The Menstrual Cycle has been the topic of debate for years, whether in the East or the West. Considered in some parts of the world as a taboo while others rejoice in the ultimate beauty of womankind, there are different perceptions with regards to a woman’s monthly flux. Even though a girl’s / woman’s menstrual cycle is the sign of health – and is, in fact, an integral part of her Sexual Health and Reproductive Rights – as a society, we have yet to accept it as ‘normal’.
Regardless of the the education level of an individual, or their high status in society, menstruation is still talked about in hushed tones in all-female circles inside most homes. And absolutely never before a member of the opposite gender. This creates an imbalance in the general community at large, with half of the population shamed into hiding an integral part of their being, considered “dirty”; while the other half is split into two groups – one group of men completely baffled by the “intrigue” surrounding their female counterparts while in truth are blithely unaware of the goings on inside a the (female) human body (a part of basic general knowledge); while the other group considers it the butt of numerous hilarious jokes laced with sexual innuendo.
Given the amount of pressure society puts on women and girls to hide that part of their lives, and the lengths both men and women go to to ensure it remains that way, it is no wonder that so few facts are actually known. So here are nine factors that you should know about your menstrual cycle:
- Your Period Is Not A Contraceptive
Contrary to common belief, being on your period will not prevent you from getting pregnant. In fact, a woman is most fertile from the middle of her period to five days after it. You can do the math…
2. Irregular Periods Doesn’t Necessarily Mean Twins
Yes we all know how much a pair of twins means to every woman out there. However, having irregular periods (which includes spotting, missing a period, or not having a regular time frame) can happen due to a variety of things: stress, pregnancy, use of certain drugs, changes in the diet plan and even serious illnesses. Go to a doctor to get a checkup if your periods are not regular!
3. The Average Period Is Less Than A Cup of Blood
It’s painful, it’s a lot of hassle…. it’s also much less than we give it credit for! While you may be throwing away quite a few tampons / sanitary pads every day of your cycle, the truth is that the average period is less than a cup of blood. Most women lose between a few tablespoons and a cup per cycle. That is not to say that you don’t deserve to be pampered by your other halves anymore… that has nothing to do with this.
4. Nicknames Aren’t The Smartest
Most girls, while in High School or when going through puberty, feel more comfortable using pseudonyms for that dreaded ‘time of the month’. Ironically, all nicknames have the same (obvious) meaning: Aunt Flo, Time Of The Month (TOM), and even Crime Scene.
5. Your Cycle Might Make You Frisky
While individual women react differently to the emotional roller coaster that can sometimes accompany their monthly cycles, others might feel a little… perked up for something else entirely. This is because of the significant decrease in the hormone Progesterone, which is at its lowest during your period.
6. Period Syncing Has Not Been Proved
There have been many cases of women having their cycles very close to one another (usually when the women live together). However, this has not been scientifically proven and still remains a controversial topic.
7. Menstruation Is Taboo In Some Parts Of The World
If you’re reading this, and you’re wondering what it means, consider yourself lucky. In some parts of the world — such as rural India — girls / women are sent away to a shelter to sit out the duration of their cycle. Usually, the shelter is not big enough to comfortably quarter the ten or so girls staying there each week; and yet, these women are considered polluted while their cycle goes on, and are not allowed to enter the house or touch anything until it is over.
8. Always Was The First Company To Show Blood In a Sanitary Napkin Advertisement
In 2011, Always broke the cardigan rule of always showing the “blue liquid” most women excrete during their cycles. Instead, in a printed advert, the company showed real red on a sanitary napkin. However, the fact that the ad never got air time suggests that it is still taboo is even the most progressive of countries.
9. The Average Age For A Girl To Get Her Period Is 12-years-old
Girls today are getting their periods at a younger age. It is not certain as of yet whether this is a result of a change in environmental conditions or unhealthy (diets with high fat counts) eating habits or increased stress levels.