Hard-hitting photographs by lensman Niraj Gera on menstrual hygiene and the associated social stigma are on view at the Lalit Kala Akademi here.
Gera, who had previously done a photographic series called “Sacred Transformations” on acid attack survivors, is now exhibiting another 35-photo series ‘Sacred Stains’ that touches upon various aspects of menstruation.
The photographs showcase the sorrows, problems,and joys related to periods and are a voice of women who lack privacy, safety and dignity they deserve during their periods.
Highlights of the exhibition include photographs showing unsafe methods of absorbing menstrual blood — ash, sawdust, leaves and even sand, and how women juggle an often painful biological process along with battling shame around blood stains and buying sanitary products.
Within a 28-day cycle our complexion can change drastically; from crystal clear one minute, to pimples the next, super dry and flaky to oily and unpleasantly shiny. Whether you are a pimple popper or a diligent skincare devotee, we just cant win against the spots and zits that Aunt Flo brings in.
There are a whole host of reasons why we suddenly breakout, but the main culprit is hormonal changes, especially throughout a woman’s menstrual cycle, say experts.
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To understand the cause and amp up your arsenal to fight the zits, here are the stages of a menstrual cycle and changes our body goes through:
Stage 1: The Menstrual Phase (Day 1 to 5)
The first phase starts with day one of your period, and it tends to be the peak time of the month when we are most vulnerable to breakouts. During this time, our bodies start to produce excess oestrogen, which triggers the production of oil and sebum, and causes skin the main aggregators to spots. Try to battle the sluggishness of the body that accompanies during such time and take care of skin by gently exfoliating and cleansing the face, especially the T-zone, which is often the main problem area as it is the most oily, as well as our chin, and around the nose too.
Stage 2: The Follicular Phase (Day 5 to 15)
The midpoint in a woman’s cycle is when we notice our skin has become dry and flaky, in comparison to the week before, which left us feeling like a grease ball, all because our oestrogen levels have dropped.
During these 10 days our skin, and body, is crying out for some extra TLC. Say yes to hydration for repairing the skin’s barrier after a week of going through the volatility of hormones in the first phase.
Hydrating masks, deeply nourishing moisturisers, vitamin sprays, and simply drinking all the H20 will work wonders on the skin and help to achieve the desired glow.
Stage 3: Luteal Phase (Day 15 to 28)
In the last leg of your cycle, and the prime time to show off your radiant skin in all the selfies your camera roll can handle.
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During these two-weeks ahead of your next period your blood circulation will increase, thanks to oestrogen, which instantly leaves us looking fresh faced with a bit more colour in our cheeks. Although oestrogen will start to rise again it is not to the point where our face becomes too oily.
Our skin in this fortnight will easily absorb ingredients, which is why we still need to be mindful of what we put on our skin, and in our bodies too.
So, while you are tailoring your beauty routine, be a 10-step Korean-inspired regime or a simple CTM, try making changes keeping in mind the monthly cycle to retain the glow throughout the year. (IANS)
From January next year, sanitary pad manufacturers will have to mandatorily provide packets for disposal of each pad, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar announced on Sunday.
Speaking here, Javadekar said that it has been observed that production and usage of sanitary napkins and diapers has greatly increased in the country, but, they are still being discarded in a way which is harmful to waste-pickers.
“We will implement the rule that January 2021 onwards all sanitary pad manufacturers will have to compulsorily give degradable bags for disposal of each sanitary napkin. This rule is already in existence but is not being followed by the manufacturers,” he said.
He also announced that all habitations with more than 3,000 population will have to make provision for waste management.
“We should address the waste pickers as ‘Swachhta Sevika’ from this International Women’s day as they are doing a great service to the nation”, the Minister said while interacting with female workers of SWaCH Pune, a wholly-owned workers’ cooperative.
He emphasized on the decentralised model wherein garbage by educational institutes and housing societies should be disposed at the premises itself.
“There is a rule for compulsory picking of garbage and disposal for municipal towns… this rule will be made compulsory for all the habitations with more than 3000 population,” he added.
“I celebrate my Diwali with waste-pickers to understand their work and problems, we all city dwellers want garbage shed for us, but not too close from our home. This mindset should change. I have decided to give funds from Member of Parliament Local Area Development Fund for construction of 50 big and 50 small garbage sheds which are designed by SWaCH,” he said. (IANS)
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.
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.
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.
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)