Did you know that many women in the world are separated from their families and made to live in cattle sheds during their periods (e.g the Chaupaddi practice in Nepal), because period is considered “impure”?
The Urdu word “Na-paak” is particularly associated with periods in Pakistan. Girls are brought up to think their period is dirty and is something that must be hidden. Many women in Pakistan end up faking sehri in Ramazan because they cannot tell men in the family that they are on their period. So today, we want to talk about your period discharge. Is it actually “dirty”?
2) Endometrial fluid + tissues
3) Cervical and vaginal mucus
4) Vaginal microbes
There is 35% blood in menstrual discharge. The blood component in the menstrual discharge is the same as arterial blood (source: Is Period Blood Really Impure? A Scientific Take on Myths & Facts of Menstrual Discharge). Endometrial fluid and tissue come from your uterus lining, as it breaks off after failing to implant an egg. Vaginal secretions are made of water and electrolytes such as sodium and potassium (source: Menstrual Blood: it’s not what you think it is).
Unless a woman has a blood-borne illness, menstrual fluid is harmless. No toxins are released in menstrual flow, as this is a lining that must be pure and clean enough to have nurtured a baby. Menstrual fluid is no more dangerous than regular blood (source: Menstruation: Bleeding). Your organs release many secretions in the body, and your whole body has blood inside it too. If it was toxic or harmful, you would not be alive!
It means that all your life, you have been fed thoughts of your period being dirty that are far from being true. It also means that if you were not a menstruating being, there would be no procreation. So, do not spread myths about period being dirty! Teach your children (both girls and boys) that periods are a bodily process that does not make women impure, and teach your girls to embrace their bodies and their period.