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On average, a person menstruates from age 13 years to 51 years, every 28 days, with a 3–7-day range. This means that they will have 456 periods for about 38 years and use more than 10 000 menstrual products in their lifetime. An increase in price and economic hardship will take a toll on access to these products that should be available for all who menstruate. The cost of menstrual products may also contribute to the perception that daughters are economically burdensome. And the serious health consequences of menstruation — including menstrual disorders, known as dysmenorrhea — are too often neglected. Dysmenorrhea is a major complaint among adolescents, yet few seek medical care. This, too, affects school attendance, economic participation, and quality of life.


a) You must rest and avoid exercise while you have your period

As far as the exercise is concerned, many studies in India and elsewhere have revealed that many adolescent girls believe that doing exercise/physical activity during menses aggravate the dysmenorrhea while in real exercise can help relieve the menstruating women with symptoms of premenstrual syndrome and dysmenorrhea and relieve bloating. Exercise also causes a release of serotonin, making one feel much happier. While she may feel tired and a bit crampy when she has her period, there is no reason why she cannot play sport and exercise as normal. In fact, she may even find that exercise can help ease cramps.

b) Bodily excretions are polluting

In some parts of India, there are perceptions that bodily excretions are believed to be polluting, as are the bodies when producing them. All women, regardless of their social caste, incur pollution through the bodily processes of menstruation and childbirth. Water is considered to be the most common medium of purification. The protection of water sources from such pollution, which is the physical manifestation of Hindu deities, is, therefore, a key concern. This highlights the possible reason why menstruating women are not allowed to take a bath especially for first few days of their menstrual period. But, not bathing during menstruation can lead to compromise in hygiene of the girl and thus lead to the reproductive tract infections. Poor protection and inadequate washing facilities may increase susceptibility to infection, with the odor of menstrual blood putting girls at risk of being stigmatized. The latter may have significant implications for their mental health.

c) Pain during period is normal and one just must get used to it!

While some cramping is common, if the pain one experiencing is so intense it makes it hard for someone to go about then one should talk to doctor. There are options available to help her manage the period and any associated pain.

d) If someone is on the pill and skip her periods by taking the hormone pills continuously, the uterus will fill up with blood

The pill is an effective form of contraception because it stops her from ovulating. When she doesn’t ovulate, her uterus lining does not thicken with blood and tissue and therefore there is no build-up of blood that she needs to get rid of. There are no side effects to not having her period this way, and it is in fact a very safe way to have control over your menstrual cycle. The bonus too is that taking the combined pill without a break is the most effective way of using this form of contraception.

e) If she uses a tampon or menstrual cup, she is no longer a virgin

This is simply not true. Not only is the concept of virginity outmoded and outdated, being a virgin essentially implies that someone has not yet had penetrative sex. And, inserting a tampon has nothing to do with sex. It is perfectly safe to use tampons from the moment one start getting her period.

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