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The Truth About Periods!

I hate periods. And I'm not talking about the punctuation marks. I'm talking about the monthly curse that afflicts every woman of reproductive age. The cramps, the mood swings, the bloating, the headaches, the fatigue, the acne, the mess.
And don't get me started on the sanitary pads. Those bulky, uncomfortable, leaky, smelly, expensive, wasteful pieces of cotton that we have to stick between our legs and change every few hours. Permit me to give slight kudos to tampons though. They come with some advantages.

Every month, millions of women around the world rely on sanitary pads to manage their menstrual flow. Not that we have a choice, we are stuck in this reality. However, with time a lot of things become glaringly, questionably bad including the state of our sanitary hygiene materials.
My period hit me in Junior Secondary School and everything changed. Initially, I approached this development with excitement, eagerly anticipating the experience that some of my friends, my sister, and my mother are undergoing. Nevertheless, as time progressed, my perspective shifted.
What initially seemed like a novelty; eventually led me to constantly seek reassurance, obsessively checking for any signs of staining, cramps, nausea, bloating, headache, body aches, waist pain, sore boobs, hormonal acne, constipation, fever, teary eyes, whirlwind of emotions for no absolute reason and many other disasters. In retrospect, I once viewed this behavior as a form of bragging right, but now, I find myself dreading this monthly occurrence.

Sanitary Towels

Let's do a little bit of history, shall we? Papyrus was the first disposable material used during menstruation. Prior to that, rags, cotton, wool and grass were used with special belts to hold these materials in place.
The first disposable pad was made in the 19th century of wood pulp bandages which were very absorbent. In the early 20th century the first mass production of sanitary towels was introduced to the market.
Subsequently, in the 1970s, the first adhesive pads were introduced eliminating the need for the ambiguous belts used in the past.
As interesting as history has been with the introduction of sanitary materials, the companies haven’t really moved far with the products in the market.

Were We Sold a Lie?

While there are a plethora of myths and truths about sanitary products, one that raises an eyebrow is the one displayed in sanitary pad ads.
Who else recalls the epic 8-8 no-check advert featuring girls busting moves, leaping around, and flipping like acrobats? Yes, that very one, where they were all vibing and grooving, shaking like a caterpillar shedding its skin.
I danced to that advert, so the sentiment goes deep. I loved it because I thought we would ultimately have that sort of energy when I got to that point, which was essentially far from the truth.
Feel free to correct me if I'm mistaken, but even with the false narrative presented, these sanitary hygiene companies seems to have a lot up their sleeves. There's a recurring trend among sanitary towel companies. Initially, they introduce a product that lives up to its promises. Then, after a while, they incorporate a minty sensation, which undoubtedly enhances comfort. Then, as soon as consumers embrace these sanitary towels, the quality of the pads depreciates, just like our Naira plunging into Niagara Falls.

The Answer You Have Been Waiting For

Sanitary pads are supposed to make our lives easier, right? They are supposed to absorb the blood, prevent leaks, and keep us comfortable during that time of the month. But sometimes, they don’t live up to our expectations.
You may be curious about how you can deal with these terrible sanitary pad experiences, well, here are some solutions that might work for you:
✿You can consider alternating between pads, tampons or menstrual cups. There other materials are more discreet, hygienic, and eco-friendly than pads. Just make sure you change them regularly and follow the instructions carefully because they also come with hazards specific to them.
✿You could also try reusable cloth pads. These are made of natural fabrics like cotton, hemp, or bamboo, and they can be washed and reused for years. They are softer, more breathable, and more comfortable than disposable pads.
In addition to everything mentioned so far, If I may suggest, add whole fruits to your diet. The fibre does wonders for your body and even more for your periods. Another thing that works wonders is tea bags with natural tea ingredients like lemon, ginger, green tea and chamomile.

So, there you have it. Periods are rarely comfortable, they are sometimes scary; just remember, you are not alone, and you are not doomed to suffer every month. You can find a way to make your period more bearable, and even enjoyable. After all, it is a sign of being healthy, fertile, and feminine. I wish y'all a stress-free menstrual period.

Fun Fact:
✯ The sound of your voice changes during your period. Approximately 1 in 3 women notice changes in their speaking and singing voice as a result of hormone changes during menstruation.

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