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Broadening the horizon of menstrual health

Our society often boasts about how women can do the same amount of work as men but while bleeding. Making it sound so pleasing throws shade on the fact that menstruation is not taken seriously. Women do work while bleeding, but they don’t have to. The physical mental exhaustion leaves their body drained at the end of the day.

Menstruation is a constant shedding and sloughing of a lining. There are big scale changes in hormones and hemoglobin. Even a common cold requires enough bed rest and numerous antibiotics to get rid of. Periods require more medical prioritization than presently given. A data collection depicted that out of six hundred girls, 245 absented themselves from school when on their period.

Study shows that 25% of women with PCOS remain undiagnosed. Menstrual cramps and PMS (premenstrual syndrome) are normal. Periods don’t only require social attention, but also medical attention. When we talk about period health, it does not only include access to sanitary products or hygiene instruments. Period health also takes into consideration the discomfort and fatigue that comes with it. It also includes the need for medical limelight on various ailments caused by or during menstruation.

Oligomenorrhea is the name given to the condition of infrequent periods. Menorrhagia is a condition where women face heavy bleeding. It doesn’t even allow them to get out of bed. But this condition is hardly ever brought to medical attention in India. These are just a few of similar conditions attached to menstruation, many of them are also infection based. It is not enough to just teach about periods. It is also important to teach what risks they entail and what we can do to prevent or treat them.

Moreover, there is also no accommodation for women on their periods at workplaces or schools or even at home. Their productivity is affected and at times, could also adversely contribute towards mental health. Menstruation is not a disability, but it does put men and women on a distinct place in society. The least we can do is recognize this issue and make corresponding adjustments to it. Education and employment are the foundations of women empowerment and the last thing that should cause any disruption in these is menstruation which is not an optional biological occurring.

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