It is never easy to be vulnerable. Vulnerable means exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally. It can make you feel weak or less than that. Being on your period can make you feel exactly that way as well. Weak, less than, but it also is something that is so empowering and shows how strong women are. It is up to us as women to be vulnerable and embrace our periods as strong women and not let our periods define us or weaken us.
Women worldwide, aging from puberty to 50-52 years of age, experience menstruation. During menstruation, a woman’s body changes when hormone levels fluctuate. Menstruation occurs when a woman’s body prepares for pregnancy, and when no pregnancy occurs, the uterus lining sheds. This process happens every month and can last for 2-7 days.
Estrogen is a sex hormone that plays a role in sexual and reproductive development in women. During menstruation, your estrogen levels fluctuate. During ovulation, a woman’s estrogen levels tend to be high, and if a woman has low estrogen levels, it can prevent women from ovulating. Ovulation is when an egg is released in your ovary and then travels into the fallopian tube. When the egg reaches the fallopian tube, the egg can then be fertilized, and a woman can become pregnant. If the woman doesn’t become pregnant, this results in the shedding of the uterus, and menstruation occurs.
The symptoms of menstruation can be excruciating and can range from headaches, cramps, mood swings, and bloating. Though these symptoms can make us feel weak and as if we want life to pause for a moment, it is up to us as women to embrace these symptoms. The change that a woman’s body goes through during menstruation can make her feel uncomfortable, vulnerable, and not want to live life to her fullest.
From the hormone levels changing and the excoriating symptoms that accompany menstruation, women can also feel vulnerable due to odor. During your menstrual cycle, your vagina becomes a moist environment which can cause bacterial overgrowth. With bacteria growing in the vaginal area, this can result in odor which can cause women to be vulnerable and have lower self-esteem while on their cycles. Proper sanitation methods such as showering and changing your feminine sanitary products as needed can help women feel a little less vulnerable about odor and help them feel more confident about themselves.
Menstruation can be a vulnerable time for menstruating women all over the world. With excruciating symptoms, hormone changes, and odor, women tend to feel vulnerable during menstruation though it is natural to the women’s bodies. It is up to women worldwide to end the taboos and stigmas against menstruation and unite & empower each other. Millions of women worldwide menstruate, and acknowledging that you are not alone can also help limit vulnerability. When women support one another, they can help empower each other to live life to the fullest and not feel vulnerable about menstruation.