The menstrual cycle is a phenomenon that occurs naturally in the body of women. Awareness about this is pretty high in developed countries. But in India people lack adequate awareness about menstrual periods, one of the recent studies says.

Discrimination against menstruating women is common in India, where periods have been tagged as impure and unholy. Women in menstrual days are often excluded from social and religious events. Mainly not entering into a 'temple' or 'puja' room is the main restriction among urban girls whereas not entering into the kitchen itself is the main restriction among rural girls. Even now, in rural India, women are kept in a hut in the backyards of the house during their periods.

Image: Saranya

Rituals of Menstruation in India

There is a tradition called 'Tuloni Biya' in Assam where they used to perform some rituals right after the girl's menarche (first menstruation). The girl is confined to a room for the seven days of her period. On the fourth day and the seventh day, she should be given a ceremonial bath with the turmeric paste considering her body has been cleaned with the bath. On the seventh day, relatives have a feast from the girl's house and she receives gifts and blessings from the elders. It's not only in Assam, this ceremonial bath has been done in various regions of India both the northern and the southern parts.

Periods have a connection with the moon

It's a proven fact that the menstrual cycle does not sync with the lunar cycle. A full lunar cycle takes 29.5 days that go from one new moon to the next. The average menstrual cycle for women is 26-29 days. That's why we confuse the moon and the periods and there is no proven fact that a period is likely to occur on the full moon day.

Image: PatriciaMoraleda

Is period blood clean?

It's not necessary to be called 'Period blood'. It's just normal blood and it is as clean as blood from every other part of the body. Having periods is normal, healthy and researchers discovered that period blood is rich in natural antibacterial properties that can be used for stem cell therapy. Hence, It's high time not to say period blood is bad and impure.

Menstruation talks are important

Menstruation topics are often taught in combination with sex education in schools. But sadly a lot of teachers skip these subjects and that will have social implications for gendered relationships and objectification of women's bodies. Remember, effective sex education is a must for children at the age of 8-11.  Having a series of open and relaxed conversations about puberty can make children easily go through this and the strength of having support will make them not to hide anything about this.

Explaining to a girl about menstruation before she gets her first period is the best way to make sure she knows what will happen and she doesn't have to be scared, it's absolutely a normal biological change that's happening to her body. Having a series of open and relaxed conversations about puberty can make children easily go through this and the strength of having support will make them not to hide anything about this.

Image: Pikulkeaw

It's a time for action

70% of Indian mothers abstain from menstruation due to impurity and they also set aside their children during this time.

77% of Indian women do not enter temples during their menstrual period as there shouldn't be any worship of God due to impurity. The house does not allow them in the prayer rooms either.

50% of Indian women today still think that they should not touch others or touch foods during their menstrual period. The whole menstrual period or at least the first three days should be solitary.

Let's have a periods-talk

When a girl knows how to handle her periods with confidence and without stigma will be more likely to stay in school once she attains puberty. She is less likely to get married early when she is not yet ready. So, keep periods-talk open to your children at the right age and make them feel comfortable about it. It will have unimaginable benefits than you think! 

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