If you are a woman you will learn one thing that you are supposed to be desirable. It is a strange concept to grow up with. Before young girls are taught about health, they are taught to be pretty. It begins at birth, consciously or sub-consciously. It happens as if it is meant to be. The color of the skin is seen and approved. As if it is a measure to greatness. The “Gori ladki,” is a treasure. The “Kaali ladki” might be a burden to her parents as her skin is not desirable. It is a lie that we love black. We detest it. Little girls are not taught about healthy skin. They are asked to scrub their skins with “Besan,” it makes the skin fairer. Mothers are supposed to be apologetic about their daughter’s skin. They often dismiss the dark skin as “She plays in the Sun.” So, the Sun God has taken the blame for years. I went to meet someone for lunch the other day. She asked me, “Are you tanned?” I said, “No, this is my natural color.” She used her fairness app, while she clicked a few selfies. This is the level of confidence that young girls in this country begin their journey to womanhood. We are supposed to be desirable. It begins with our skin.
If you are like 86% of the American workforce, you have a sedentary desk job that involves you sitting for a several hours a day. Add your long commute, bad eating habits and stressful all-nighters to the mix, and you could be an easy target for chronic diseases. There are three millennia of evidence from Ancient India and the Western civilizations that highlight the detrimental effects of physical inactivity. The Ayurvedic texts written by Susruta from 600 BC state that inactivity can lead to accumulation of bad energy in the body that can result in diseases. A quote from Hippocrates rings true - “If we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not too much, we would have found the safest way to health”. Bringing together the wealth of knowledge from the past with scientific knowledge of the present can help us make informed decisions about our health.
Clothing: We all know how hard it is to find a...
Urinary Tract Infections or UTIs are infections that occur when bacteria from outside enter the urinary tract. UTIs are more common among women than men, since bacteria can reach the urinary tract more easily in women because the vagina, rectal area and urethra are close. UTIs are not limited to the bladder as most people may believe; it can occur in any part of the urinary tract, i.e., the kidneys, ureters, and the urethra.
Girls experience a number of changes in their body when they hit puberty, of which, the changes in the breasts may be of most concern. It is important for an adolescent to understand what changes their breasts are undergoing and how to identify them correctly. Some of the changes in the breasts are also related to the menstrual cycle, contraceptive pills or other hormonal forms of contraception. Most of the breast conditions are usually not that harmful or non - cancerous, however it is essential for teenagers to be aware of proper breast health in order to able to detect any problems.
Deaths of women caused by unsanitary and unsafe...
A healthy vagina has many beneficial bacteria. Yeast is a fungus that lives in the vagina in very small numbers. However, when it grows in large quantities it means that you are suffering from vaginal yeast infections. They are a common infection and usually not serious. However, they can bother you a lot. What is the cause of yeast infection in vagina? The most common bacteria present in our vagina is Lactobacillus acidophilus that helps keep other organisms like yeast in control. However, the growth of yeast called Candida albicans causes yeast infection in the inner part of the vagina, and is a threat to our hygiene and safety. This happens when due to some reason the balance of these organisms’ changes. It can be because of intake of antibiotics, pregnancy resulting in high estrogen levels or hormonal therapy, or health problems like diabetes, HIV infection, etc.
Every month, a woman has periods on an average for 5 days, it can be less or more, as it varies from person to person. However, what is common in all of us is that at some point or another we all have faced those rashes on the bikini line, itchiness and foul smell due to sanitary napkins and tampons. We try our best to stay clean and fresh, we use different products so that the pad doesn’t irritate our skin, even change it as often as we can. Yet we face the same problems! Do you know why? It’s because most of the pads and tampons are made of bleached rayon, cotton and plastics. Moreover, these products usually leave behind fibers that can lead to many bladder and vaginal infections. Further, it has also been discovered that tampons tend to absorb even the natural fluids and friendly bacteria that help in cleansing the vagina.
Cancer occurs when our body cells are not in control and they start growing in large numbers. Cancer can start in nearly any part of the body and can spread into different parts within a matter of months, leading to disastrous consequences. Cervical cancer is a type of cancer that arises from the cervix and has the tendency to spread to different genital organs. Cervix is the lower part of the uterus that opens in the vagina. Most cervical cancer is due a virus called human papillomavirus (HPV), which also causes genital warts.
We all know the vagina is a self-cleansing organ. The cervix that is located in our vagina is a gland that produces mucous. This mucous-like fluid flows down the vaginal canal opening and helps in flushing out the vaginal skin cells which are dead or exfoliated. Vaginal discharge is this sticky liquid discharge from the vagina which is mostly the mixture of mucous, dead skin, and bacteria. This also provides a home for healthy bacteria lactobacillus, which prevents the growth of bad bacteria and yeast, by producing hydrogen peroxide keeping the vagina acidic. Normal vaginal discharge is a healthy bodily function, and it’s your body’s way of cleaning and protecting the vagina. It’s normal for discharge to increase with exercise, sexual arousal, ovulation, birth control pill use, and emotional stress.
