The world all over recognizes and celebrates valentine day but a significantly important day ie. February 12th gets overshadowed. Originally adopted by Canada, Sexual & Reproductive Health Awareness Day is now celebrated in many countries. In India, The National Population Stabilization Fund (Janasankhya Sthirata Kosh) a helpline was started to give counseling services & immediate answers on sexual and reproductive health. If every girl and woman in our country was aware of Menstrual hygiene, contraceptives, etc measures such a helpline would have been redundant. But the reality is far from ideal. The need for awareness and availability of menstrual hygiene in the rural and not so urban parts of our country gave birth to legends such as Padman. 'Padman' Shri Arunachalam Muruganantham revolutionized an entire village from wearing around sanitary napkins to inventing a machine that manufactures them at affordable prices.
In India a simple packet of sanitary napkins is wrapped around in a newspaper and put in a black polythene bag on occasions.
Periods is such a topic that is neither spoken of freely nor is the word ‘period’ said openly in public or in family settings. It is usually referred to in codes, whispers and indirect speech. Having a monthly cycle should never be a stigma in the minds of young adolescent girls. It is the misconceptions regarding periods that still in rural areas many adolescent girls dropout from colleges.
As you know Ayurveda is dominantly based on maintaining the balance of doshas in the body. The do’s and don’ts mentioned are from the point of view of healthy progeny. Ayurveda also specially recommends ‘Rajswala charya’ i.e. regimen for women to follow during period times.
Apana vayu is essentially important for the normal functioning of menstruation & any physical activity done during menstruation may hamper this function and lead to imbalance in the cycle.
Even a healthy menses has a downfall as we see loss of Blood / Oja or vital energy that is lost during this time. ‘Rajswala paricharya’ provides a routine that won’t hamper the balance of doshas and ease the complaints experienced during this phase.
- It is important to note that lack of menstrual hygiene can result in various infections and even infertility. Reproductive infections also increase susceptibility to cervical cancer.
- Ayurveda also says the same as along with faulty diet habits, hygiene and incorrect lifestyle practices are responsible for aggravation of Vata dosha leading to female reproductive system disorders.
- As Acharyas have considered menstruation as a mirror of reproductive health, any abnormality in the cycle is seen as an indicator of pathology.
- If you are experiencing any complaints related to your menstruation such as painful menses, irregularity, mood swings, fatigue, irritability etc; we have Ashoka Compound, Sandu Ashokarishta, Sandu Patrangasav to deal with these.
Today, we have various options available in the menstrual hygiene segment. So it is necessary to use whatever menstrual hygiene product you are comfortable with & follow healthy hygiene practices. Along with educating the girls early on, the boys should also be informed about this recurring episode. Sensitization is necessary as both genders are equally responsible for taking the generation forward.
Awareness of & access to sanitary napkins is a part of maintaining good menstrual hygiene as well as an important right when it comes to Reproductive health of women. So the next time you are out there getting what you need don’t shy away. So, Stayfree !
#SexualAndReproductiveHealthAwarenessDay #SayYesToAyurveda #SanduPharma #Ayurveda #MenstrualHygiene
Dr.Madhuri Bhogan (MD AYU)