Friday, 27 July 2018

Getting Real About Periods, Breast

Getting Real About Periods, Childbirth, Menopause and More

My friend’s question was simple: Are there any foods that help ease the intensity of hot flashes?

She went online hoping to seek out a community of girls who could help her navigate a transition — menopause — that half the population will experience.

What she found instead were recommendations for drugstore supplements like ginseng and tofu. I was surprised, but I shouldn’t are.

Women’s health issues and biological processes have long been shrouded in secrecy and shame.

Who among us hasn’t hidden our pad or tampon wrappers under a wad of loo paper, lest we appear unattractive or messy? The result: We feel alone, often at a young age, once we are anything but.

Worse yet, data suggests that bias can lead doctors to dismiss women’s health problems.

(Even Serena Williams felt her concerns after childbirth was snubbed by hospital personnel.)

And for women and ladies round the world, these taboos can have tragic consequences: during a corner of Nepal, girls have died after being banished from their homes while menstruating; in Kenya, poorer girls may trade sex to afford pads.

But there’s a growing wave of girls who are speaking openly and unabashedly about their health issues, giving the center finger to modesty and bringing these once-private struggles into the general public sphere.

This week, The NY Times published a piece of writing about advocates and activists who are pushing for recognition of a woman’s right to manage her period “with dignity,” urging states to exempt menstrual hygiene products from nuisance tax and bringing into the talk the concept of “menstrual equity,”

which involves equal access to hygiene products and education about reproductive health.

“Why are tampons taxed when Viagra is not?” the piece asks, echoing a standard refrain.

In Harper’s Bazaar, the photographer Frances F. Denny recently opened about the vaginal tearing she experienced during childbirth, an injury that affects many American mothers.

In May, the supermodel and cookbook author Chrissy Teigen, a very candid presence on social media, shared that she too had experienced severe vaginal tearing together with her firstborn.

Harper’s Bazaar also published a piece of writing last week about the hurdles new mothers face while trying to pump breast milk while working.

And Buzzfeed has published demystifying articles like “Is Your Period Too Heavy? We’ve
Got Answers” and “17 fresh Period Jokes just in case You’re uninterested in Laughing At The Old Ones.”

This surge of frank discourse comes among growing concern about reproductive-health issues within the Trump era.

This month, we stunned global health officials by upending deliberations on a resolution supporting breastfeeding to guard the interests of infant-formula manufacturers.

The nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court has renewed specialize in Roe v.

Wade, the 1973 case that guaranteed women access to abortion, and led Massachusetts to last week passed a law — called the NASTY (Negating Archaic Statutes Targeting Young) Women Act — which will ultimately repeal the state’s 173-year-old legislation banning abortions.

Lawmakers called it “an emergency law, necessary for the immediate preservation of the general public health.”

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