The ABC of Menstruation; Explaining the Process & Debunking Myths

The ABC of Menstruation; Explaining the Process & Debunking Myths

Her Health

Camera: Mukul Bhandari

Editor: Puneet Bhatia

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(On International Women's Day, FIT is bringing you stories of women's health, often ignored, under reported, in our campaign 'Her Health.' This story has been republished from our archives.)

Chums, period, 'that' time of the month, crimson tide, menstruation.

ALL these names for ONE biological process. Women go through it, but for some reason, men are obsessed with it. Take for instance, these pearls of wisdom by Swami Krushnaswarup Dasji of Swaminarayan Bhuj Mandir,

“If menstruating women cook, they will be reborn as kutri (bitch) in next life.”

He also added that if a man were to consume the food prepared by a menstruating woman, his ‘next avatar would definitely be that of a balad (ox)‘.

Seriously, STOP. What will it take for this to stop?

A biology lesson, I hope? So here’s the ABC of menstruation, because really, we’ve had enough.

Also Read : Move Over, Temples, Nothing is ‘Morally Wrong’ with Menstruation

Menstruation: A Natural Biological Process, Like Any Other

When a female reaches puberty, her body starts to prepare for pregnancy. Each month, blood and tissue build up in the uterus to prepare for a fertilised egg in case a woman becomes pregnant.

Now what happens when she doesn’t?

If the egg isn’t fertilised, the lining leaves the body through the vagina. Hence, the bleeding - that awful, painful, exhausting experience that goes on for 3-5 days.

A woman experiences this until she reaches her menopause, which usually occurs between 46 to over 50 years of age. All this is controlled by hormones like estrogen and progesterone. We are not even getting into PMS, endometriosis and other painful conditions most men won’t be able to handle.

As you see, it’s ALL biology.

It’s as normal as a male growing facial hair when he reaches puberty. Haven’t heard any crazy stories about that now, have we?

Also Read : Menstruation and Men: It’s Time We Talk Openly About ‘Periods’

Period Myths That Just Refuse to Go Away

It’s plain biology - What’s so difficult to understand?
It’s plain biology - What’s so difficult to understand?
(Photo: iStock)

But well, for menstruation, the myths are endless, and with time, they are only getting more and more absurd. So here’s clarifying a few:

  • A menstruating woman can eat and drink whatever she wants.
  • There is absolutely NO problem in exercising while menstruating. It's not an illness, people!
  • You can TOTALLY have sex while you're on your period (But contraception is still important).
  • A menstruating woman can enter the kitchen, the temple or wherever the hell she wants!
  • And no, you wouldn't be reborn a bitch if you cook while menstruating. Because hey, when you die, you DIE.

And FYI, bitches menstruate too.

(For long, women's health has been sidelined and put on the back burner, not taken seriously, not researched, not explored, silenced. FIT is launching its 'Her Health' campaign, that will focus on health stories that put women and their health issues front and centre. What would you like us to talk about? Write to us at FIT@thequint.com)

Also Read : ‘Don’t Enter the Kitchen’ And Other Period Myths Busted

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