There are numerous sounds coming from outside of the house as our plumber deals with the emergency situation in the SL household. A rush to the bathroom in the early hours of the morning alerted me to the fact that we had little to no water coming out of any of our faucets. A quick examination later, there was a puddle of water gushing from our front yard and a very concerned neighbor was knocking on our door. It was cold, I was wearing my unflattering abaya, and it was not the relaxing morning they all tell you about. Alhumdulillah we were able to tackle the problem and our smiling plumber brought much joy than I ever thought was possible. Our water is going to turned off and on again by the city as we speak. These few morning hours with no running water (including in the toilet! I will leave you with that image…) allowed me to be grateful for the little things we take for granted every day.
In this blog post, however, I am giving you a tool for a different kind of “flow” altogether. Yes, I went there. Female reproductive cycle has been considered a taboo subject in our community for far too long. Our young sisters are either learning about their bodies in a traumatic way – finding yourself bleeding from anywhere is scary regardless of what gender you are – or are learning it from less-than-dignified ways. Song lyrics to articles scattered throughout our feeds or, possibly the worst of all, fellow peers, are some of the ways they are learning about the ins and outs of a female body. It is imperative that we not only teach them what they need to know but also empower them with tools to take control of their bodies. All of which should be done while maintaining the honor and dignity that Allah (swt) has inherently given to every woman. Our religion has instructed us to not only share knowledge but to share it with grace and Prophetic etiquettes.
Information about reproductive cycle is different from sexual information, especially so for females. As women, most of us have a monthly visitor that is not a friendly reminder of being a woman and it can be painful for many. It is more important than ever to learn to listen to our bodies, hone into the messages it is giving us, and the help ourselves as soon as we notice something is wrong. The more quickly we manage to catch the abnormality, the diagnosis and treatment would be that much easier to administer.
You all know how much I love to plan for things. This habit of tracking my periods, however, came out of necessity. It is also a habit that I wished I had developed earlier. My periods have always been abnormal and I have had lots of personal issues with everything down there. It was after a visit to my current gynecologists that I realized I knew nothing about my own menstruation cycle. How many days were my cycle? Am I ovulating? Do I have normal periods? Are they too heavy? My doctor visits were littered with questions I did not have any answers to as I had never paid attention to what my body was doing. As my body began to grapple with the coming health issues, my periods became more and more different.
If I had been tracking my periods, however, not only would I have known what was normal for my body, but I would have also been equipped to notice the subtle changes and report them to my doctor. I can now never know if this would have helped my doctors in my diagnosis but I can direct you, my fellow sisters, to embark on the journey of self care through empowerment with the knowing of YOU.
My gynecologist handed me a printout which was less than pleasing. You know my love for pretty things! That piece of paper was bland and uninspiring. With that in mind, I have created a download for you with a Sunnah Living touch.
How to Use the Period Tracker
- Record the beginning and end of your period. Mark an “x” to indicate a normal flow (what is normal for you) under each corresponding month and date.
- Track any abnormalities. If the period is heavier than your normal, then fill in the square entirely. If there is spotting, then write in an “s” to indicate such for future reference.
- Lastly, write down anything different in the “Notes” section. If there is a lot of pain, if you notice any extra discharge or anything that you think will be helpful for you to recall and share with your doctor.
All of this is also noted on the bottom of the PDF file so that you can have it on hand at all times. My personal recommendation is to keep it pinned on your bathroom wall with a pen nearby and jot it down as soon as you can. Easy access means that you are going to have a higher chance of success in sticking to this habit.
That is all from me today! I am going to celebrate having water in our house and head to the bathroom to pin my tracker. Our bathroom is too dark to keep live plants so I am going to enjoy a splash of green even it is coming from a piece of paper.
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