Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Menstrual Health still less talked about

If you have watched Akshay Kumar’s “Pad man” then you must be aware of women menstrual hygiene. Women menstrual health is a topic never discussed in the public domain. Menstruation is a natural process and should not be treated as something impure or not worthy to be discussed. Women menstrual health negligence leads to deadly diseases like uterus cancer.

In order to prevent any complexity due to menstrual hygiene following tips should be followed

✓Eat food rich in vitamins, proteins, calcium and iron

✓Use sanitary pads and avoid using a cloth as it may cause swelling and rashes

✓Use cotton pads instead of synthetic pads

✓ Keep yourself clean especially during menstruation

✓Avoid heavy exercise during your cycle

✓Keep a check on the period’s date.

✓Avoid eating cold food and junk food during your cycle

✓Avoid taking painkillers

✓In any doubt visit your gynaecologist

It’s the 21st century and people are still stuck in the dilemma of talking or not talking about menstruation and menstrual hygiene.  It’s important and it should be discussed.

Sanitary pads should be available at a minimum price so that poor women can also afford it. NGOs working for women should have a special focus on menstrual health of women. If you have a female maid at your home, you can give them a sanitary pad packet along with their salary. It may mean nothing to you but it will make a huge difference in her life.

“Period. End of sentence” won an Oscar but there was no noise, no hype. No talks on women menstrual health, just a documentary on menstrual health of rural Indian women. Ignorance of such a sensitive issue of women menstrual health is a tradition in India. People treat menstruation as a taboo. In rural India, lesser educated classes, a packet of sanitary pad is a luxury which poor women cannot afford in a month.

Women feel ashamed of talking about their menstrual health because they were taught so right from their childhood. Bleeding 4-7 days with constant cramps and pains, losing more than 80 ml of blood per month is an issue of shame. Losing iron, vitamin B12, vitamin C, proteins, calcium along with blood is something one must keep secret. Such practices have degraded the health of Indian women and it is seen that every other woman is having problems with their menstruation cycle. Some do not get their periods for months and others continue bleeding for ten days straight. PCOD is a common term thrown around but the reality is still that many women (even the educated class) refuse to see a doctor even while having problems with their mensuration. The discrimination women face because of her menstrual cycle is a violation of her freedom and liberty.

It was a non-verbal thought in corporate houses that avoided hiring women because they believed a women’s productivity is less during the 5-7 days when she is on her period. A process that occurs naturally in every women’s life was made out to be a burden for her. Now since times are changing, at least in urban areas, menstrual hygiene is talk of the town among women. Yet, in rural India still, menstrual hygiene is neglected. This needs to change. Women should talk about their menstrual hygiene and understand certain basics:

Sanitary pads over cloth

Health over negligence.

Happy menstrual hygiene day!

Health and Lifestyle article contributed by Renu Kotwal


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