During school visits in West-Pokot, Kenya, we shared our first menses experience and asked young girls to do the same. At first nobody had the courage to stand up, but after a few minutes a young girl named Joy raised her hand and told her story:
The first time I experienced my menses was in class. I felt something warm between my legs, but was not sure what it was so I didn’t bother. The teacher asked us a question and I stood up to answer it. One of the girls behind me tapped me on the shoulder and whispered, “You have a rubberstamp.” I was so confused and did not know what to do. She told me to wrap a sweater around my waist – so I did. To hide my rubberstamp, I walked with a sweater around my waist for the next few days, whether at home or in public. I did not know what else to do.
My grandma, who raised me, was watching me and on the third day she asked,
“Girl why are you walking like this all the time?”
“It’s nothing granny.”
“But you can tell me. Is it what I think it is?”
So finally I told my grandmother about my menses and she taught me how to use pieces of cloths and wash them afterwards. Although better than my first menses experience, I still felt uncomfortable because at times I leaked.
Having faced all those challenges, I’m now so grateful for I-Care pads, as they look nice and feel very soft. Best of all, I don’t feel embarrassed anymore.
Join the conversation on Twitter all month long using #MenstruationMatters.
Share your ideas about menstruation in the #PeriodTalk Twitter chat on Tuesday, May 20th at 10amET.
Cover image c/o I-Care International