Lets talk about blood

Menstruation is not just a women’s issue. It shouldn’t be a dirty little secret that people whisper about behind closed doors.

Why is it that most men have no problem with watching war movies, horror movies, action movies with lots of blood, but many of them lose it when someone starts talking about periods? All men should be able to handle a little blood. Even if you don’t menstruate yourself, a lot of people around you do.

Menstruation is a natural biological function of the female body.

My objective is to break the taboos around this phenomenon that is so natural that for some odd reason is still lived in secret, and in many cases even shamefully.

A little humour:

“Periods help you learn how to get blood off things which is probably why you hear more stories of men caught with murder.” – peachvenom

child-sitting-1816400_1920From hearing people act grossed out at the mention of menstruation to being told to cover up leaks, we get the sense that periods are embarrassing at best and outright shameful at worst. Menstruation isn’t a flaw, it isn’t a punishment, it’s a natural function that permits the continuation of the human race.

The first year of menstruation for many teens, the monthly schedule is chaotic and they often get surprised. No girl should be embarrassed.

When we learn that it’s bad to talk about something our bodies do, we may come to the conclusion that the thing itself is bad and that needs to change. When we lift the veil on a taboo topic, we not only send the message that your body is okay and not shameful, we also learn a lot more when people aren’t being secretive about their experiences.

Unfortunately, a lot of young girls have worries or questions, that even their own mothers do not know the answer to because we don’t talk or learn about menstruations. The taboos associated with menstruation are so powerful that many people remain unaware of their own conditions, isolated by lack of consideration from others and health professionals. One of my daughter’s friend thought she was dying when she had her first menstruation. Thank goodness, we already had plenty of discussion about menstruations at home and she was able to explain to her friend what was going on.

We must collectively stop propagating ideas that are detrimental to their well-being.

Women who complain their symptoms are often perceived as exaggerating, as being flabby, weak and disturbing. It is more than important never to belittle women who mention what they are experiencing.

Menstruation products aren’t luxuries and should be made available to all. It shouldn’t be taxed. When poor or homeless women can’t afford to purchase these expensive monthly products, it’s a question of health and hygienic issues.

A variety of options should also be made available. Not every woman is made the same and not every product “fits” all. The fact that the first time you wear a pad, you probably felt, like me, that you were wearing a diaper, doesn’t help to be okay with your period. Risking toxic syndrome if you wear a tampon, doesn’t make you feel comfortable either.

No matter what you choose to use on your period, leaks happen, especially on jobs or school where you are required to stay seated for a long time and you aren’t able to get up and change as often as you really need to. For a lot of women, not every cycle is the same. Some months are heavier than others and not always in the same way. You can be caught off guard even when you have had your period for a long time and have experienced something similar before. Regular, tidy periods aren’t what all women experience.

Not long ago we heard about a woman who lost her job because she bled through her pants and a male co-worker made a complaint. The employer should be sued. It is not a good reason to sack someone. Especially as she has given a valid reason as to why her periods are heavier than what she is used too. I hope she wins. Awful.

We really need to stop being so damn selfish and help each other.

There shouldn’t be any taboo around periods and period products. We should also be able to have a bit of fun and humour around the subject. I recommend watching this Always Commercial with Lizza Koshi.

Due to sexism, menstruation has long been thought to influence the performance of the female brain, but a Swiss study confirms that it has no effect on the functioning of the female brain. Hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle have no significant impact on cognition.

This study decided to establish once and for all whether these impressions were only anecdotal or whether they had a biological basis.

To establish this, the Swiss team of scientists analysed 3 aspects of cognition during 2 menstrual cycles of 68 women and found that variations in levels of oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone in the body have no impact on memory, on cognitive, or on multitasking.

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