I remember sitting in the 5th grade at Westtown Elementary School and observing several classmates carry a purse to the restroom, but wait a minute they were going more than the class usually goes together. I definitely knew that my mom had a menstrual cycle, but were my friends having cycles too? As time progressed I remember being maybe 11 or 12 praying and asking God, “ Where is my period?”. I know we have all heard the expression watch what you pray for and in the case of MY menstrual cycle, I believe I could have waited a bit longer. Women have been subjected to having a menstrual cycle perhaps since before the early 19th century and it wasn’t considered a natural bodily function. Nevertheless, what did early women do to manage something that sometimes can be unmanageable?
Keep in mind , that due to their diet and work ethic, they probably didn’t experience some of the difficulties we experience with our menstrual cycles in today’s society or even have menstrual cycles as often. There is a saying that there is nothing new under the sun/moon and it’s definitely true because earlier women experienced hormonal changes, bled through clothing, and experienced scrutiny because of their monthly FLOW. Early women adapted and were innovative with “pads” and “tampons in order to keep playing the role of wife, mother, sister, daughter, and/or family member.
In ancient times, women were thought of as dirty creatures or witches and weren’t allowed to work in the fields, go into a temple or share a bed with her husband during their menstrual cycle. During menstruation, women were thought of as being hysterical (or maybe PMS as we know it today) and anything a woman touched would spoil, rust, or be ruined. Although a negative connotation was associated with menstruation, blood would be used for medical interventions and possessed healing properties. What a way to think about your cycle? Despite the beliefs and/or theories, early women found a way to manage during menstruation by going commando, using cloth, papyrus and following the rules of their culture amongst other things. There is no other organ quite like the uterus, If men had such an organ, they would brag about it……SO SHOULD WE ~Ina May Gaskin. What amazing beings/creations we are…we are the descendant of women that were able to adapt and overcome, what other choice do we have than to do the same? We can claim our bodies back and manage our fibroids naturally. Please stay tuned to the quality of life and type of cycle you should be expected when having a menstrual cycle.