Stigma Associated with Menstruation and The Early Face of Infertility – My Story – Do Not Play Hush Hush with Problems but Discuss

Stigma Associated with Menstruation and The Early Face of Infertility – My Story – Do Not Play Hush Hush with Problems but Discuss

I got my periods relatively early than other kids my age! I was only 10 when one night I went to pee and saw blood smeared on my undies. I was frightened to the core of my heart thinking this could be the end of me. I ran scared to my mom and told her to wake up from her sleep. It felt as if all hell broke loose. Mom, on the other hand, seemed pretty cool about it and she ensured I washed my clothes before calling it a night.

Next day had to skip my school getting used to this girlie feeling whereby you could barely walk or move and getting up from sitting was a task. Mom seemed too happy and I must confess it broke my heart because I couldn’t understand why she was happy especially when this entire thing was so painful and yucky. I wanted to have some me time in the prayer room but my entry was barred. I had never felt this sad. What was wrong with me?

In the evening dad enquired from mom after my health and the daddy’s girl that I was, I started shouting about my pain when my mom hushed me off! I was surprised to an extent where I started believing that Mom doesn’t love me anymore.  That something was terribly wrong with me which should be maintained as a secret. Mom got me to another room and explained that we shouldn’t discuss these things with men or friends or anybody in school. These things are natural and every girl will go through it at some point in time and this is going to be a monthly affair. I had too many questions rattling my mind but ended up asking why shouldn’t we discuss this with people especially Dad, if this was a normal thing. Mom chose not to answer the question plainly saying that’s the way it is supposed to be!

A few days later, I got my life back free from the clutches of menstruation. Playing with my friends suddenly a girl came up with this very topic. She referred to an instance where she had spotted something in the school washroom which seemed too yucky and that girls will have it. I wanted to explain them with what all I had gone through and realized that none of them had experienced it yet. But I chose to remain silent remembering my mother’s words. I realized this was a taboo and something which had to be kept under the covers yet desirable by every woman.

I dreaded the arrival of my next monthly affair wanting it to never happen to me again. Guess what? It didn’t! I seemed pleased but my mom seemed worried now. It was like a role reversal. I felt sad again thinking that having me sick would make my mom happy. The month passed by and mom’s worries got to a point where she started asking me every day if I got my periods back and my answer in a negative would increase her worries.

Two months went by and there were no signs of my cycles. My mom started asking me things like what did I do post-school or if I had a boyfriend? I felt really weird and funny. Mom and I had a special relation of friendship and trust, of mom and daughter and suddenly such questions seemed like questioning that trust. I now started desiring my periods too coz it would lend much relief to both me and mom.

At the end of the third month, it finally arrived. Mom seemed relieved as all her ill thoughts were put to rest. Loads of washing was in process as bedsheets after bedsheets were being stained by me but mom happily took this core up. Lying down taking rest I felt sicker. I could listen to the shrieks and screams of my friends outside and wanted to go play badly, waiting for this phase to pass.

Once it passed life returned back to normalcy but the wait never ended. Every month, Mom and I used to wait and every two to three months later the periods would come back. My mom started getting anxious about my irregular cycles. She started consulting physicians and gynecologists and some said I was anemic looking at the fragile me and some said this is normal, some said we can’t check her up as she is not married!! Now, what was that supposed to mean??

Life went on and my cycles were always irregular sometimes occurring at a four-month gap! Soon acne and pimples broke out all over my face and these breakouts were really scary. I started looking ugly and hiding my face coz I felt ashamed of myself. My mom now started taking me to homeopaths and dermatologists. I started eating and applying medicines & creams and the problem would subside to return back with more intensity! Soon pimples and oily skin became a part of my life. We moved cities and changed climates but the problem was persistent.

Time changed me to a teenager but the irregular cycle and pimple problem remained static. Soon other problems like unwanted body hair, hair loss etc. surfaced! As if one problem was not enough I had to also battle the new problems. I was so disheartened with the onset of so many problems. I started self-abusing myself and cursing me asking Why Me?? All this wreaked havoc on my confidence levels and self-esteem or self-love.  No amount of motivation or consolation helped.

