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What's your experience like with menstruation? Most women will experience something called the PMS. Premenstrual Syndrome is a condition that affects a woman’s emotions, physical health, and behaviour typically a few days before her menses. Symptoms vary and can manifest in bloating, cramps, food cravings, headaches, mood swings, swollen and heavy breasts and more.
How is it like for you? Growing up, were you told to be discreet about it, especially before males? Or were you culturally appropriated into thinking that it is something to be ashamed of? Were you asked not to mix your laundry with the males in the household, not to enter a kelong just because you are 'dirty' and such actions would bring bad luck to the males and the fishermen will not enjoy a good haul? Or were you advised not to step into the temple out of respect to the deities for unknown reasons? How many times have you gritted your teeth and pressed on at the board meeting while having PMS just ‘cos you do not wish to be viewed as the weaker sex?
Banish the taboos
We have all been there. The period can come in the guise of many names, “Aunt Flo”, “that thing”, TOM (Time of the month), “shark week”, “Crimson Tide”, “one’s friend”, “the curse”, “on the rag” and more. There's nothing wrong with having fun with creative terms as long as it bears no ill intention and connotations. However, often, you will realise that it is not just the terms used by the general populace. Creative these euphemisms may be, the monthly cycle is not a joke. Since young, menses is something that is not often talked about. Remember that television commercial where blue water (representing blood) pouring onto a sanitary napkin? Which woman you know have blue blood?
Is there something amiss in our culture that we cannot refer to the monthly act of menstruation or showcase how it actually appears on national TV? This act of nature happening to half of the population is often misconstrued as something we cannot mention. Akin to Harry Potter's nemesis Lord Voldemort referred to as “He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named” – something to be feared and something no one wishes to talk about. The question is, how has something so natural become unmentionable? Let’s start calling a spade a spade.
Let’s normalise period talk
Even big companies like Instagram can make a similar faux pas. Several years ago, Instagram censored Rupi Kaur’s post of her menses-stained pants, which thankfully brought attention to this matter. But let us start with the people around us. Men, if you are reading this, show some support to the women around you. There’s no need to go all red-faced or squirm when women talk about periods. And please, don’t discredit women by passing insensitive and hurtful remarks like "She must be having her PMS". May I remind you that this biological act you are referring to is what keeps the human race going.
It is about time we normalise body talk, women included! No baby names or euphemisms required for our periods. We should take a leaf from the Sri Lankan culture in which families throw celebratory parties when their daughter gets her first period. Talk about progressive thinking! If you are a mother, consider throwing one for your daughter when the time comes. Why not? Without menstruation, the cycle of life ends.
For those of us who were brought up with misconceived notions about menstruation, take a look at the video above in which we debunk common myths surrounding menses.
Ladies, we understand that additional precautions may be required to prevent leakage and overflow while exercising during your menstruation. But exercising during your menses do help with blood circulation and boosting mood. Kudos to the development of technology. The Yahoo shopping team is happy to share ways women can finally go through our monthly cycles more comfortably. From menstrual cups, period-proof panties, workout pants (thanks, Adidas!) to even period-proof swimming gear (What? Yes!), the Yahoo shopping team has also tirelessly scoured wellness teas and supplements so that you take on the monthly cycle with ease. As Nora Ephron says, “Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.” It’s time we take control of our lives!
Get moving with period-proof workout gear
There's no stopping you from engaging in sports during your monthly cycle. Depending on the individual’s PMS, take up the sport that makes your body feel good. Never force your body beyond its’ limits. These period-proof workout tights and biker shorts – the world's first from adidas – are just what women have been waiting for!
Get 20% off with code “ASOSNEWYES”
Not every one of us is comfortable wearing tampons to swim. What amazing invention these leak-proof swimwear are.
For new mummies or those with incontinence or heavy flow
Period panties may be worn on its own on light days or worn as an additional layer of protection on heavy-flow days. You may also choose to wear them with your tampons or menstrual cup for just in case situations. Take a look at the variety of period panties below.
You can do anything you put your mind to!
Tampons paved the way for active women and those who wish to feel unencumbered during the menstrual cycle. Here are healthier and more sustainable options you can consider, like the menstrual cup, organic cotton sanitary pads and reusable sanitary napkins. Your life will change when you start using these products!
Take a moment for yourself
We know how it's like. You are the wife, mother, daughter, daughter-in-law, employee all rolled into one. Many times you overstretched yourself and feel burnt out. As they say, if you do not take care of yourself, you will not be able to take care of your loved ones. We recommend you take a 15-minute break every day, be it in the middle of your workday or before sleep, to tune in with yourself. Have a cuppa (the non-caffeinated ones) may be the time you get to gather your thoughts or wind down for the day.
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