Periods. Just when you thought you knew everything about them, there’s more! Welcome to Chapter 3 of The Red Report, where we will be discussing a host of potential health complications that come with Aunt Flo when she comes knocking at your womb door every month. 55.2% of our respondents have faced some irregularities with their periods. So, if you’ve started to feel like ACP Pradyuman during your time of month – “kuch toh gadbad hai” -, it may be time to pay a visit to the doctor. Disclaimer: In our Censex series, we made a video on Sexual Health, sexual health, where our respondents showed that when it came to theirs, Google won over gynaec. Ironically, that was one of our least-viewed videos, which means, that Indians not only don’t want to prioritise their sexual health, but they don’t even want to be reminded of it. We get it. Gynaecologists, are like relatives, at an Indian wedding – you only meet them if you really, really, have to. But, But, from PMS to PCO, and endometriosis to fibroids, there’s a bunch of reasons to see your OBGYN, ASAP. Toh Daya, misconceptions ka darwaaza todh do! Let’s break down just some of the reasons you may not be sho’, about your flow. PMS While women have known about it since the first period ever, the term was spoken about for the first, in 1913, by psychoanalyst Karen Horney. Yup, let’s take a minute. It’s been blamed for everything – women trying to make a point, women trying to stand up for themselves, melody itni chocolatey kyu hai?, why did Katappa killed Bahubali? In our survey, 63.06% women said they suffer from it, listing the top 3 symptoms as: Mood Swings – 92.21%. Cramps – 66.68%. Anxiety – 57.55%. In 2011, The International Society for Premenstrual Disorders recognised over 150 different psychological, physical, and behavioral symptoms associated with PMS. That’s right, PMS can get very real, very fast. Faster than Viral Bhayani’s camera when it hears the words Airpot Look. A rarer and more complex version of PMS is PMDD or premenstrual dysphoric disorder where you experience severe depression, anxiety, irritability, among other symptoms. It’s harder to diagnose, and can often go undetected, or be misdiagnosed as BPD, Bipolar disorder. 3 -5% of women in reproductive age experience it. PCO. The most common hormonal disorder amongst women of reproductive age. Polycystic ovaries, are found, very frequently in young women, with 1 out of 10 suffering from it globally, and in our survey, 1 out 4 women. 84.4% of our respondents knew what PCOS was and 24.9% had been diagnosed with it. PCOS is complex, and difficult to understand. That’s why we did a whole separate video on it. One of the key features, however, is an increased production of androgen or the male hormone, by the ovaries. The top 3 symptoms that our respondents used to describe PCOS are: Irregular Periods – 83.5% Acne – 73.7% Hirsutism oe Excess Hair Growth – 50.3% There are many conditions related to periods, that are less talked about, and often, women don’t even realise that they may be suffering from. These include, but are not limited to: Endometriosis: Or, when the tissue that’s normally inside of your uterus, or endometrium, grows outside your uterus. Menorrhagia: The medical term for periods with abnormally heavy or prolonged bleeding, to the point where daily activities are affected. Fibroids: Non-cancerous growths of the uterus that often appear during childbearing years, but usually go undetected, because they have no noticeable symptoms. Symptoms for all of these included extreme pain, cramps, irregularities, the works. While 95.4% of our respondents did go to a gynaecologist for these complications, many said that despite not knowing the reasons for their discomfort, they chose not to go to a doctor. Ladies, we need to get our act together. Reasons like no time, fear of being judged by family, or only visiting a gynaecologist when you really need to, all of which are answers we received in our survey, just won’t cut it any longer. Period irregularities could be caused by stress, lifestyle changes or even something more serious. So, here’s a handy checklist for when you visit the gynaec at least once a year: Pelvis Presley: Get a pelvic exam. Pap-arazzi: Pap smear! Period Party: Spill the tea on your period – How long? How much? Anything wrong or weird? Talking it out could avoid misinformation and late diagnoses.- So remember, there’s no detail too small, when it comes to your uterine wall! I don’t know if we’ve made it clear in this video, but Gynaec hai jahaan, tandurusti hai wahaa! So go to one! If nothing else, you might realise that those feelings you’re having – pain, Pain, and Pain! are treatable. And you’re not alone! Hum tumhaare saath hai! Women can, and should ask for help. and unless it’s from a qualified medical professional that you trust, don’t listen to anyone’s advice on how you feel about your period. Our next chapter of the Red Report will tell you how privilege plays a huge part in menstruation, giving rise to period poverty. Just FYI this is a five-part series, so keep coming back and don’t forget to like share and subscribe to Vitamin Stree!