Phases of Menstruation
This month Saathi has taken our Instagram family on an interesting diary-reading journey, which has been expertly visualized in the form of doodles by Sumouli Dutta, the very creative mind behind Woodle Doodles.
The series of posts describes each stage of the journey of a typical period - covering all the 5 stages and acknowledging how the body and the mind undergo changes during the 28-35 day menstrual cycle.
The doodles highlight common problems, solutions, things to expect and those little things which may give us all better insight into how we think, feel and experience periods. The doodles are cute, relatable and visually appealing. Read on to get engrossed in Saathi’s Period Diary!
Disclaimer: While this series describes a general version of the 28-day menstrual cycle, every menstruator menstruates differently, so please do not benchmark your period with this blog. Always trust yourself and your doctor to assess what is normal and what isn’t!
Phase 1: Premenstrual Phase
The first phase is the premenstrual phase, or what is very commonly called PMS. This marks the last few days before the 1st day of bleeding. Often, the changes in hormones leave us sluggish, bloated and hungrier than usual. Cravings for sweet and oily food are often at the peak, but if you fuel your body right, your body will thank you for preparing it for the next few days. So, say no to burgers and chips, and opt for some delicious avocado on toast instead! It is a great source of magnesium, which will help ease bloating, cramps and other premenstrual symptoms!
Phase 2: Menstrual bleeding
The next phase is menstrual bleeding. Yes, the floodgates are officially open, and you most likely are uncomfortable and get tired easily. This is because many females suffer low iron levels during blood loss. Eating food rich in iron as well as supplements and vitamin C will take care of this discomfort and fatigue. You may opt for mild steady-state exercises like yoga and walking, and should get proper sleep!
Phase 3: Follicular Phase
After the second phase, you’re finally done with your period and your energy slowly starts to return. It is now that your body responds to more rigorous workouts, and your appetite increases. The best thing to do right now is to give your body its fuel - intake filling carbohydrates like multigrain rotis and bhakris, protein like lean chicken and fish, and detoxifying, calming fluids like chamomile tea!
Phase 4: Ovulation
An egg is released by your ovaries around this time, marking the end of the follicular phase. It then travels through the fallopian tubes to rest by the uterine wall, where it will be implanted, waiting for fertilization. Around these days, many women have reported feeling less hungry, thus, this phase may see low appetite levels, and hence, it is extremely important to eat quality food. Fresh, fibre-rich food will help the body cleanse itself of toxins and increased levels of hormones produced, whereas protein will help the body retain energy. This is also the most fertile period in the cycle, and perfect, if one wants to conceive!
Phase 5: Luteal Phase
After ovulation, your FSH and LH levels decrease. The corpus luteum produces progesterone and these changes in hormones may lead to skin breakouts. You may feel sluggish and low, and your cravings may be at the crescendo right now, but you can keep these in line by increasing the intake of B vitamins which are present in wholegrains, meat, eggs and dairy products, and barley. Consuming a glass of warm milk, barley juice, and having oats and millets will help in preparing the body better. One needs to take it slow, make sure to cool down and warm up when exercising and avoid any stressful activity!
I had a peaceful, hygienic, plastic-free period with Saathi.
Periods are not easy for a large number of people, and Saathi makes those 2-8 days just a little easier - not only for your body, which doesn’t have to deal with chemicals like bleach, chlorine, dioxin and artificial fragrances giving rashes to the skin and permeating the bloodstream, but also forgiving to the environment, because they are plastic-free! Saathi pads involve local Indian farmers and women factory workers who are able to lead a better life because someone bought a Saathi pad!
We hope this series was informative for you, and that you’ll help spread the word about Saathi! Try our new trial packs here - https://bit.ly/2Jfgh4V
Illustrations by: @WoodleDoodleDesigns (Sumouli Dutta)
Saathi is an award winning social venture which has a patented technology to convert agri-waste into absorbent materials. Our sanitary pads are 100% biodegradable and compostable made from banana and bamboo fibers, which convert into compost in 6 months of its disposal. Saathi pads are good for the body🩸, community and environment. We are on a mission to revolutionize the hygiene industry as a consumer products company that makes products in a sustainable and responsible way.
We are recognized by the United Nations, TIME Magazine as one of the 100 Best Inventions of 2019, Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards and Expo 2020 Dubai among others for our innovative, social impact and sustainable work. We are working towards United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 12, 13, 3, 9, 5, 6, 8, and 14.
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