Q: What are the effect of menstruation on woman’s reproductive health?
A: Menstruation is a part of the menstrual cycle with the first day of menstruation as the first day of the cycle till the first day of the next period, which is the beginning of another cycle; and this occurs monthly. The cycle is an average of 28 days but ranges from 21 – 45 days. The menstrual cycle provides important body chemicals, called hormones, to keep the body healthy and prepares it for pregnancy each month.
The menstrual cycle is a hormonal driven cycle controlled by the rise and fall of hormones level in the body during the month such as the oestrogen which stops the flow of periods and helps to thicken the uterine lining. Hence, menstruation is an aspect of pregnancy, ovulation, and the reproductive cycle generally.
Q: Why do most women/ girls have painful menstruation?
A: Painful Menstruation, also known as dysmenorrhea which could be mild, moderate or severe cramps and also known as the commonest medical menstrual problem is majorly caused by over secretion of prostaglandin and forceful contraction of the uterus in an adolescent during menstruation but in older women can be caused by disease conditions such as endometriosis and uterine fibroids.
Q: Is it necessary to take blood tonic after a menstrual flow?
A: Well, this is a subjective decision, because individuals can have different reasons for prescribing or taking it… some could be because they become anemic from heavy menstrual bleeding and loss of blood… but there is no rule that says it’s compulsory or contraindicated either.
Q: “HIV/AIDS patients are advised to have sexual intercourse with HIV negative partners only during menstruation”, Is it true?
A: No, It’s not true. Unprotected sex with a person living with HIV during menstruation or not can predispose you to get the virus. Except the person positive have a very low viral load.
Q: For the use of sanitary pads, where an average Nigerian girl can’t afford it, what else should she use because we hear a lot of “don’t use tissue or rags” in other to avoid infections?
A: Well, as unfortunate as this case is, for us here in this part of the world, sanitary pads are the most advisable… we can only keep advocating for its availability and affordability for these young girls. Hence, the call to action to be a part of the change and movement. However, there is also the precedence of reusable sanitary pad use now, which could also be invested in.
Q: The blood that flows out of a woman’s body during menstruation, is it bad or infectious? Also, is it safe for a guy to have sex with a lady while she’s having her menstrual flow?
A: I will like to clear that myth and misconception that period blood is bad blood or infectious blood. No, it’s not. It’s just the womb inner lining that had been preparing for pregnancy shedding off after waiting and not seeing any fertilization.
Then, sex during period is like sex at other times, just the aesthetics of having blood come out the vagina makes it different… So “safe” is relative.
Q: As a health practitioner what would you advise to be taken to ease or reduce the pain during periods?
A: So, there are different medications to take…majorly analgesics but I would always advise visiting a health center to get a proper evaluation and prescription for medications needed.
Q: What age does menstruation starts because I’ve heard of a case where a nine-year-old girl got pregnant?
A: So, Menstruation ideally is part of puberty but we have people who develop faster and start as early as age 8. Therefore, it depends on the individual body and some people have precocious menstruation as part of precocious puberty.
Q: I was told that during menstruation girls should avoid sugar, Is it true? And if it’s true, why is that so?
A: Well, no scientific evidence has proven this relationship… but again our mind works wonders on our psychology and wellbeing. So, I advise, do what works for you.
Q: Also I have heard and seen instances where girls from the ages of nine years upwards get pregnant, what happened?
A: Like I said…. precocious puberty and once a girl starts menstruating… her reproductive cycle has begun and can get pregnant when exposed to sex. Some even get pregnant without their first menstruation.
Q: Why do most girls lose appetite during the period?
A: It’s a part of the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome and hormonal surge that tampers with mood swings…
Q: What’s precocious menstruation?
A: Menstruation or puberty at a very early age, maybe even in childhood. The earliest recorded in history is at the age of 5.
Q: If in a relationship and mistakenly had sexual intercourse with your partner during her menstruation, does it have any severe damage to the man’s system? if yes, what are the remedy to get to your normal self?
A: No, it doesn’t have any severe or little damage to the man’s system. I already addressed this in one of the answers to the questions above.
For further questions or more information, follow us on our social media pages and visit our website.
IG – Safer Hands Initiative
Facebook – Safer Hands Initiative
Dr. Agoyi M. O.
(MB; BS Lagos, MSc PH in view USW)
Program Manager, SHI
IG – Kemisola Agoyi
Facebook – Kemisola Agoyi
Twitter – Kemisola Agoyi
Linkedin – Mary Oluwakemisola Agoyi