They say women are strong — and that they can overcome/ get through anything and everything!
I wonder if that applies to me — especially during my periods!!
Why so? Because as much as I aspire to overcome every hurdle and face my demons; period cramps (and my PCOS), however, kill my fantasies, eventually (pun intended)!
[That’s what happens to me during periods — I could make lame jokes!!]
Now, coming back to periods — did you know an ‘average woman menstruates from age 13 until age 51, about once a month, with each period lasting from three to seven days? All in all, this equals 456 periods over a span of 38 years, which amounts to roughly 6.25 years or 2,280 days of your life spent bleeding’!
And during this tenure, almost every woman, once or more than once, faces a ‘period situation’ that scares (the hell out of) her. I would like to call it Scary Periods.
Now, ignoring this would not be recommended to anyone. Sometimes the situation leads us to some underlying sickness and sometimes it turns out to be nothing but teaches us something new. [Agree or agree?]
So while writing for Menstrual Hygiene Day this year, we thought why not talk about Scary Periods? After all, almost every menstruator has got some tales of their own! Infano reached out to some women and here is what we got:
Scary Periods? I think I have got enough of those but the scariest one was when I bled for around three weeks. Three damn weeks and I was so sure that I was going to die. My gynaecologist was as calm as the Marine Drive but that was the worst that could happen to my body. Turned out that it was some kind of infection clubbed with my stress.
It happened again when I was staying in my college’s hostel. This time, it lasted for some ten days but I knew what I had to do. As of this writing, I have PCOD, acute stress disorder and a minor thyroid issue. I do yoga every day, eat as healthy as I can and try to do things that make me happy. Who knew that mental health could have a direct impact on your menstruation!
— Ambika Anand, Mumbai.
Periods can last for a short time because of a variety of factors, and cycles that finish early are unlikely to be cause for alarm. However, if a person’s typical cycle shortens unexpectedly, it could also suggest an underlying health problem. People around me have menstrual flows which last 4-6 days, but my cycle lasts only 2 days with normal flow.
People find it very unusual and assume that I have health issues or some genetic factors affecting it. However, when I consulted my family gynaecologist she said it was completely fine to have periods for just two days. But she also advised me to always stay hydrated.
I drink coconut water daily along with my detox drinks and fruits. Also, I can’t afford to stop working out. I gain weight if I do that. I have been doing zumba, aerobics and yoga but ever since the pandemic struck us, I started doing kickboxing as well. Working out also eases my cramps during periods, else, it gets hard to move even by an inch. The most important thing which I do is aromatherapy and take cramp relief roll-on or patches the first day as it helps to relax and sleep soundfully.
— Pooja Saha, New Delhi.
Every other woman I know has PCOS, I’m no different! But this one time, I got my periods very late and the colour of my blood was dark brown-black sort of — think of it as dark as you can. It was followed by some days of spotting and severe body cramps.
I was on birth control pills at that time and I had no idea if it was affecting my body or not. I consulted a gynaecologist and she said it was a major vaginal infection. I became super conscious about my vaginal hygiene from that time. I avoid using public toilets as much as I can, become a vegetarian and avoid any and all kinds of medications. I’m doing good now but take it as advice, avoid birth pills as long as it’s not super necessary.
— Neha Rawat, Noida.
I once fainted on my school premises during the second day of my period and I was hit so badly that they had to take me to a hospital. People kept calling me Periods Rani for days and I had to skip school for several next cycles. It was quiet for years until I recently screamed out loud in my physics class. It felt like someone punched me hard on my stomach.
It turned out to be some kind of uterus infection. I am having my treatment in Chennai now. I’m 21 and the doctor already predicts that It will be hard for me to conceive. I am not thinking much about that part. Let’s see what the future holds for me. Until then, I’m snacking on my veggies and juices.
— Riya Das, Kolkata.
I, unfortunately, do not have any Scary Periods Tales because I never had my periods. As weird as it may sound, it is a harsh fact of my life and perhaps, the scariest part of my life as well.
But I was blessed to find a partner who accepted me against all societal values and we are happily married, thinking of adopting a child. There are people who see me with judgements but I wish they could understand biology!
— Pakhi Sharma, Bihar.
Infano thanks these lovely women for sharing their stories!
This #MenstrualHygieneDay, #Infano along with #TheLogicalIndian, is addressing nuanced conversations on period centering on the well being of the menstruators as they power through every day. Share your experience of Scary Periods in the comments because your story can trigger an important aspect that we all need to know and talk about! #IPeriodMyWay #MHD2022