Menstruation does not find a place in the public discourse in India due to the social stigma attached to it. Several myths associated with this natural biological process for ages resulted in poor state of awareness on the menstrual cycle and the reproductive health among the young girls prior to the onset of the menstruation. Apart from the gender inequalities that persist in the society, #menstruationprocess attributes a low status to the women during those days in the rural and conservative urban families in India. Menstruating women or the young girls are isolated and are asked to stay away from the rest of the family on those days and they are re-absorbed into the family only when the cycle completes. The process repeats month after the other where women are subjected to humiliation and stress. Apart from the social stigma that wouldn’t allow the women folk to discuss the issues openly, the #unhygienicpractices surrounding the entire process is causing several health issues like urinal tract infection, amebiasis and abdominal pain. . Several myths associated with this process have stamped it as impure blood being pumped out of the body periodically. All these aspects apart from high cost of packed sanitary napkins and their non-availability in rural and smaller towns is forcing the women to use unhygienic clothes, rags and papers. The recent research on menstruation related pain reveals that it is no less than the stroke experienced irrespective of genders. The research on the pain associated with menstruation is gaining momentum in the developed countries of the world in recent days may take ages to reach developing and less developed countries.
The efforts like Arunchalam Muruganathan in India spreading the low cost pad making machines to the grassroots level self-help women groups is commendable. It not only provides employment to women in rural areas, but also assists in spreading the message that menstruation is neither a sin nor a socially stigmatized process. Parents, schools, NGOs and the government agencies need to play a crucial role in inducing positive changes in this aspect. Suitable amendments to the school curriculum can discuss this with children and media can play a leading role in spreading awareness on hygienic ways of Menstruation Management.Tags: Abdominal Pain, Health Issues, menstruation, menstruation related pain, unhygienic practices, women's health care