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While we’re still yards away from where we need to be to achieve menstrual equity, the human species has come a long way in gaining knowledge about menstruation and the management of our monthly cycles. Today, while we're a click away from precise information about menstrual health, We’re working towards silencing the stigmas associated with periods, and now we have better access than ever before.

Around 1000 years ago, the only source of information on periods were the ones recorded or articulated by men, belonging to those ancient civilisations that were completely male-dominated.

As a result of this, being unaware of the truth about periods and hardships faced during them, these men began to report it as a magical sorcery and ruined its image over a period of time.

The menstrual cycle was narrated as magical Sorcery, an idea suggested by a Roman philosopher, Pliny the Elder.He mentioned in his records that women on their menstrual cycles had the power to destroy entire fields of crops ,control the weather, and even cause bees to leave hives.

With the arrival of a new time—the medieval time—these views on periods unfortunately did not improve. The people of that era believed periods to be a gift of the “sin done by Eve". They assumed that cramps were a sign of punishment for her bad deed, and women weren’t given pain relief.

Fortunately, around the late 19th century, women were finally provided with pads made out of cloth, after which reusable pads were also sold. Disposable pads were then established by the Johnson and Johnson company, which were a blessing for women.

This invention proved to be a stepping stone towards actually spreading awareness about the menstrual cycle. After putting up posters advertising pads, over a period of time, as technology also developed and televisions were set up, pads were widely advertised on the screens.

Looking back to those days and living in this age and era, we are blessed to have a wide range of choices for pads and many more products that aid periods.


Image source - Photo credit

Author: Jiah Shah

Editor: Prahlad Madhu

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Aug 13, 2023

So amazing and informative! I love how the history of Pliny the elder is placed in this article as well. It’s crazy how that history has set a certain narrative but we have certainly come a long way! Bravo on a wonderful article 👏🏼


Aug 06, 2023

Bravo! Informative passage on misinformation people had earlier about periods. Need of the hour to normalise periods


Aug 06, 2023

So well written!

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