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Yash Tiwari
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Menstruation is a normal part of life for about half the human population. The average menstruating woman spends approximately one week a month dealing with and thinking about menstruation. If you are among them, this article applies directly to your life. And if you aren’t, and still find this article interesting, that’s appropriate too. Many people who don’t deal with it themselves are curious about this aspect of women’s lives (as well as other aspects). The first time you get your period is called menarche. Menstruation usually lasts from three to seven days, and most women get their period around day fourteen of their cycle. Normal menstrual cycles last from twenty-one to forty-five days, but a normal cycle can vary enormously in length.

The average menstrual period lasts 3 to 5 days, and most women will have between 2 and 7 periods each year. Not every woman follows this pattern, however, so you should not worry if you do not have periods every 21 days. The length of your menstrual cycle may be affected occasionally by stress, your diet, or physical activity. The average flow of menstrual blood is about three tablespoons to three cups, and menstrual flow usually lasts from two to seven days. On your period, you lose about 30 milliliters (ml) of blood from the uterus. How much blood you lose is different for every woman. The average woman experiences total blood loss of about 3-5 oz (90 ml to 158 ml). For a taller woman, this could mean losing up to 6 ounces.

We’ve been socialized as a society to see the female body as some kind of mysterious taboo. We are taught that periods are dirty and should be ashamed of. As a result, many girls suffer silently through their periods, trying to keep them from spilling over into other areas of their lives. Many women go through the same shame and confusion about menstruation. The stains of blood on the clothes can feel embarrassing especially when it’s not one’s own period and also many girls believe they can’t ask their mother to purchase special products for them. In addition, the majority of girls do not have the money to buy feminine hygiene products and because of that many girls end up using alternative methods which are very unhealthy.

I realize that while I am writing this, there is an international conversation happening about this exact topic. Sanitary pads are seen as a luxury product in the global south, and there is currently a campaign to end the tax on them. And it is true: sanitary pads are not a luxury product. A discussion of taboos like these, often considered ‘untouchable’ in our society, not only help people understand the purpose and benefits of menstrual care products, but also helps us break the silence surrounding menstruation.