Menstruation is a phenomenon that is considered to be natural and universal for women but there are however some people who have other health issues that affect their menstrual cycle. I myself have had erratic flow due to hypothyroidism in the past.My cycles either skipped a month or resulted in heavy blood flow after two months.The most important fact to note about erratic menstrual cycles is that they are not predictable at all, differing from one month to the other, either in terms of the flow, the duration and/or the amount of pain(if any). This means that there is a chance that a woman may not able to adjust herself mentally to her cycles. This can result in emotional issues and insecurities.
In my efforts to look for information about menstruation and how to survive it better,I realised that I could not identify with a lot of popular tips on tackling bodily discomfort, handling cramps, mood swings and such. This is due to the fact that most of them,by default,assume that almost all women have regular monthly cycles. In a society where there is already a taboo attached to the entire menstrual experience, there is an even greater silence with regard to women who experience erratic flow. Irregular menstruation is never discussed openly. Apart from this, almost all the advice given on the internet and in health magazines is about how irregular cycles could affect conceiving and motherhood. The tone of these articles is pregnant with unnecessary paranoia and it is quite depressing to read their contents.
I have had to go through bleak periods where I was confused about my body and its rhythm.It has taken me some time and conscious effort to get used to the entire experience. Earlier, I had misconstrued ideas attached to the experience itself. This meant that not having regular menstrual cycles was not just a physical problem but a psychological one as well.I used to question my femininity and worry about my future chances of conception. It was only when I realised that I needed to get out of the victim mode and look for positive information regarding this topic that I could start appreciating my body as it was. It does not matter what my body experiences are,as long as I know how to react to it positively and in a healthy way.Don’t get me wrong – I am not saying that erratic blood flow is not an issue. What I am trying to convey is that only by loving your body can you begin to look for solutions in a better and holistic manner.
After realising that not a lot of useful information was available out there, I went through an experimental phase.It consisted of some trial and error procedures to see which routine suited my body well, especially during menstruation. I now try to stick to a holistic lifestyle that ensures a healthy menstrual experience at the body, mind and soul level.
The first thing I did was to change my perceptions about food. I now consider it to be an important fuel for the body. What you eat reflects the kind of energy you have to tackle during any discomfort during your periods.Plenty of green tea and consuming a lot of fruits are what I prefer during that time of the month.I avoid milk products as it makes me feel bloated. Another interesting point which I have realised is that food has a psychological aspect attached to it,which is to say that what you think about a particular food item affects how your body reacts to it.It may or may not be scientific at all but it still has an important affect on your body, so be comfortable with what you are eating. I usually need comfort food as well,since not having a proper cycle could easily result in mental stress and irritation, so I make sure that I eat chocolates when I am down as they help me a lot.
I indulge in light exercises during my periods which sometimes helps me cope better.Walking (not jogging!) is one of my favourite exercises during the first and third day of my periods. I usually avoid any strenuous travel or unnecessary exertion during the second day(due to the heavy flow during this period). As I mentioned earlier though, you can never be sure about these things due to irregular menstruation.
Apart from this,I started meditating for about 20-30 minutes in a day. Lately, this has become a habit which I indulge in daily. I choose a quiet corner in my house and usually start by playing some mellow music as it helps me relax easily. Meditation helps me to get in tune with my body and observe what goes on inside.
The most important thing I do is to have regular health check-ups.I need to do this for my thyroid as well.I have made sure to stay in touch with my doctors and report to them anything that feels out of place. I also try to look for alternative therapies which may not be scientific but could work for some women.These, of course, are not universal and the results can differ from person to person.
My cycles are now becoming regular each month and I am grateful for that. One of the most important lessons that I have learned out of this experience was to accept my body and not freak out about what was happening to me. A health issue is only as big as we perceive it to be.Thanks to modern biomedicine and indigenous techniques, there are a lot of ways by which one can easily restore their bodies to perfect health.The only thing a person needs to remember is to have a happy outlook towards life. For those women who are reading this and are going through a similar experience, please know that you are not alone. It is always vital to speak up about your own experiences and there is absolutely no need to listen to advice or tips that do not make you feel comfortable.Selectively choose what is best for you and disregard the rest.
Most importantly, take good care of yourselves!
Aindrila is an I.T. engineer and has worked with an MNC .
After realizing that Corporate world was not for her, she quit her job and worked as a volunteer for a few organizations. She is currently pursuing a Masters in Women Studies from T.I.S.S. Mumbai.
Aindrila has a passion for poetry and she plans to publish her creations someday. She wishes to make a positive difference in people’s lives and believes that a person needs to do what makes him/her truly happy. Following her bliss is her life’s ultimate goal.