We all understand that the vagina is one of the most vital, as well as sensitive, parts of a woman’s body. But what most of us are unaware of, is the fact that our vagina is a self-cleansing organ. A healthy vagina is acidic in nature and naturally cleans itself as it contains rich quantities of beneficial bacteria, and we do not need to use all those products available in the market to keep it clean and hygienic. Any interference often causes imbalance in the normal condition(s), which can lead to irritation or infection in our vagina; these however are not harmful in the long run.
Travelling is one thing every other person craves for, irrespective of the fact if we talk about a man or a woman. In a patriarchal society, it is far easier for a man to travel on his own, rather than a woman. An additional problem for women at times is that they have to manage another totally normal phenomenon, which they experience in their daily routine: the menstruation cycle. Planning a trip and simultaneously dealing with the menstruation cycle can be stressful for women. The menstruation cycle could be taken care of by many means available these days, including birth control pills, tampons, or IUD implant.
Lubricants are gel-like substances that are used during sexual intercourse or masturbation to reduce friction. When a woman is aroused, the first thing that happens is that she becomes ‘wet.’ This ‘wetness’ is a natural lubricant. However, the amount produced each time can vary according to certain factors like the woman’s menstrual time, age, stress levels, etc. But it isn’t necessary that we only use lubricants to overcome the dryness in the vagina. They can also be used to make sex and masturbation easier and enjoyable. It is known that lubricants increase the pleasure during sexual intercourse.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases or STDs are the infections which spread from person-to-person through sexual contact. This is one of those diseases which are metaphorically swept under the carpet, as it is taboo in our society to talk about sex. As sex or even talking about it is not encouraged, how can one talk about the diseases or infections spread through intercourse, especially in the case of women. Many people don’t even realize that they probably have an STD.
The maternity period is a period of mixed emotions, you cherish the coming motherhood stage and at the same time, you are going through so many emotional as well as physical changes that it becomes difficult for you to work. This emotional conflict plays an adverse impact on working women, who have a hard time coping with the stresses of professional life. Because of the high premiums our society places on motherhood, returning to work for some women can become difficult after maternity.
Let us accept the fact that sex is more than just the ability to procreate. It can also be a sheer means of pleasure or a means of connecting to your partner. However, sex is a subject that is largely only whispered reluctantly, left under wraps and never properly spoken about— even at the cost of health and safety. Sex is a mystery for most of the teenagers as they do not have any elder who is ready to come forward and shed some light on the subject of the body. Sex education is not a part of school curricula for the same reasons – a confusing mixture of embarrassment and awkwardness is evoked. This automatically means most of our knowledge about sex comes from unreliable sources like our friends, the Internet, some hideous magazine, porn etc.
For most women, the toughest part of their pregnancy is the first few months where you have to experience morning sickness. Morning sickness is a term used to describe the nausea and vomiting experienced by many women during pregnancy. The term is a misnomer as this doesn’t just happen in the morning but can happen during any time in the day. However, it varies from individual to individual. Usually, the first bouts of morning sickness develop after the first month of pregnancy i.e. when you miss your menstrual cycle and realize you are pregnant. Your hormonal levels rise during this period.
Menstrual cups are considered to be the best eco-friendly alternative to pads and tampons. Menstrual cups are small, flexible bell-shaped cups made of silicone or latex rubber. Unlike pads or tampons, menstrual cups do not absorb the blood, rather they collect the blood. These cups are reusable and can be made to last up to 10 years or at least for 5 years. Whereas some brands recommend changing the models within a year, others recommend replacement between 5-10 years.
Menopause also called climacteric, is a stage when a women’s menstrual cycle stops. It is considered to officially occur when a woman misses her 12 consecutive menstrual cycles or periods, and usually takes place between 48-55 years of age. Reaching this age can be quite stressful for a lot of women, as hormonal imbalances are common and affect a woman’s physical as well as mental health. This period in a woman’s life is often marked by emotional instability in many cases. Because of the stigma that pervades women’s health, the emotional ramifications of menopause are also barely understood by families, and women are conditioned to not talk about it. This further worsens the state of isolation, anxiety and even depression in some cases.
Tampons, like sanitary napkins, are feminine hygiene products used to absorb the menstrual blood which gets discharged from a woman’s body every month. It is a small, cylindrical substance made of complex substances such as rayon and cotton, pressed together so that it can be easily inserted in your vaginal opening. Due to the physical ease felt whilst using a tampon during periods, some women prefer them over sanitary napkins. Like pads, they too come in different sizes and levels of absorbing.