Tuesday January 21, 2020
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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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Here’s Everything you Need to Know About PCOS in Women

Ways of dealing with PCOS

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Woman PCOD PCOS
Women suffering from PCOD or PCOS may witness fluctuation in their weight. Pixabay

PCOD and PCOS is not unheard of. Three out of five women suffer from PCOS which is a lifestyle issue. Though it is not life-threatening, yet needs to be addressed right at the beginning.

Dr Vaishali Joshi, a Mumbai-based Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, says: “Not everyone who has PCOD has PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome). PCOD is a part of PCOS. We can label someone as PCOS after the maturity of the body is achieved, say after the age of 18 years or so. The problem is just the tip of the iceberg. It is only likely to grow in this generation due to lack of exercise, junk food and not healthy eating.”

Elaborating, Joshi shares the symptoms of PCOS and how it changes as women grow older:

20’s age group:

Irregular periods, weight gain, acne, pimples, excess body hair.

30’s age group:

The peak of reproductive age group. Today’s generation would prioritize their education and prefer settling in their career first. Thus, women want to family plan late. There may be an issue with conceiving, early-onset diabetes and weight gain which one needs to keep in mind.

acne Women pcod
Acne and pimples are symptoms of PCOD/PCOS in young females. Pixabay

40’s age group:

Symptoms are irregular periods, early on diabetes. There can be heavy menstrual or period problems because if someone has PCOS or irregular periods or no periods for a long time, that too can act as a precursor as cancer of the uterus or endometrial cancer. In this age group, if there is a bleeding issue, one must address PCOS or take a biopsy from the lining of the uterus to make sure that cancer is ruled out.

Menopause:

PCOS doesn’t go beyond menopause. PCOS takes place due to a hormone imbalance which is released from the ovaries. Menopause means that the ovary has stopped functioning.

The hormonal imbalance of PCOS is triggered by excess weight and hence it is imperative to stay fit and keep that scale in check.

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PCOS is one of the leading causes of subfertility, that is difficulty in achieving natural conception, as it prevents egg production or ovulation which happens every monthly menstrual cycle. Fertility treatments including IVF can help. Weight loss not only helps women to start ovulating spontaneously but also helps to give good outcome to fertility treatment. (IANS)