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Living With Your Period

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THE MENSTRUAL MYTH

Some women call their menstruation the curse, that
time of the month, the blahs, the monthlies, being un-well,
our problem, our period, our little friend.

However we refer to it, every one of us can rattle off a list of
embarrassing horror stories about it. Guaranteed, if it's an important
day in your life, you'll get your period. When it's late, we pray for that
first twinge of cramp pain. When it finally arrives, we mutter obscenities
under our breath.

Actually, negative attitudes towards this perfectly normal, natural, biological event have
been with us since the beginning of time--passed down through the ages in myths, taboos,
superstitions, and misinformation.

Throughout different cultures and times, menstruating women have been blamed for everything from causing crops to blight, milk to sour, food to spoil, clocks to stop, and many other diseases and disasters to occur. In many societies, menstruating women were considered unclean, unhealthy, and repugnant and were forced into isolation in order to be "purified".

Even today, some myths persist.
Many still believe that a woman must not swim, bathe, or wash her hair during menses. And it wasn't so long ago that discussions about menstruation in mixed company were considered strictly taboo. And while society no longer physically excludes menstruating women from daily activities, remnants of this practice are still with us. Today, we still choose to isolate ourselves from our friends and families when we feel "un-well."

Negative attitudes about menstruation continue to deeply affect even the most liberated among us...both consciously and unconsciously. We've been acculturated to expect and accept monthly pain "as part of being a woman." And while both premenstrual tension and menstrual pain have very real causes, how we handle that pain is very much an outgrowth of these sociological influences.

Today, modern medicine is chipping away at the myths that have left women suffering in silence. New facts about the menstrual cycle and the causes of menstrual pain are leading to new remedies.

So now, it is within every woman's power to shatter the myths and stop the pain!