Recently, I have been astounded about the ignorance of some of the male species about their knowledge toward female's reproductive organs. Women actually bleed out of their vagina every month for an average of about three to seven days. Baffling! They go as far as to say that we can "turn off" our menstrual cycle and there's a simple solution — just don't get your period anymore!
If only it were that easy.
My period would have been turned off the second I got it. If you get cramps, then it can't be any worse than getting kicked in the testicles, right?
What exactly is a period or menstruation? My favorite description is where the uterus is preparing a nursery for a baby and when it realizes I'm not pregnant, my uterus goes mentally crazy, ripping everything apart and tearing down walls. However, since most girls learned this in elementary school, they know what is really going on in there. The body is readying itself to maintain another human being by sending more blood and tissue to the uterus and when there is no pregnancy (estrogen and progesterone levels are low), all the extras are tossed out by way of the vagina.
Doesn't sound painful, huh? Wrong.
Every girl has a different experience with their period. From my first period up until I was a sophomore in high school, my period was so extremely heavy that I had to wear a tampon and an overnight pad every day and I would still bleed through in two hours. My cramps hit me like a truck. They made me so nauseous that I would feel dizzy and I even passed out a few times. Don't even ask about going to the bathroom during your period, it's gross. I would crave the greasiest and saltiest foods I could get my hands on, but everything I ate (greasy or not) seemed to worsen my menstrual cramps. I couldn't "turn off" my uterus as much I wanted to. Even though there are methods to try to ease these uterine contractions, none of them seemed to do the trick and I know other women experience that as well.
My grandmother told me that my family had a history of endometriosis on both maternal and paternal sides. She had it when she was going through her menstrual cycle and she told me that she had missed days of school because of it. The doctors didn't realize the symptoms then and she was only diagnosed when she became pregnant with my father later on in her life. She had to get surgery so the doctors could scrape off endometrial tissue growing where it wasn't supposed to.
I was beginning to miss school and hanging out with my friends because I was in such amounts of pain.
I rarely wanted to participate in cheer practice or even in gym class because I felt like I was going to hurl with each movement. Thankfully, I went to the gynecologist and she told me we would try a low-dose birth control pill to see if it could ease my cramps before testing for endometriosis. That's right boys! Birth control isn't just used to not get pregnant, it helps with menstruation as well! Two years later, I can actually live through my period without wanting to curl up into a ball and cry. Some months I don't even get a visit from Aunt Flo. Although my body is becoming accustomed to the birth control and they are hurting slightly more with each month, I can get a higher dose of my birth control to ease the pain.
So there you have it! Girls have periods, they can not stop their periods, and menstrual pain can affect the everyday life of a woman.
Unfortunately, not every girl's cramps can be aided in birth control as mine has. Birth control has negative side effects such as weight gain, acne, mood swings, and even blood clots. I know being kicked in the balls does hurt and some guys understand periods extremely well, but I feel that this had to be said. Don't get me started on men's views of women's rights to their bodies.