuses can’t lead the Life of 21st century….
        A good example of Sabrimala Temple case in recent time where everyone stand against the Orthodox norms but a few egocentric…

        Liked by 3 people

  5. Thank you. I used to use “glad rags” brand of washable sanitary pads because their proceeds used to go to help situations like you write of. I don’t know if they still do, but I have since switched to cups and there are a couple of cup makers that also help low income people have access. As for the taboo vs “good reasons” yes women do tend to be more sensitive, so magnetic energy could be overwhelming or counterproductive, but it should the woman’s choice not a blanket mandate. Also with fatigue and chores/kitchen, some women experience little to no fatigue or maybe only on one day of their cycle. Again it should be an allowable suggestion, not a mandate or taboo-to-break rule. We do have a long way to go in educating the globe on the technicalities of this very normal cycle, and even further to go making sure that women know how to tell their normal from something needing medical attention, and even further breaking horrible out dated discriminatory practices enforced by many of the male persuasion. Women are beautiful beings that are charged with ensuring humanity continues, and everyone should respect each individual woman’s needs and choices no matter what they are.

    Liked by 5 people

  6. A great and very much needed post! In the US, where I live it’s generally covered in school, but I was an early bloomer and started before. I tried to hide it, too though I what it was and my mother was generally open about it. Education is so important and this is great work! Xx

    Liked by 5 people

  7. Thank you for sharing this informative article. It is so sad in the 21st century woman are still being treated so poorly, especially when menstruation is a natural part of life, something not designed by women, but serves a great purpose. 😣😣👣

    Liked by 4 people

  8. This is such an eye opener and I guess the Indian government and other governments around the world need to step up the work on providing female sanitary products. And Hinduism takes it a bit far don’t you think, but since it has been practised for centuries it may take a while before such boundaries are weathered down.
    Finally, I’m Nigerian and Africa isn’t a Country. It’s a continent. Zambia and Nigeria are both countries in Africa.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. You’re such a great person for letting other girls know about this completely natural event. In school, I knew a few girls who weren’t warned about it- oh,yes! Even right here in America- there were girls who weren’t told. And when they finally began their periods, it scared them to death. Thank goodness my mother talked to me about it early on. So, again, thank you for reaching out to spare young girls the panic. Wishing you many blessings!

    Liked by 4 people

  10. Thank you for sharing this. I have shared it with my niece who is 13 years old. We live in the United States. We may have the opposite problem here where grace may not be given to women who are menstruating. We may be expected to work just as hard in the kitchen or elsewhere. That being said, I can’t complain because we have been given the right to go where we want and do what we want during menstruation. I am Christian, and it is nice that I am not prohibited from church during that time. We are not seen as unclean. Your post is very enlightening.

    Liked by 1 person

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