By Atiya Hasan – Houston, TX
During my second year of medical school, I remember standing in the office of one of the most hated teachers on campus as she questioned me on a topic I had been absent for. It was a fairly simple question, yet my fear and my uncertainty over the answer made me pause and the teacher threw me a look of hate.
“You’re a woman and you can’t tell me about the phases of the menstrual cycle?” she asked.
It was only after I crumpled into a seat on the bus that I allowed myself to think about the question. I hated the teacher, just like everyone else, but she knew her subject well. For once, I let myself agree with her criticism.
How could I not know about the menstrual cycle? Why did it take until medical school for me to fully study it? Shouldn’t this information have been force fed to me as I grew up? Another example of the public school system failing me. After all, this had to with me. Me and my body.
It’s been a few years since that incident and the more I studied it, the more I realized how little women actually knew about the inner workings of our bodies. We focus so much on outer appearances, covering up flaws and exercising – the ‘how to’ – but we forget the ‘why.’ If you understand the ‘why’ you can understand which ‘how to’ is right for you.
So emerged the idea of Mahila Facts, mahila being the Hindi word for woman. This will be a continuing series of discussing topics such as the phases of the menstrual cycle (of course), hormones in the female body, types of birth control and how to choose the one right for you, etc. This series is also meant to be interactive so feel free to send questions or comments to me at [email protected] and I will address them in future lessons.