The Monthly - Anum Ahmad
Finally, a candid conversation about periods. We get it. Periods are personal. Choosing empowerment over embarrassment, we’re here to give a real-life lesson on menstrual cycles and our bodies. And what better way to do that than from hearing stories about periods from our colleagues, friends and people we have met on this incredible journey. So join us as we talk about- yep, you guessed it - periods. #leaveyourstain
Who are you (we’d love to get to know you!) and what are your pronouns?
I am 31 years old, Pakistani, South Asian, Muslim and my pronouns are she/her/hers.
I’ve been married for 5 years and have two kids!
How did you first learn about periods?
I had a brief conversation with my mother that was very vague. That was that, until I actually got my first period.
Do you remember your first period conversation? Who was it with and what was that like?
My mother had vaguely mentioned it to me before I actually got my first period. But I hadn’t quite registered what she meant. She’d told me that girls undergo some changes in their body once they hit puberty and had asked me to let her know if I ever saw blood in my underwear. It was a very ‘oh by the way’ kind of conversation and I didn’t really pay attention to it.
When did you get your first period?
I was 12 years old when I got my first period.
How was it? What happened?
I was home (luckily) and I remember going to the washroom like I normally would and seeing blood in my panties. I didn’t freak out because I immediately remembered that vague conversation with my mom. I immediately called out out to her and told her. She then explained to me that it was going to happen every month and taught me how to use sanitary napkins. The really thick, uncomfortable ones.
Do you try to take extra care of yourself while on your period? If so, how?
Nope. That largely has to do with the fact that my period has never been very painful/uncomfortable. I never got bad cramps or really heavy flow so it was easier to manage and I didn’t feel like I needed extra care.
What are your favourite period products?
None really. I’ve always used sanitary napkins until I got an IUD and my period almost stopped coming. Since mine wasn’t heavy for the most part of my life, I didn’t have much trouble finding the right products and have been okay with anything I’ve used. I feel I truly lucked out here because I have seen a lot of my friends going through a lot of trouble finding the right products to manage their painful period and/or really heavy flow.
Is there anything else about your period experiences you want to share?
I just wonder what my mom’s plan was in case I wasn’t at home when I started bleeding for the first time.
Have the last challenging months affected your period and if so, how did you best navigate?
I haven’t been getting my period for over a year now. But I did my feel my flow got heavier after giving birth and had started going easy on myself while menstruating. I tried resting more and putting less on my plate.
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