What are 5 important facts you must know about periods?
We all tend to assume that we know what there is to know about periods. And women can brush up their understanding and clear some doubts, whenever it’s necessary with help from this primer.
To help you understand periods better, we’ve put together 5 facts you must know!
- Getting pregnant while you’re on your period is totally possible, There’s a widespread belief that if you have sex on your period, it won’t lead to a pregnancy. While the chances of conceiving could be less, it’s not entirely impossible. A lot depends on your ovulation and the length of your menstrual cycle. Now that s you are someone who has a short period cycle and you end up having sex towards the end of your period. If you ovulate after your period, there’s a possibility of you getting pregnant, as sperms can live in your body for a couple of days.
- As well as just like you, your periods will be keeping evolve you might think you’ve got your period schedule all figured out, but the very next month you notice that they’ve got delayed. This is entirely normal. Your periods and their behavior can keep evolving with age. Hormonal shifts, stress levels, weight, and age are some of the factors that can impact your menstrual cycle. While your body will gradually learn to identify age-related changes, if you encounter something that’s unusual, irregular, or sudden, it’s best to check with a doctor.
- A missed period doesn’t mean pregnancy further case you have missed a period, don’t jump to the conclusion that you’re pregnant. It doesn’t always mean that. The best way to rule out pregnancy is to take a test. As for the missed or late period, there could be several reasons. Female hormones could be at play delaying your periods or it may be a sign of another health problem. It makes sense to see your doctor who can conduct investigations and diagnostic tests and suggest treatment options if needed.
- Your period blood may not always be red, when your body loses blood during menstruation may not necessarily be red. It may be different shades of red, brown, or pink. Hormones and health conditions are important determinants of the color of your period blood. In fact, your period blood can also be a key indicator of an underlying health condition or an infection. For example, Pink period blood could mean your body has low estrogen levels or that you’re anemic. Of course, you shouldn’t be doing any kind of self-diagnosis. If you notice a change in the color of your period blood, speak to your doctor.
- There’s life beyond sanitary pads, there are many eco-friendly ways of managing periods. The female can use mostly menstrual cups, period panties, and reusable cloth pads. These are sustainable alternatives and create much less waste. Sanitary pads have been so popular for so long that many women have some sort of a blind spot when it comes to trying other options. But it makes sense to start experimenting with ‘green’ menstrual hygiene products. You can then make an informed choice and use what suits you best.
- There are many eco-friendly ways of managing periods. The female can use mostly menstrual cups, period panties, and reusable cloth pads. These are sustainable alternatives and create much less waste. Sanitary pads have been so popular for so long that many women have some sort of a blind spot when it comes to trying other options. But it makes sense to start experimenting with ‘green’ menstrual hygiene products. You can then make an informed choice and use what suits you best.
It’s time we started talking about periods to kids.
Age and experience teach you a lot of things. I’ve been talking about parenting for quite some time now and over the years, have bonded and collaborated with other mothers and parents. One thing I’ve observed is this: every parenting style is unique and there’s really no right or wrong here.
My mantra of dealing with issues related to parenting and children is to normalize topics considered taboo and start talking about them, rather than beating about the bush. And this applies to a lot of things that we encounter in our day-to-day parenting life. For example,
It’s normal for kids to be curious about sex. So, answer their queries with age-appropriate explanations.
Similarly, it is normal for kids to ask questions about their private parts. Don’t brush them under the carpet.
And, it’s also normal for kids (both boys and girls) to be inquisitive about periods. So, do address their curiosity, instead of trying to change the topic.
Of late, there have been quite a lot of conversations around period shaming and how to do away with the whole stigma around menstruation. Well, my take is, you should start early and from your own home. Being a mother to an almost 10-year-old girl, I feel this conversation should start at an age when little girls and boys are getting to know their bodies and understanding how they function.
Here are a few tips that parents can follow to normalize conversations around menstruation:
- Don’t make it a one-off conversation: What’s important here is that parents should not treat period talk with kids as a one-off conversation. Instead, it should be something that is ongoing and discussed normally, just like you discuss other things and events.
- Your child can discuss it with anyone in the close family: Create an atmosphere at home that your child should feel free to talk about menstruation to other close family members too, and not just you. In our family, for instance, it is often my husband who gets books on menstrual health and periods for our daughter. Naturally, she has a lot of questions for him when she reads them.
- Don’t miss out on the details: It’s natural for kids to have a lot of questions around periods such as when it happens, why it happens only to girls, how long it will last, etc. Answer all the questions with patience and don’t gloss over details.
- Don’t be in a hurry: As a society, we are always in a hurry to brush ‘taboo’ topics under the carpet. We often cut the conversation short just because we’re embarrassed. Change this approach. Give your child the confidence that if it matters to them, it matters to you as well. Take your time and answer all their questions calmly.
- Talk to the boys too: Period talk shouldn’t just be a girls’ thing. Boys should also be a part of the conversation. In fact, parents of boys should educate them to help their friends in times of need, given that periods can be tough to deal with for girls.
Avantika Bahuguna is a working woman and mother to a 9-year old girl. She talks about parenting on public and social media forums.