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Celebrate Menstruation as Basic Requirement, Says Hindu Scholar

Thousands of years of foreign dominance had distorted our thinking on this issue of vital importance

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Menstruation, diabetes
Earlier onset of menses (14 y) was associated with diabetes in later life, likely driven by adult BMI (body mass index). Pixabay

Hindu scholar and author Nithin Sridhar says menstruation should not be considered shameful but should be celebrated as a basic requirement of womanhood, as an integral dimension of feminineness.

Talking to IANS, Sridhar, author of “Menstruation Across Cultures-A Historical Perspective,” said thousands of years of foreign dominance had distorted our thinking on this issue of vital importance. Most Hindu communities celebrate menarche as the beginning of womanhood and not an event filled with shame.

Sridhar was in the Taj city to interact with women’s groups and offer his perspective on this crucial subject.

Sridhar offered an interesting journey across civilizations and religions delving into a difficult topic. “My book book has come at a correct time too when the Sabarimala issue is dominating our news with misinformed and confused debates all around.”

Menstruation, Hindu Scholar
Menstruation should not be considered shameful but should be celebrated. Flickr

He compared the different attitudes to menarche, menstruation, pregnancy and womanhood in different religions and countries.

“Of course the focus is mainly on the Hindu or Sanatana Dharma attitudes but the subject should surely be of great interest to all of us concerned with social, cultural and political issues,” he added.

“In my book, there are detailed reviews of menstruation notions prevalent in India and in cultures across the world. The world cultures covered in the book include Indic traditions like Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism; ancient civilisations like Greece, Rome, Mesopotamia and Egypt; and Abrahamic religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam,” Sridhar said.

Two themes of special focus in the book are: Impurity and Sacrality. While they are often understood as being opposed to each other, the book examines how they are treated as two sides of the same coin when it comes to menstruation. This is especially true in Indic traditions and pre-Christian polytheistic traditions like Greco-Roman, Mesopotamian and Egyptian. Impurity and Sacrality complement each other to form a comprehensive worldview in these cultures.”

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“I have also examined how the understanding of impurity in Abrahamic religions differs from those of polytheistic cultures. As part of the examination of the sacrality attached to menstruation, a special focus has also been given to the deities of menstruation in polytheistic cultures and to what Ayurveda and Yoga say about this essential function in a woman’s physiology.”

Sridhar is a civil engineer by education who gave up his profession for the cause of Hinduism. He is the editor of IndiaFacts, a popular online magazine for sustaining Sanatana Dharma. He has previously authored a book, “Musings on Hinduisma”, a primer for students of all ages wanting to know more about Hinduism. (IANS)

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Premenopause Can Cause Sexual Dysfunction in Most Women

A study examined sexual functioning in women aged 40 to 55 years and identified a link between vaginal dryness and worse sexual function

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Sexual Dysfunction
Given the high prevalence of Sexual Dysfunction in women, identifying an eminently treatable contributing factor such as vaginal dryness may allow women to maintain their sexual function during the menopause transition. Pixabay

Sexual dysfunction increases by nearly 30 per cent during perimenopause and vaginal dryness most often has the greatest effect on desire, arousal and overall satisfaction, reveals a new study.

For some women, sex becomes less satisfying with age, with a pronounced decline during perimenopause. Women start perimenopause at different ages.

There are many factors that can negatively affect sexual function, including mental and emotional status, ageing, chronic medical problems and menopause status.

Decreasing estrogen levels during the menopause transition cause a variety of biological changes in a woman’s body, leading to vaginal atrophy, the thinning, drying and inflammation of the vaginal walls.

This study examined sexual functioning in women aged 40 to 55 years and identified a link between vaginal dryness and worse sexual function.

“Given the high prevalence of sexual dysfunction in women, identifying an eminently treatable contributing factor such as vaginal dryness may allow women to maintain their sexual function during the menopause transition,” said Dr Stephanie Faubion, medical director with the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) in a paper published in the journal Menopause.

Sexual Dysfunction
Sexual Dysfunction increases by nearly 30 per cent during perimenopause and vaginal dryness most often has the greatest effect on desire, arousal and overall satisfaction, Here are some Symptoms. Wikimedia Commons

Although previous studies have documented the effect of vaginal atrophy on menopausal women, this new study is one of only a few to assess effect during perimenopause, a transitional time before menopause when the ovaries gradually begin to make less estrogen.

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Largely as a result of vaginal dryness, researchers noted that sexual satisfaction scores decreased while sexual dysfunction increased by about 30 per cent during the perimenopause years. (IANS)