One of the things that are almost taboo, a source of shame and a fountain of wonder will always be menstrual issues, especially in Africa.
Women talk about so many things about their bodies or sexuality; from visiting the bush, to bedroom antics, but somehow no one will comfortably speak boldly about menstruation.
Yet it’s something that we go through monthly like an uncalled ritual and probably in a woman’s life time from the time she excitedly sees the first drop till she sees the last in menopause, it’s almost the one constant thing you know you will have if not pregnant or lactating.
Because of the myth around it, one might use some sanitary towel and think maybe that’s how sanitary towels are supposed to be.
Month in and out, I thought getting irritation of the skin, a burning sensation in my thighs and bottoms was part of the deal , an emblem of femininity and just like the cramps that cradled my belly like a woman mingling her favorite meal, I thought this was part of the feminine curse.
We never talk about these things. I bore the pain monthly.
Not until I began using a particular kind of pads called Human Cherish pads. They were introduced to me by my brother that lives and works in Arusha because his female colleagues used to talk about them all the time. Because Uganda didn’t have them, they later decided to import them and slowly by slowly they are being experienced by Ugandan women.
The first thing that amazes them is the cooling effect they elude. The pads have some mint in them and mint having been known in Greek mythology as the herb of hospitality, one of its first known uses in Europe was as a room deodorizer. The herb was strewn across floors to cover the smell of the hard-packed soil. Stepping on the mint helped to spread its scent through the room. This effect makes one have a whole time of freshness.
The mint also acts as a form of neutralizer for the blood scent as it absorbs it. One may wonder if it may have a negative effect but it’s made in such a way that it is PH balanced.
Clare, a journalist used the pads and was glad that finally she could get a break from the burning sensation she always got from other sanitary towels. “I must say these pads are the best. I haven’t been burnt any single bit, yet previously I would wait for the days to get done.”
Somehow as human beings, we always get comfortable with what we know. We want to stay in that comfort zone. I know that is why most times a lady may not try something new or probably it is fear of the known.
Or indeed it’s just human nature. But one thing that comes into my mind every time I use these pads, compared to the decades I have used the rest is the statement, “Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore” .by Andre Gide.