• Elena

My body; my home

I love my body, it is truly amazing what my body achieves every day. My body is my home and it works so hard every day to keep me alive and healthy.

It is fascinating how women’s bodies achieve in creating the menstrual cycle. I like to imagine the menstrual cycle as my body building a home and taking care of it.

For some women taking care of their home takes shorter or longer, mostly the cycle takes around 25-35 days. It took me a while for my period to become regular; sometimes every 3 weeks, then every 4 weeks, I could never really tell. By now it is quite regularly so, I can even plan when my period starts.

(Students attending a session on sexual and reproductive health facilitated by Tai Tanzania. (Image courtesy of Tai studio)

Before ovulation a women’s body is preparing for a possible pregnancy and is working on making everything ready for the egg to have a cozy home and to feel safe in its new home.

At around ovulation the possibility of getting pregnant is the highest. The body is nearly done preparing the new home for a baby if an egg and a sperm will meet.

I always have one day during that time of the month when I have a really weird mood, I’m getting annoyed and sad really quickly, which annoys me even more and if someone asks me if I’m on my period I even get more annoyed. Sometimes I get a headache, I have a back pain and a feeling of discomfort, which can last until my period ends, or just a day, it is always different.

Actually, this happens because of hormonal fluctuation which is low in the beginning of the menstruation causing discomfort but it is getting higher after that and mostly women start to feel better.

I always imagine during my period my body doing a deep cleaning because there is no benefit in keeping what it has built up for the last weeks if no sperm arrived to mate with the egg cell during ovulation. So it will throw everything out and after bleeding throughout the period it will start all over again building a cozy home for the next egg to come.

Every time my period starts, I feel quite relieved, as the possibility of being pregnant is quite low.

(Image courtesy of google image)

During that time of the month I like to use menstrual cups sometimes combined with sanitary pads to be safer as you can reuse the cups for many years and it is okay to wear them for up to 12 hours. Before that I always used tampons as they were practical and reliable but I noticed that my vagina gets dried up really bad by using them for that reason I switched to menstrual cups.

Back in school when I forgot to bring a tampon or sanitary pad my girlfriends gave them to me like tampons being a secret that no one should know about. And still I sometimes feel ashamed if I have to ask for a tampon or a sanitary pad, putting them in my pockets when I walk to the bathroom to hide that I am on my period.

(Students at Lyandembela Secondary School receive sanitary pads to sustain them while in their menstrual circles. (Image of courtesy Tai studio)

It was the same with the constant fear of getting a stain and even worse: someone noticing it. By now I believe that we have to change our approach, as it is totally normal and, even more important: healthy to be on your period. So why should we feel ashamed and stay at home if half of the world population is also bleeding once a month and if it is good for our bodies?

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