Top Ten Frequently Asked Questions About Periods

[vc_row full_width=”stretch_row_content”][vc_column width=”1/6″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_empty_space height=”20px”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner][vc_column_text]For ages, women folk have dealt with the shame and taboo related to menstruation. Little does the society realize that it is a natural biological phenomenon which gives women the power of procreation. Then why do women suffer in silence while they are ostracized by society? The answer is ignorance. Ignorance about periods is prevalent all over the world.

Ignorance in a multi-belief society like India stems from age old superstitions which continue to have an upper hand over education.[1]This cycle of negative attitude towards women begins in adolescence and plays an important role in shaping their assumptions about periods and reproductive health mechanism.

[1][/vc_column_text][vc_separator el_width=”50″][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_empty_space height=”20px”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”16346″ img_size=”full”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Socio-cultural restrictions hamper the awareness regarding the importance of menstrual hygiene.[1] This contributes to unsafe menstrual practices which lead to several forms of infections in menstruating women.[2] This situation is more prevalent in rural India where lack of education and low per capita income restrict women’s access to knowledge about the use of sanitary napkins for periods.[3] As per the National Family Health Survey conducted in 2015-2016, only 47% of rural women use sanitary napkins, a figure which rises to 77% for urban women. This clearly depicts the disparity of menstrual awareness among different sections of women in India.

[3][/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_column_text]The process of menstruation is complicated, involving the role of several hormones and organs. Even after the best explanation, several questions continue to haunt both women and men of different age groups. Here is a list of ten most frequently asked questions about periods which intrigue many.

  1. Why Do Periods Occur Every Month?

Periods or menstruation is the normal vaginal bleeding that women experience from menarche. It is a monthly cycle, each of length ranging anywhere from 3-7 days.

As the uterus prepares to receive a fertilized egg, it develops a lining to aid its attachment and nourishment.

An ovum is released from either of the ovaries. Without fertilization, the levels of female hormone fall, signaling the uterus to shed its lining.[1] This shedding is characterized by the discharge of tissues and blood through the vagina. Soon after menstruation, the cycle repeats itself.

[1][/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”20px”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]2. What Makes Women So Cranky During Periods?

Hormones are responsible for the mood swings that many women experience before or during periods. Periods are not the culprit here. Better known as Premenstrual Syndrome, it causes a mix of symptoms like irritability, sleeplessness, stress, cramps and extreme mood swings.

The origin of PMS is attributed to the flux of levels of Estrogen and Progesterone during the luteal phase of menstrual cycle. At least 5-8% of women around the world suffer from severe PMS.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”16347″ img_size=”full” alignment=”right”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”16348″ img_size=”full”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]3. Why is Every Period Different?

Every woman exhibits a different period pattern. Menstruation is dynamic and so no two periods are alike. The same is true for all the periods of an individual. The fluctuations can be experienced in the length of periods, the heaviness of blood flow and the symptoms associated with it.

A variety of factors influencing periods are stress, nutrition, physical activity, contraceptive use and underlying diseases.[1] Irregular periods with intermittent spotting, scanty menstrual flow, shorter periods or heavier blood flow may occur occasionally due to temporary imbalance in body. Extremely heavy periods that cannot be contained by sanitary napkins or long periods of amenorrhea might require medical intervention.

[1][/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]4. Can You Get Infected During Periods?

Yes. Lack of menstrual hygiene is the main culprit behind infections during periods. Access to sanitary napkins for periods, clean water and sanitation are basic rights for women for a healthy period. [1]

Out of shame and lack of resources, women are forced to use old rags, hay, mud-practically anything that can absorb blood.[2] Such unhygienic practices can lead to urinary tract infection, reproductive tract infection, yeast infections and even sepsis.

Wearing sanitary napkins for more than 4 hours, using unclean sanitary napkins and not cleaning genitals properly could also invite infections.


[2][/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”16349″ img_size=”full” alignment=”right”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”16350″ img_size=”full”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]5. What Makes Sanitary Napkins So Absorbent?

Initially, sanitary napkins were made of cotton-based absorbent bound by gauge and a waterproof lining. These evolved into ultra-thin synthetic sanitary napkins which use Super Absorbent Polymer (SAP) with Polyethylene back.

