Menstruation: An Unusual Feeling | Situ Manandhar

All I can say is it was an unusual feeling.  I had no idea what happened but I am grateful my mother told be frankly about menstruation the first time I told her I saw a stain of blood in my pants.

Well, she didn’t had a choice, did she? Maybe I was 12, yes I had an early period. Don’t ask me why. Luckily I was at home when it happened. Imagine being in a social event wearing a white shirt or pants; I know disastrous but really there is nothing to be ashamed of. I wish I can tell this to my younger self but then I was too shy about it.

I remember one instance, in class 8 probably. I and my bench mate had our period in the same week. The funny part is three boys and three girls used to sit in alternative desks respectively. Unfortunately we were in the middle row so you know, we both were surrounded by boys when we least wanted it.

Where are you all now? To our mental torture, we both used to have a heavy flow of period blood and we never know when we might stain our school uniform. It was just uneasy for us girls, but our menstruation enemies were those little boys and I mean it, those little boys may now be men but then they were only little boys with curiosity. Curiosity not on their studies but on which girl will stain the desk so we can laugh about it kind of curiosity.

To our worst fear, it happened. The desk was stained by both of us at the same time, holy mother of coincidence. Very uneasily we walked to the washroom covering our backs. Then we changed our pads and washed the stains from our clothes. When we came back, we saw our desk surrounded by those little boys with curiosity just as a herd of honeybees.

Their gaze, I tell you it’s funnier when I remember it now but then it just gave me embarrassment and shame. There was a very important lesson to be learned right there, if you stained your desk you got to clean it first and not rush to the washroom but what’s done is done. And these are my best memories of those little boys with curiosity and their gaze. They have their own reasons to be curious, I don’t blame them. To be honest, we girls are curious about a lot of things that only boys have but let us not go there right now.

So, the next stop would be an irregular period. All of us are told if you are pregnant, you don’t have your period but nobody tells you, you need to have sex to get pregnant. No, if you kiss a guy, you don’t get pregnant. A lot of my teenage friends had this doubt and cried. So, I am clearing things out here.

I am talking about the teenagers who get scared when they miss their period, and fuss about it like they’re pregnant. Chill girls, I don’t have a period for months and I don’t feel a thing. I learned it over time that, most of the girls have a regular period in the assigned time, good for them. But there are a lot of girls who have an irregular period and it is totally normal. However, you should get a checkup because irregular periods can occur when something is wrong inside your body. Again, I am not a doctor but I should tell you to at least get medical help to be sure.

So, about menstrual hygiene, you should wash your vaginal every 2 hours during the first 3 days as it is the time for heavy flow. I suggest you should change your pads every 3 hours though it’s prescribed to use for 6 hours or so.  But some chemicals in the pad is just not good for your vaginal health.

Always dispose your pads by wrapping it in paper inside the dustbin. Never drain it directly in the toilet seat. Similarly, nowadays you can find a lot of alternatives like tampons and menstrual cups. I have heard that tampons are scary but I haven’t used it. So, I can’t say.

Likewise, I have heard that menstrual cups are very reliable and can be used again and again. However, I haven’t used them so why don’t you give it a search on YouTube? I found a lot of videos on how to use menstrual cups there.

I never faced that, “Don’t come to the kitchen on your period” dialogue from my family but I sure got, “Don’t come to the ‘Puja Kotha(a room where we worship god) on your period” dialogue. So, I was never restricted to do things just because I was on my period. Actually, I was given extra care and I consider myself lucky for that. I do have to take a bath on the 5th day of the period for purification of the body ritual though but I kind of like this ritual.

However, menstruation has given me a tough times in my early days, especially school days. Now as I think about it, I think little boys should be informed about periods too so they don’t create a scene for something so natural and help girls instead of shaming them.

Similarly, young girls should also not feel embarrassed and ashamed of their period. They should embrace menstruation, obviously with the period cramps! Ouch!

I still find a lot of boys who are curious about menstruation but are too ashamed to ask questions. However, I am no longer ashamed of my menstruation and I talk about it as openly as possible. Even to my guy friends. And I should tell you, they are more interested in period talks than my female friend. They are just very curious and they take menstruation talk positively too.



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