Menstruation is still a less talked topic. The myths and taboos have survived for the longest time now, not only in rural parts but even in the top most urbanised metropolitan cities. Menstruators feel shy talking about menstruation, and problems related to periods. It’s time we normalise periods and express freely.
Today on menstrual hygiene day, CitySpidey organised a talk show with a renowned gynaecologist Dr. Nidhi Jain from Jivaka Healthcare and Snigdha Banerjee who won Karmveer Chakra award for social work. This session was moderated by Nikita Sharma.
The talk session started with a very basic question “why is it important to talk about periods? “, to which Snigdha answered that periods still cause paranoid not only in rural areas but in metropolitan cities too, little girls get scared when they start menstruating. She says it’s important to talk about the hygiene part to make menstruators keep them safe and make them feel secured.
Snigdha said that everyone can do their bit by informing and educating their maids, sisters, friends and daughters to save them from getting traumatized by periods.
Dr. Nidhi agreeing to this said that talking about it will create more freedom and from a doctor’s perspective she says that it’s important for a women’s health in general, a woman should be aware about her body.
During the session the doctor was asked about the most common problem that a mentruator reports, on this Dr. Jain shared that amongst many complications some of the common issues are having irregular periods, delay in the cycle, heavy bleeding and sometimes unusual unbearable pain. She says most of them visit when the patient faces a problem in conceiving.
The doctor expressed that to understand what’s abnormal we need to understand what’s normal, one needs to understand what are periods, what does menstruation cycle mean, when does it start to tend to stop, how it happens every month, what are the hormones that trigger the menstruation cycle.
She strongly highlights that if a menstruator bleeds more than 80ml of blood during her periods every month then that person must consult a doctor. If the person bleeds more than 7 days then a gynaecologist must be seen.
A woman should have a haemoglobin count of 11-12 but usually it’s seen women are anaemic and for such people monitoring the periods becomes very much important.
Nikita asked gynaecologist Dr. Nidhi about how normal is it to have cramps, to which she replied that uterus is a muscle, periods start when there are muscle contractions that’s when the muscle spasm occur. She says it’s normal to have cramps during periods.
The session acknowledged issues from the rural communities. Nikita asked Snigdha about her field experience and this is what she had to say – “Till today the menstruators in the rural communities don’t have accessibility to sanitary napkins, they aren’t able to afford the required diet and they fear expressing their issues as the myths have choked their voices to even raise a question”.
Snigdha says that people need to acknowledge the fact that vagina is an open pore, using rags or ashes could cause incurable infections, it’s important for the mestruators to keep their genitals clean and be aware of the hygienic practices.
With this it’s also important to take care of the diet, Dr. Nidhi shares that for a menstruator it is essential to have a balanced diet including, pulses, rice, wheat, fruits and vegetables. She stresses on the intake of protein rich food so that the body doesn’t get anaemic.
Nirmal Gupta a viewer commented “I am learning so much about my body”.
The talk session had many interactive questions from the viewers.
Ketan Vaidya asked about common myths, to which Snigdha answered these myths include that a woman shouldn’t take bath during periods, they shouldn’t visit a temple as they are impure while bleeding, women must not cook and women must stay away from pickles. Busting the myths, she said that it’s important for a woman to take a bath to maintain her hygiene while she is on her periods. Both Dr. Nidhi and Snigdha said a woman isn’t impure while she bleeds. Dr. Nidhi added that some myths had a scientific reason that we never questioned, cooking requires time and energy our ancestors acknowledged it and made women rest on their period days.
One must never take a medicine without prescription. Wrong doses can rise complications in the body, thus it’s always better to consult a doctor. Dr. Nidhi said all medicines have side effects; she says that sometimes the symptoms might look the same but the underlying disease might different thus it’s important to see a doctor before taking any medicine.
The session not only broke menstrual myths but also answered questions on white discharge, unusual bleeding patterns as menopause approaches, and on various diseases that affect the periods like PCOD, thyroid, uterine fibroids & cysts.
Watch the full video and know more about menstrual hygiene.
Don’t hesitate to talk about menstruation openly. You might save someone from a deadly disease or getting paranoid when they get their periods.