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MENSTRUATION. Precisely what is menstruation is not yet very well known. Menstruation or periods (in lay man’s language) is a natural phenomenon which occurs when a girl reaches the stage of puberty and is able to reproduce when the egg will get fertilized after the fusion takes place. For which our body prepares itself beforehand by creating a thick wall or blood lining along uterus for the egg to stay there for 9 months after getting fertilized. And when fusion doesn’t take place, there is no further need of the blood lining . So, it ruptures and the blood comes out of the vagina. A woman sheds the blood of life each moon at menstruation. For a girl, the onset of menarche is a limestone of life and hence hygiene practices during these times is crucial. But India being a patriarchal society for so long consider menstrual cycle as a disgusting thing to even talk about which results in building taboos and myths around it. Socio-cultural restrictions leads to women and girls being ignorant of the scientific facts and hygiene health practices which sometimes result into adverse health outcomes. The reaction and acceptance towards menstruation depends upon the awareness and knowledge about the concerned topic. Many women residing in slum area or are underprivileged are unaware of the fact and process of the menstrual cycle which leads to increased vulnerability to reproductive tract infections. And today millions of women are suffering from its complications which often transmit to offspring of the pregnant mother. Urinary tract infections and various sexually transmitted diseases could be the consequences of bad menstrual hygiene as menstrual hygiene deals with special healthcare needs and requirements of women during these day. The utmost Step to aim for good menstrual hygiene would be eradicating the misconceptions attached with it by spreading awareness even to remote areas because people living in urban areas are fortunate enough to buy menstrual products but there are a huge section in India where women are still using old cloth, husk sand, newspapers and dried leaves to absorb or collect the blood flow. Hamari Pahchan, NGO based in Delhi has initiated a project called Sukhad which aims to distribute at least 50,000 sanitary kits to underprivileged women and it’s currently working on the same by meeting the target of distributing 30,000 Sukhad kits in 2021. It’s the high time now that menstruation must be accepted as a completely normal and natural process and to openly talk about menstrual problems which need to be curbed. There is nothing to be ashamed of periods or its stain. They are the beauty and truth of a woman.
Name: Sanya Malhotra
On a global level, at least 500 million women and girls lack adequate facilities for menstrual hygiene management. More than 77% of menstruating women in India use an old cloth, which is often reused, ashes, newspapers, dried leaves and husk sand during periods.
Lack of knowledge as to how one should maintain their hygiene during menstruation can cause problems with long term effects. Underprivileged women who do not have access, means or the knowledge regarding the same suffer during these hard times and hence the TABOO remains.
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