SAP is a petroleum-based product that can absorb liquids many times its weight and convert into gel.[1] SAP is added to a compressed cotton absorbent core to increase its absorption capacity.

[1][/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner][vc_column_text]6. How to Use Menstrual Cups?

Menstrual cups are a better alternative to synthetic sanitary napkins. It is a reusable menstrual hygiene product, which can effectively deal with leaks as well as the persistent problem of disposal of non-biodegradable sanitary napkins.

Made of silicon, menstrual cup can be inserted in the vagina by folding it in half, with the rim facing upwards. Once inside the vagina, it should be rotated to open it. On average, it can be used for up to 12 hours. For removal, the stem of the cup should be pulled gently to reach the base. Pinching the base can release the seal and the cup can be removed for emptying. It should be washed properly before and after each use.

7. What Is Toxic Shock Syndrome?

Toxic Shock Syndrome is a serious condition that is caused when detrimental bacteria invade a body and release toxins.

TSS is associated with high fever, flu-like symptoms, sunburn rash, dizziness and diarrhea. Categorized under medical emergency, this condition may quickly become life-threatening if neglected.

Prolonged use of tampons or using super-absorbent tampons can trigger symptoms of TSS.

8. Why Do Some Women Experience Cramping During Periods?

Cramps are painful and throbbing sensation experienced by many women during periods. Menstrual cramps are concentrated in the lower abdomen.

During periods, the uterine wall contracts to expel its lining. This contraction is brought about by prostaglandins, which are mediators of inflammatory response. Excess of prostaglandins can cause severe menstrual cramps[1].





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9. Are Plant Based Biodegradable Sanitary Napkins Better Than Synthetic Ones?


Yes, in several ways. Plant-based sanitary napkins are better for women health as well as the environment[1]. With the use of processed natural fibers like banana, organic cotton, bamboo and jute, biodegradable sanitary napkins for periods are being manufactured. SAP is replaced by cellulose-based hydrogel. These sanitary napkins are skin friendly, comfortable and have low carbon footprint.


10. Can Someone Be Pregnant and Yet Have Periods?


No. One cannot menstruate while being pregnant. But some women do experience mild vaginal bleeding during the first trimester of pregnancy. This bleeding is usually not enough to fill sanitary napkins or tampons. Being informed is being aware. The more women learn about periods, easier it is for them to clear the air of myths around periods.

[1][/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”12108″ img_size=”full”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/6″][/vc_column][/vc_row]


10 Cannabis-Infused Products for A Relaxing Menstruation

[vc_row full_width=”stretch_row_content”][vc_column width=”1/6″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_empty_space height=”20px”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner][vc_column_text]With the onset of puberty, a girl aged anywhere between 11 and 15 years takes the first baby steps to womanhood. She is initiated into a natural biological process of menstruation, which is a normal phenomenon for procreation. This phase is ordained to last until the end of her reproductive age in the late forties. Driven by abject poverty, lack of education and other shortcomings, especially in rural India, menstruation has come to be associated with impurity and driven by superstitions. This hampers normal maintenance of personal hygiene accentuating several distress factors. Most of the menstruating individuals make do with rags or other unhygienic means to manage this fluid discharge due to factors as diverse as lack of knowledge, accessibility and poverty. Availability of sanitary napkins and biodegradable pads, which is the key to the maintenance of menstrual hygiene, is a distant dream for most women, though the problem is less acute in the urban milieu.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator el_width=”50″][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_empty_space height=”20px”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”14299″ img_size=”full”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]What is menstruation?

Every month an egg is developed and released from the ovary to lodge in the uterus waiting to be fertilized resulting in pregnancy. In the case of failure, the egg or ovum along with the uterine lining holding the egg flows out though the vagina along with some blood. This discharge which lasts for a few days is called menstruation and the entire process is called the menstrual cycle that spans approximately 28 days. On completion of one cycle the next begins.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_column_text]Coping with menstruation:

Menstrual discharge also requires maintenance of menstrual hygiene, which is again a far cry, making the incidence of infections very common. The use of sanitary napkins somewhat eases the situation, but its inadequacy is monumental. The acuteness of the problem in India can be gauged by the simple fact that about 23% adolescent girls are forced to drop out from schools at puberty, due to lack of basic infrastructure to maintain sanitary hygiene in them. Leave alone access to hygienic sanitary napkins and the lesser known biodegradable sanitary pads, most menstruating women are compelled to suffer the physical trauma and the attached social stigma in silence.[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”20px”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Menstruation issues:

