Recently, a male friend asked me “What’s it like to have a period?” I replied him “Bloody hell.” He laughed, but persisted by musing over the fact that we’ve all been taught about female menstrual cycles in Biology class, but other than that, girls are left to get on with it. All my friend knew was that when his girlfriend was ‘on’, it was his duty to turn up at her house with plenty of ice creams and candies. The pain that many of us feel whilst on our periods is difficult to explain to someone that doesn’t have a womb, or hasn’t begun their periods; certainly, even my own Mum’s explanation to me about a “heavy, draggy down pain” couldn’t quite prepare me for menstrual cramps.
And so, when my male friend asked me about my own experiences with menstruation, a question I hadn’t expected was “How do you cope, with so much blood?” That “so much blood” I thought. This question really got me thinking: how do we get used to menstruating? I realized that after 2 decades, I just get on with it. It’s something I expect, in fact, if it didn’t appear each month I’d get a bit concerned. Quite a lot concerned, actually. I’ve both giggled and sympathized with friends about the inconvenience, the months where it stops and starts, the months when a random, breathtakingly painful cramp hits you, the months when you begin craving food you’ve never even tasted.
Now however, I’ve realized, it’s not something to be ashamed of. Despite Instagram and Facebook’s recent censoring of photographs containing menstrual blood, the backlash against this has empowered me to celebrate my period. I see it as part of becoming a woman. I recognized, when a friend was diagnosed with polycystic ovaries (and so cannot have periods,) how sacred they can be. Many many women suffer hugely with them, having all sorts of injections and procedures to cease them completely, which is entirely understandable.
I’ve come to see menstruation for what it is: a representation of my ability to carry a fertilized egg, my future child. One day it will open the door to motherhood, which I personally, see as one thing. A blessing.
And so, the next time I’m asked “What’s it like to have a period?” I think I shall answer with:
“It’s a blessing in disguise and I am HAPPY TO BLEED”
And it will not stop me from finishing the tubs of Baskin Robbins.
I am participating in Half Marathon Blogging Challenge with Blogchatter.
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