Those 5 Dreaded Days


Even though we are at a point where the unspeakable act of menstruation is now being discussed more openly that it ever was, most of the other sex (by which I mean men) doesn’t really know what happens when a woman is going through her monthly cycle. So let me try and explain.

PMS: Widely thought to be an excuse made my girls to get away with temper tantrums, they are very real for a lot of us. They can start as much as 10 days before the actual period. A few things that PMS includes: painful breasts, pimples, mood swings (yes they happen), cravings (and you thought women crave only when they are pregnant), back ache, stomach ache, body pain (intensity variations from discomfort to ‘get me a bed right now’), nausea, water retention in the body etc.

False Alarms: I just realised that I have begun with my period, or have a doubt that I have. A lot of these times we could be in class, or traveling, or at social functions, meaning we have to cook up excuses to go to the bathroom. And then it could be a false alarm.

The Real Deal: Mostly, we are prepared because we know our dates. But damn those times when our uteruses do not run on their [highly unpredictable] schedules or when we are extremely busy and do not remember the dates.  Now we have three options: get home ASAP, ask a friend (sometimes strangers depending on the location) for a pad or tampon or find a chemist shop, real quick.

Stained: I’m down and I didn’t realise it until someone told me I had a stain, and most likely about ten other people have seen it and are looking at me with expressions ranging from concern to disgust.

Waking up Stains: Sometimes our periods are nice and start when we are at home. But on the flip side very often they start when we are sleeping, which means there goes my bed sheet. It also means we have to keep an extra cloth under ourselves when we sleep so we don’t stain the bed when on our periods.

Cruel Cramps: Possibly the worst things about periods. Our uteruses keep contracting from a duration that could last for a few hours to the whole 5 days. While many of us don’t go through this many others have it so bad that we need to survive on pain killers for all five days.

Other Pains: Some of us have very heavy flows and very excruciating ones, so much so that our vaginas (yes I just used that word) go numb from the pain, and I don’t mean a good numb. A lot of us are on treatment for the heavy flow and the pain. A friend of mine was on homeopathy because she would constantly feel nauseous and her knees would hurt like fuck (the word had to be used in proportion to the pain experienced).

Fainting Spells: A lot of us practically faint when we are on our periods. Imagine that happening if we are out, driving or in a strange place.

Bathroom trips: We can’t wear one pad or tampon for too long. Many times we have to put an alarm when we go to sleep so we can go change in time. A lot of us get infections from wearing a pad/tampon for too long when we are traveling and no toilets are available.

Rashes: Yea, there are things called period rashes, which you get when your skin is irritated by the material in the pads and because the pad is constantly wet. It is highly frustrating and uncomfortable.

Constant fear: Every hour that I’m outside, I worry if I have stained my clothes, so I keep asking my girlfriends if I have.

I guess that pretty much sums it up. But then there other factors too. Uteruses and ovaries are bloody villains. Many of us have problems like cysts in our ovaries, to hormonal problems which cause drastic changes to the body, Menorrhagia (the flow being so heavy it is categorised as a medical problem), Hypomenorrhea (so less flow that this as well is a medical problem), Dysmenorrhea (extreme pain in lower abdomen, lower back, knees, legs), bleeding between periods etc.

Having said all this, I hope the other sex now would understand that these 5 days, (sometimes less or sometimes more for, different from girl to girl) are in the least uncomfortable days. Most of us brave through pain on a monthly bases and it would definitely help if men knew this, rather than shying away from this.

image13© Copyright 2013, Adya Vac

[The images used here have been taken from the internet and do not belong to me]