When I was in college, I started eating too much junk and started putting on weight too. And then a very strange thing happened. I didn’t happen to get down for almost 9 months in a row. My mom was too much tensed. She took me to a gynae who was a family friend. He looked into my case and gave me a few medicines. As soon as the course ended, I got withdrawal which continued and didn’t stop after its regular course. I don’t know for how long I bled and how much essentials I had lost. Mom ran with me to the doc. It was not easy taking me to him but bearing all the difficulties we went. He diagnosed me with a tremendously bad hormonal disorder. It was really bad and he had to give me medicines to stop the flow.

He then put me on a course of hormonal medication (contraceptives) which eased out my monthly tension but once the course was over the problem was back. I was all the while feeling pangs of guilt with shame as to why God chose me for this disorder. I started homeopathy side by side. In a year thing turned around for me and I started getting my periods on my own. Yes, getting my periods on my own is still a big achievement for me, which rest of the females can manage on their own easily. I have since then been through a lot and post marriage understood that my problem was a condition which has no cause, a syndrome called PCOS – Poly-cystic Ovarian Disease / Syndrome.

I researched on the net and understood that exercising and eating healthy can help fix this problem. I also came to know so many facts and myths associated with this problem. I feel much better in this age of google as things untold by doctors can be found easily and implied upon. I so wish I had gotten hold of this internet tool earlier during my growing up years. I could have changed many things in my life and could have known the unknown. I also hope doctors treat their young patients much better these days and people know what their problem is as being unaware of the problem is really a miserable condition resulting in self-blame and more problems.

Periods in itself is taboo in our society because girls are banned to enter temples and holy places during those 5 days. Leave aside using the kitchen at your own house in some households. It is shameful that people still mark this as an unholy and impure happening. Ask me the value of menstruation and to me, it certainly is a blessing, a boon. It’s a way of keeping our hormones balanced, warding off so many other disorders and diseases. It helps create life. Any female who has never had periods might never be able to give birth.

Periods are natural and it shouldn’t be hushed away into the dark. Daughters should feel free discussing their problems with everyone in the family so that people are more considerate and understanding in the family. Correct advice and most of all proper awareness can keep so many other problems at bay and not worsen a condition further. Infertility during the early stages if left undiagnosed can cause more problems later and I wish through this forum, people can get hold of the right help at the right time. It is better to recognize and act on the early signs!!

I myself was unaware that the happiness I am getting in not getting my periods back then would make me suffer so much in the future. My mom had to run to, God knows, how many doctors for my treatment. This was kind of taxing for me as well as my mom. All my other sisters and friends were healthy growing up females and it felt nice seeing them normal and sad that I wasn’t that way. I felt bad for my mom stating myself the reason for all her suffering. My mom, on the other hand, was very supportive and took my treatment as a challenge, ready to visit any given doctor for me and never underestimating me for any reason. For her, I was her princess and she ensured always that she treated me like one.

In the days to come as I grew up in life my problems too grew up, the ultimate one being unable to conceive. Today I am a mother of a 4-year-old son and my PCOD is still intact! I feel blessed that God gave me an opportunity to conceive and become a mother. My story from all these years seems like a roller coaster ride. It had to be a wait of 8 long years being married before I conceived with one missed abortion in between. My In-laws, my mom and dad and my husband and I had to go through a lot of emotional and physical stress during this time frame. All this in my second story!! Keep Reading 😊

I am the face of Infertility and it’s completely okay! Are you? Please don’t hide but come and share your problems with us!

tanusri16

Mother of two (Four Legged Golden Retriever called Buddy & human child Vivaan), she feels blessed to have pursued the joys of writing leaving her career as an operations lead with an MNC. Singer, Dancer, Reader, Writer, Thinker, Believer, Day Dreamer, and now Blogger, she is her ever-smiling self always. She also writes for parenting and HR&A related topics for various other websites and dreams to write a book someday.

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