I don’t think it should be a taboo to talk about periods. A few days ago, my period started and I thought to blog about it because I believe that men should know what women go through. Then I found out a film about menstruation just won an Oscar, which reinforced my idea to write this post.
I remember growing up and seeing ads on TV for tampons or pads and they would start with something along the lines of ‘Men, look away’ or ‘don’t pay attention for the next few minutes’. I think it’s time for men to stop looking away. I don’t think it’s shameful to talk about periods, so I’m going to share my experience of it. Men should stop seeing it as something disgusting that they don’t need to know about, but rather something natural and normal that half the world’s population has to go through.
I first got my period at the age of thirteen. It normally lasts around five days. I get three weeks of respite and then it comes again. I can tell when my period is about to begin because I start to feel symptoms a week beforehand. I get irritated easily, I begin getting spots on my face, a sore throat, itchy ears, start sneezing a lot more, and just feel nauseous to the point where my appetite decreases. The day before and the day I actually get my period, I suffer from period pain. If I’m lucky, painkillers are enough to suppress the pain and I can keep going on with my day, if I’m not, I need to lie in bed for hours at a time and just wait for the day to pass. When I was a teenager, the pain was a lot worse and I would be bedridden even after taking pills and keeping a heat pack against my stomach.
A constant fear I’m sure all women have is the terror of bleeding through your clothes. I am certain that every female has woken up in the morning and found blood on their sheets at least once. We can be prepared all we want, but sometimes blood just escapes us too quickly and we’re left with a bloody mess.
I live half my month dealing with my period and its symptoms. I have perhaps twenty more years of this to come. It’s a huge pain in my life that I have to deal with. I’m not an exception. It’s not a women’s only issue, that only women need to worry about. Any man that has interactions with women are also affected. We should be able to talk openly about our periods.