Health care for girls and women during menstruation time is a crucial component of reproductive health. Women need safe, convenient and affordable menstrual products, access to adequate sanitation, and an environment that is supportive of their needs. However, there are millions of women and girls who live in poverty because they do not have access to these essentials. This situation is called “period poverty” and is often accompanied by low education and awareness of menstrual health.
Menstruation is part of the menstrual cycle
Menstruation, or bleeding, is a natural part of the menstrual cycle and affects most females from puberty until menopause. This natural process involves shedding the uterine lining and blood flowing from the vagina. The average menstrual period is three to five days long and can cause discomfort and mood swings. However, some women experience more severe symptoms during this time.
Menstruation is the removal of tissue and blood from the uterus, and occurs once a month. During the menstrual period, hormones in the body rise and fall. The ovaries communicate with the brain through a series of chemical signals carried through the blood.
Every woman’s menstrual cycle is unique. Some women get their period on the same day every month, while others have irregular periods and heavier bleeding than others. Women’s menstrual cycles also change during certain life stages, such as pregnancy and menopause. Observing your menstrual cycle and monitoring any abnormalities can help you identify any problems early.
The menstrual cycle is controlled by a complex orchestra of hormones produced by the pituitary gland, hypothalamus, and ovaries. This complex orchestra of hormones affects the entire body and causes the period. The length of the menstrual cycle varies from woman to woman, but in general, it lasts anywhere from twenty-four to thirty-eight days.
It affects women’s physical and mental abilities
Women experience a host of physical and mental symptoms during their monthly menstruation. While some women get through their periods without a problem, others experience a variety of unpleasant symptoms that can disrupt their lives. These symptoms can be caused by a number of factors, including a hormonal imbalance. They may experience acne breakouts, fatigue, mood swings, and irritability.
The ovaries are the main source of these changes, releasing hormones called oestrogen and progesterone. Oestrogen is a hormone that thickens the lining of the womb while progesterone regulates when a woman releases an egg. These hormones have profound effects on women’s physical and mental abilities, and scientists have been studying them since the 1930s.
Symptoms of premenstrual syndrome can be quite painful, but they generally subside four days before menstruation. Some women experience more serious symptoms, called premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), and they can cause serious physical pain and emotional distress. In extreme cases, women may experience depression, mood swings, difficulty concentrating, irritability, and tension.
The monthly cycle affects women’s brains, and a woman’s brain is much more flexible after her period. She is better able to communicate and to spatially perceive the environment, and she has better verbal skills. Additionally, women’s brains are significantly larger during the menstrual cycle.
It can undermine girls’ human rights
Health care during girls’ menstruation time is a critical issue for the protection of girls’ human rights. The onset of menstruation is often seen as a sign of readiness for sexual activity and marriage, which can lead to child marriage and sexual violence. In addition, in some developing countries, deeply impoverished girls have been known to engage in transactional sex in order to afford menstrual products. This social stigma and lack of health care for girls can negatively affect their health and wellbeing.
Menstrual health has increasingly become a topic of global concern, and is an important component of the Sustainable Development Goals, gender equality, and human rights. However, this area of research has lacked a universal definition, which has complicated advocacy and fragmented funding efforts. For this reason, a unified definition of menstrual health is necessary to ensure its relevance across sectors and enable communication between different stakeholders.
Girls’ health is a critical part of their well-being, and a lack of proper care during their menstruation can lead to missed school days. The absence of sanitary pads and toilets makes it difficult for menstruators to attend school, and many schools in developing nations lack the sanitation and water infrastructure necessary for girls to wash their bodies.
Menstruation time is a socially sensitive period for girls and women, and many of these girls are unaware of the onset of their menstrual cycle. Menstruation is also a time of shame and embarrassment for women, and girls may be forced into secrecy because of the stigma surrounding it. In many countries, menstruating girls are prohibited from certain activities and places. This stigma affects their health and their dignity.
It is an integral part of sexual and reproductive health and rights
Menstruation health care is a fundamental right and integral part of sexual and reproductive health and rights. Lack of menstrual health supplies and services can lead to health complications, shame and loss of dignity. Additionally, the lack of menstrual supplies can limit women’s mobility, which can affect their access to basic services and humanitarian assistance.
Menstrual health and hygiene care is crucial in maintaining women’s dignity, body integrity and self-efficacy. It also contributes to gender equality and non-discrimination. Despite the importance of menstruation health care, it is often overlooked in development efforts in Asia.
Historically, menstruation has been associated with inferiority. Some nineteenth-century physicians believed that menstruation limits a woman’s physical and mental abilities. These negative beliefs are often reinforced by harmful traditions and conditions. Moreover, menstruation-related issues can limit women’s access to employment and school.
In addition to its intrinsic role in women’s health, menstrual health care also contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and gender equality. Therefore, it is crucial to implement a comprehensive multi-sectoral approach to menstruation health care. This includes addressing stigma and societal norms that negatively impact women’s ability to make informed choices about their bodies.
As we progress in our understanding of menstrual health, its role in achieving sustainable development goals, gender equality, and human rights is becoming increasingly clear. However, the lack of a common definition has complicated advocacy efforts and led to fragmented funding. Therefore, a unified definition of menstrual health care is necessary to ensure that it is widely understood.
It is a human rights issue
The human right to health care during menstruation time is an important one for women. It is an issue that is deeply interrelated with other human rights, including education, gender equality, and work. It is also a biological fact that affects almost every woman at some point in her life.
This issue is made more difficult by cultural norms, gender inequality, and structural factors that affect menstrual health. Nonetheless, menstruation is an essential part of the reproductive cycle and about 50% of the world’s population experiences it. Despite its importance, menstruation often poses a barrier to basic human rights, such as the right to health, and it is therefore essential to address menstruation within a human rights framework.
In addition to affecting women’s lives directly, menstruation issues can limit women’s opportunities for employment, limiting their working hours and wages. Additionally, they can result in workplace discrimination, a problem that affects both men and women. Moreover, menstruation-related taboos reinforce discriminatory practices. Further, menstruation-related barriers to education can also perpetuate gender inequality.
It is important to recognise that menstrual health is an integral component of achieving global population health, attaining the Sustainable Development Goals, and achieving gender equality. This area of health is crucial and deserves multi-sectoral investment.
Barriers to achieving menstrual health
Menstrual health is a right that women should have, but there are barriers to getting there. Gender inequality and poverty are two common barriers that limit access to menstrual supplies and private, safe spaces for washing. Even in middle and high-income countries, the lack of affordable and reliable menstrual hygiene products and services affects vulnerable women and girls.
In addition to the lack of adequate menstrual supplies, increased demand for these products can disrupt supply chains and lead to increased prices. Menstruation can be stressful and anxiety-inducing for a woman, so education and awareness about menstruation is crucial to achieving menstrual health.
Lack of sanitation facilities and cultural acceptance of menstrual hygiene products are other major barriers. In addition to sanitary facilities, women and girls must have access to clean water, menstrual management products, and sanitary facilities. Despite these challenges, achieving menstrual health remains a human right and a global need. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to increase the pressure on limited resources, it is crucial to ensure that menstrual hygiene is accessible for all women and girls.
Many women and girls live in communities where menstruation is viewed as a sign of shame and dirtyness. In many cultures, menstruation-related practices were viewed as harmful to livestock and plants, leading Western scientists to hypothesize that women and girls produced menotoxins. These attitudes still exist today. In some countries, women and girls are prohibited from working, attending religious spaces, and handling food during their periods.