It is taboo for most menstruating women to even discuss issues relating to menstruation.  During the periods, girls and women are subject to suffer many infirmities in trying to cope with the natural discharge, which imposes restrictions on their normal activity. Not all women undergo a comfortable menstrual cycle. Since the phenomenon is biological  and physiological, with several bodily changes and hormonal secretions involved,  many of the menstruating girls and women suffer from physical discomfort called Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS), cramps, irregular or severe discharge to name a few. Coping with these debilitating conditions in the Indian context is far from easy. They do not cause severe medical emergencies to develop, but do affect the girls and women in pursuing normal activities.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”14298″ img_size=”full” alignment=”right”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”14300″ img_size=”full”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Menstruation cramps and PMS:

Menstrual cramp is a nagging throbbing pain in the lower abdomen afflicting menstruating individuals just before or during the periods. Menstrual cramps or Dysmenorrhea is caused when the uterus contracts to help its lining to be expelled during menstruation, along with the unfertilized egg. Hyperactivity of Prostaglandins that trigger uterine contractions causes menstrual cramps. Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) on the other hand is a change in the emotional and physical state post ovulation when there is a sudden fall in the levels of sex hormones called estrogen and progesterone, affecting predominantly just prior to menstruation. The situation is normalized with rising levels of the sex hormones after the periods.

Relief from menstrual issues:

The use of cannabis is seen to ease menstrual cramps and PMS. It is not a remedy, but a means to help menstruating women relax and feel high easing PMS and the lessening of the severity of pain during menstrual cramps.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]How does cannabis work?

Cannabis is a tropical plant and source of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol or THC that mildly numbs the senses making one feel high. It is addictive and known by many names across the world. In the case of menstrual cramps which are caused by uterine contractions, THC helps the muscles to relax and deceives the mind into feeling high with lessened sensation of pain. There is no conclusive evidence to recognize and accept the medicinal value of cannabis, yet the positive effect on certain conditions is proven beyond doubt. Therefore, some products are infused with cannabis to reap the benefit as a relaxant for relief in PMS and menstrual cramps.

Cannabis infused products for a relaxing menstruation:

There are many products where cannabis has been infused to benefit from its relaxing properties:

  • Cannabis Rub: The effect of swollen breasts during menstruation due to PMS can be alleviated by using this. Historically, Queen Victoria is known to have used this method.
  • Bath Soak: Products infused with THC are perfumed to accentuate the sense of feeling high while bathing. It encourages relaxation to ease painful cramps during menstruation.
  • Bath Salts: It is a popular spa massage ingredient to help relax during painful menstruation.

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  • Weed Tampons: The other name of this product is Cannabis Vagina Suppository. The advantage of this product is its application in the affected zone. This insulates the menstruating individual from being psychoactive as the presence of cannabinoid is localized in the affected part of the body rather than in the brain.
  • Cannabis Drop: A few drops in your soda or water can help menstruating women cope effectively with PMS easing headaches, bloating, cramps and irritability.
  • Cannabis Brownie: It is an edible, ingestion of which get THC absorbed in all parts of the body. It is a powerful means to cope with PMS.
  • Cannabis Chocolate: Who does not like a chocolate, especially spiked with cannabis? A sure way to cope with PMS.
  • Cannabis Lotion: Body massage with this lotion rich in cannabinoids can ease the muscles and skin.
  • Cannabis Lubricant: It helps arouse sexual impulses at the same time also helps relax from the effects of PMS and cramps.
  • Cannabis Oil: A massage with the oil in the back and the abdomen can work wonders as relaxant easing the menstrual cramps. The best part is that there is no psychoactive effect involved in this.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner][vc_column_text]Menstruation is a biological phenomenon in the process of natural procreation, and is best left natural. While use of sanitary napkins and biodegradable pads is an important means to ensure menstrual hygiene, the use of cannabis products can help one undergo a relaxed menstruation. Periods may be painful, but lessening the severity with cannabis relaxants can may life easier.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/6″][/vc_column][/vc_row]


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