The menstrual cycle was treated as sacred in the years that I was growing up. Our mothers started looking at us like adults the moment we reported that we had started the menstrual cycle. We stopped playing with the younger girls because we assumed we were more mature and even more important than them. The cycle was christened many names by the adults: the woman's pride, the monthly prize, the feminine dignity and to some it was just referred to as the "monthly". There was a lot of pride in getting the menstrual periods but we never talked about it openly and only disclosed it to the closest of friends.But times have changed. While we used to get the cycle at fourteen years, today girls start as early as nine or ten years old, perhaps because of the changing diet or hormonal changes. The menstrual cycle is no longer sacred; no one shies off when other people know they are in the menstrual cycle. Some women even send their children to the supermarkets with sanitary towels among the top items in the shopping list, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that!
The menstrual cycle has never been comfortable. That is a fact we all must appreciate. in a much as we were proud of it, though expecting it, even today, is not as exciting as expecting my payslip! it is accompanied by many discomforts. They range from backaches and stomach pains to headaches and nausea. There is also the discomfort of frequently visiting the bathroom and generally being wet.
Women have therefore sought to end the pain caused by periods by the use of different methods. Some of these methods have proven fatal but women still insist on them. Some years ago, women used to take six antimalaria tablets to control pregnancies as well as controlling menstrual cycles. Others would take four cups of concentrated black tea daily for a week. A woman would brave the bitterness of herbs, roots and leaves to control this discomfort. These methods are not medically proven although those who take them believe that they work.
The medical world in its bid to bring solutions and make humans more comfortable have also come with pills to control the cycle. One brand of oral contraceptives is tailored to stop the monthly cycle and is said to regulate it from monthly to quarterly. This lets users make the timing of the menstrual cycle more of a lifestyle choice that a natural occurrence. The users of this contraceptive are cautioned against the risks involved, which include blood clots, strokes and heart attacks. The users are also strictly cautioned against smoking. With all that caution, someone would imagine a woman would only use the pill when their lives are hanging on a string, but it is not so!
Human beings being who they are are known to be adventurous and take risks hoping nothing bad will happen. They abuse any product that comes their way even if the product is meant for good and end up with terrible repercussions. However, there are also other people whose bodies do not respond well with foreign agents in their bodies. This group of people ought to keep a safe distance from anything that is detrimental to their health, however attractive it may look. If its not medically proven that the menstrual cycle can cause a health threat, women should embrace it as natural and address it as ordinary. After all it takes only three days to most women.
Recently, a newly graduated African doctroral student, a user of oral contraception passed out and was flown to a hospital. On reaching hospital, she was diagnosed to have a clot on the neck. She wrestled with pain and pressure for three days before she passed on. The cause of her death was said to be severe side affects of the birth control she was using, which allows for the menstrual cycle only three times a year. Doctors described the oral contraceptive as one that interrupts life's menstrual cycle. Her relatives requested that their names, country or hospitals not to be used publicly to maintain privacy but advised women to be cautious of such medication.
This was a painful death which could otherwise have been prevented. In as much as people would want to ease their menstrual cycle, it is evident that some experiments can be fatal. There is need for deeper consideration and medical consultation before using any drugs. Women should also avoid short-cuts to what would be called happy life.
Perhaps one can use pain-killers for the three days they have pain during menstrual cycle rather than try to control it and end up in physical deformity or even death. Pharmaceuticals should also give thorough information about their products. It calls for everyone's responsibility since users should also not abuse a new product especially where health is involved.