Fortis FORHER Initiative

Fortis launched the FORHER initiative with the objective to spread awareness on menstrual health and address the taboos related to menstruation. On the occasion of Women’s day, Hiranandani Hospital Vashi will be organizing awareness workshops on menstruation covering various topics related to the menstrual cycle, periods, puberty and hormonal change will be conducted to inform and educate the females about their physical and mental health and the dietary needs. The session will last for about 45 minutes educating 1000 girls, all under one roof, either by a presentation format or flow chart format. This initiative mainly focuses on educating the female children, who fall between the age group of 10 and 19 years and make them stay healthy while on their periods.

What is Menstruation?

Menstruation is the discharge of blood and mucosal tissue from the inner lining of the uterus through the vagina, about once a month as a part of a healthy woman's menstrual cycle. Approximately it occurs every 28 to 29 days, and lasts for 3 to 7 days, averaging 5 days.

Female Anatomy and the menstrual cycle, Physiology and hormones related to menstruation

Anatomy in females is generally associated with their sexual function, reproduction, and hormone control. Externally, the female anatomy includes organs like genitals or the vulva consisting of the mons pubis, pudendal cleft, labia majora, labia minora, Bartholin’s glands, and clitoris. Internally, it includes reproductive organs like vagina, uterus, fallopian tubes, cervix, and ovary. The vagina meets the external organs at the vulva and connects it with the uterus. The uterus is located in the middle of the pelvic cavity and is attached to the ovaries via the fallopian tubes. There are two ovaries, one on each side of the lower abdomen, containing a number of eggs.

The two hormones, Luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone, released by the pituitary gland in the brain stimulate the ovaries to produce the sex hormones estrogen and progesterone and promote ovulation. Ovulation is nothing but the release of an egg from one of the two ovaries. The released egg travels through the fallopian tube to the uterus. On the other hand, estrogen and progesterone stimulate the uterus to develop a thicker lining and prepares it for possible fertilization. If the egg released by the ovary is fertilised by a sperm cell, it gets attached to the wall of the uterus and over time develops into a foetus, resulting in pregnancy. In case, if the egg does not get fertilized, the lining of the uterus will break down and shed, together with the egg, through the vagina. This results in menstruation or period.

Menstruation is a part of the menstrual cycle which consists of four phases: menstruation, the follicular phase, ovulation, the luteal phase. The menstrual cycle begins with the first day of bleeding and ends the day before the next period starts. Generally, the period of the menstrual cycle ranges from 25 to 36 days. In some women, this cycle can vary and the period may become longer or shorter than usual. To absorb the menstrual discharge and prevent its leakage and blood stains, sanitary pads or tampons can be used. The menstruation can be accompanied by menstrual cramps (pain) in the areas of lower abdomen and pelvis, sometimes even extending to the lower back and legs.

Girls experience their first period between the ages of 11 and 14 years, on average. ie. Menstruation starts during puberty. And it ends at menopause which generally occurs between the ages of 45 and 55 years, on average. In the course of her lifetime, a woman will have 450 menstrual cycles, on average.

What is PMS?

Pre Menstrual Syndrome refers to a combination of physical and emotional symptoms like mood swings, tender breasts, food cravings, fatigue, irritability and depression that are experienced by the women during certain days of the menstrual cycle, generally just before their periods. These symptoms start one or two weeks (or five to 11 days) before the menstruation and vanish once menstruation begins. Though the exact cause of these symptoms is unknown, hormonal fluctuations are believed to contribute.

Menstrual Hygiene

Proper and effective menstrual hygiene is vital to the health and well-being of girls and women. Ignoring or overlooking hygienic practices can result in reproductive tract infections and urinary tract infections, and bring down the quality of life eventually. If you are a menstruating girl or woman, note down the following tips to manage menstruation hygienically.

  • Stick to one method of sanitation, pads or tampons.
  • Ensure that the undergarments are changed regularly
  • Change your sanitary napkin regularly every 4-6 hours; change it as frequently as you can if the flow is heavy
  • Wash your genital area after each use of the toilet and also urination.
  • Keep the area between the legs dry to avoid soreness
  • Bathe at least once daily
  • Don't use harsh soaps or other heavy chemical laden products for vaginal cleaning
  • Discard the sanitary napkin properly; Wrap them properly before throwing away
  • Wash your hands properly after each use of the toilet and also napkin disposal

FAQs

Yes, it’s good. A shower will help you to be fresh and clean. Preferring hot water over cold water is an added advantage as it will help reduce your cramps.

Every 4-6 hours is generally advised. This is much needed because it will curb the growth of microorganisms in and around your genital area and prevent infections. If your period is heavy, you can change it as frequently as you can.

The average blood loss is between 10ml and 80ml. And it varies from woman to woman.

Placement of hot water bottle or a warm towel on the abdomen, painkillers prescribed by doctors, aerobic exercise, and a good diet, all these can help ease your cramps.

There is no natural way to delay your periods. Taking birth control pills may temporarily delay your period but they are not safe always and might come with worst side effects. It is better to consult your doctor because trying these pills.

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Menstrual Hygiene & Education Partner

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Address

Mini Sea Shore Road, Sector 10, Vashi, Navi Mumbai, 400703 Vashi: 8956051535