Do you remember your first period?

Do you remember your first period?

Do you remember your first period? In this article, will be sharing my first menstrual experience.
“For repose and restoration, for the knowledge that life comes from between our legs, and that life cost blood”-Anita Diamant, The Red Tent.
Because the above statement is misunderstood today, many women fear menstruation. Menstrual period is when little girls are in the process of growing into women. There are certain changes that take place, the first major change that will take place is puberty.

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Puberty is a stage in life when girls will begin to mature both mentally and physically. The physical aspect of maturation includes: change of your body, such as growing breast, growing body hair, widening of hips, weight and height gain. Puberty takes place at different times for different people, and takes longer for some than it does for others. Puberty is often a hard time emotionally, especially with female, because of uncertainty and the drastic changes of the body. The reason that young girls begin going through puberty is because of hormones called estrogen and progesterone. These two hormones are what makes it possible to have babies, because they cause the egg in your ovaries to mature, allowing pregnancy. When a female body is ready for a period, it begins with a cleansing process. This is when the shedding of the lining of the uterus occurs, the lining that built itself up inside the uterus is made of blood and other tissues. The blood and the tissues are formed in preparation because the body is expecting to have a baby, but that is not always the case. So when the body senses that there will be no baby, the lining that was built up in the uterus begins to fall apart and leave the body through the vagina which is what causes the bleeding. The whole process is repeated over and over every month, unless you become pregnant, then it will stop for a while. Everyone is different, and like puberty, women experience their periods at different times of the month. Also the period closely revolves on a 28 day cycle, where the first day is when the bleeding begins.

“Menstruation is one of the most natural function in the world. It is a mark of femininity and fertility and a huge part of life for most women yet, for some reasons, women are frequently made to feel ashamed or embarrassed simply because they bleed”. The research which was commissioned by THINX, an innovative period solutions company and makers of period-proof underwear show that 58 percent of women have felt a sense of embarrassment simply because they were on their period. Caitlin Moran in her first feminist novel “How to be a woman” writes that period are viewed as something disgusting simply because they belong to women. Around AD77- 79, Pliny the Elder wrote in his Natural History about the effect a period has on a woman: “Her very look, even, will dim the brightness of mirror, blunt the edges of steel, and take away the polish from ivory. A swarm of bees, if looked up by her, will die immediately”. Department of Advanced Nursing School University of Venda, South Africa found out that 73 percent of girls between the ages of 12-15year reported having fear and anxiety at the first experience of bleeding and that they could not maintain adequate hygienic practices due to lack of privacy and sanitary towels.

Over the years, research has proofed that over 50 percent of women had a bad first menstrual experience and these are the following reasons:
• Lack of knowledge and information about menstruation; There should be a lot of menstrual awareness both from parents and the government. From the age of 10years, parents should discuss about menstruation with their girl child, tell her what menstruation is all about and even teachers are not exempted in this menstrual awareness. Also, menstruation should be taught both in the junior and secondary schools. “Blood is a Siren” says Dominique Christina. “ When we see it we think it is alerting us to a wound, a malady…something is wrong if we see blood. But menses is a part of the machinery of my body. I can not allow anyone or anything to position me to feel flawed or poorly made”. No, men are not conditioned to regard their own physiology as a liability, whose agenda does it serve for me to regard myself from that place?
• Lack of knowledge and information about adequate menstrual hygiene; Its one thing to know about menstruation and another thing to know about good personal hygiene during menstruation and do it. It is important to educate the girl child the dangers of poor personal hygiene during menstruation which can lead to infection or other diseases. It is advisable to bathing regularly, change of under wears and the use of sanitary pads, towels and tampons during menstruation to avoid embarrassment caused from blood stain.
• Lack of knowledge and information about the importance of menstruation; There is a Traditional Native American saying “At her first bleeding a woman meets her power. During her bleeding years she practices it. At menopause she becomes it”-Lucy H. Peace.
Research show that the ancient Greeks, who may have used menstrual blood in medicine and also as a fertilizer because it’s rich in nitrogen. The girl child should be told that menstruation is a proof of her fertility and femininity.

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I am going to get personal by sharing with you all about my first menstrual experience, the story of when I first got my period. Now I understand some people don’t want to hear stories about periods but you know what? Periods are a part of life and women get them and that is the way the cookie crumble folks. It was 2007, I was 12years, I never had “the discussion” and my mother never told me about menstruation neither did she prepare a kit for me in anticipation of the onset of womanhood. It was all very scary, seeing blood stains on my cloth that faithful day even when I had no cut. I felt like I was dying and couldn’t control my emotions, I broke into tears and I was so moody through out that day. My mother noticed my sad mood later at night and asked what the problem was, I had to tell her what happened with tears but instead of her scolding me for playing roughly and injuring myself just like she will always do, she smiled and told me congratulations that am now a woman and that the blood is a proof of my fertility. She took me to the room and showed me how to use a sanitary pad. Afterwards, she promised to kill a very big cock for me which she did. My mother chanted the whole day saying “my Adanma (what my mother calls me) has now become a woman”. I will say my first menstrual experience was scary due to I never had a prior knowledge about menstruation.

“Menstruation is one of the most natural function in the world. It is a mark of femininity and fertility, and a huge part of life for most women”. For some reason, women are frequently made to feel ashamed or embarrassed simply because they bleed though it is not suppose to be. The knowledge and information about menstruation shouldn’t be new to every girl child, let very girl child see menstruation as their pride. “Oh, hello there period! Welcome back! Have a
wonderful four to six days being my friend this week!”. Eleven years later and still counting, I survived my first period.

Author: admin