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  • Writer's picture Samantha Hadadi

4 Things All Girls Should Be Taught At School

By Samantha Hadadi, a women's health and hormone expert/womb witch.

From PMS to heavy and painful periods, bloating, acne and more, most women have a story to tell and a pain to share about their menstrual cycles. Yet, is it any wonder that so many women and girls struggle when we are taught so little about our beautiful bodies? 

For most of us, we received just the bare bones of sex education. At school, we saw simple diagrams of our inner anatomy, were told we’d get periods and - above all else - lectured on how to avoid pregnancy. Despite our cycling years forming a huge chunk of our lives, women are rarely given information about our periods. Our education system teaches us very little about the intricacies of our beautiful bodies and hormones.

The more I turn it over, the more I rage about what we are (and, more importantly, aren’t) taught in schools. After all, how might things be different if we were taught more? How much less pain may we feel? How much more may we understand? And how much more would we be empowered?

I trained in women's health and hormones after a traumatic, and emotionally/financially abusive marriage left me with PTSD and put my hormones in free fall. I am women's health speaker, coach and writer- a womb witch but, I also trained in womb healing and I am currently immersed in a 13-month apprenticeship to become a womb priestess.

I wish that the education our girls and young women received could be more empowering. I wish that, from a young age, girls were taught about their cycles and bodies so that they could start to see the magic and wonder they hold. And I wish that they were taught that PMS, painful periods, heavy bleeding and severe mood swings are not normal - and that they deserve better.

So, with that in mind, here are just a few of the things I believe our education system should be teaching our young girls:

1. The Pill does NOT fix your hormones

Many women carry stories of how they were put on the pill from a young age, under the guise that it would fix their periods and heal their hormones. Yet, this is sadly not true.

While there is never a “one size fits all” answer when it comes to our bodies (for example, the pill can enable women with certain conditions, such as debilitating Endometriosis and PCOS to live pain-free), we deserve to be given the full picture.

The truth is, the pill cannot (and will never) fix our hormones. For starters, the pill is merely a plaster - it covers the symptoms, rather than treats the root cause of any underlying issues. It’s also worth knowing that pill bleeds are artificial - they aren’t true periods.

What’s more, suppressing ovulation can cause myriad health issues. The pill may also impact our HPA axis (which is crucial in how we process stress), affect who we are attracted to, cause gut issues, nutrient deficiencies and affect testosterone levels and libido.

The pill is not a miracle cure, and we deserve to be given the full picture - and taught about viable alternatives for contraception.

2. Your period is your fifth vital sign

For many years, women were dismissed when they complained of period pain or heavy periods. Yet, slowly but surely, times are starting to change.

Our periods are now recognised by many health professionals as the “Fifth Vital Sign” - a crucial reflection of our health and wellness. In other words, our periods are like a monthly report card. When they are heavy and painful, we need to be taken seriously and heard.

It’s also important that young girls are supported with knowledge about their cycles. For example, did you know that your period blood can tell you a lot about the health of your cycle? Period blood should be bright, cranberry red. If your blood is deep purple in colour (often accompanied by large clots), it could suggest you have low progesterone, or oestrogen dominance. If your blood is pale pink, it could suggest low oestrogen.

There’s a lot of wisdom to be found in our cycle…

3. Periods should not be taboo

How many of us have been made to feel that our periods and even our bodies are dirty, shameful or something to suppress and hide?

Yet, our menstrual cycles are actually sacred. In many cultures around the world, Menarche (a girl’s first bleed) is celebrated. It’s recognised as a powerful, spiritual time - and a girl’s first period will be celebrated with festivals, rituals, gifts and deep joy. Our wombs were also worshipped in many ancient cultures, and were seen as the original Holy Grail.

Even our period blood comes with amazing qualities. Our blood is rich in healing stem cells (in fact, many scientists around the world are now studying it to see how it can be used in medicine), and it is also anti-fungal and anti-bacterial.

4. Our bodies ebb and flow

Women don’t run to the same rhythms as men. Due to the ebb and flow of our hormones, we aren’t the same week-to-week, or even day-to-day.

Much like the tides, the seasons and the moon, women are ever changing and they have what is known as an Infradian Rhythm. While this differs for most women, this cycle often runs over 28 days and sees our hormones shift and change throughout this time.

For example, our hormones are at a low point when we bleed, and they peak around ovulation. Rather than fighting these natural shifts and living as mini men, we should be encouraged to embrace them - resting when our hormones are low when we bleed, and socialising and pushing ourselves when are hormones allow us to be more energetic.

Life gets much easier when we stop fighting the current and allow ourselves to soften into the flow.

Follow @the_hormone_goddess on Instagram for more!

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