As you may know already, we had a stimulating workshop last semester on ‘Sustainable Menstruation and Female Autonomy’. This article is a quick insight to the world of female bodies, in connection to nature. A topic that that definitely needs deeper understanding by women and men alike.
Our lovely lady speakers – Gisèle Piroit and Claire Rayappa started the session with words that would resonate with most of us – ‘Taking responsibility of our own bodies becomes much easier by simply being aware of it’. Now we can apply this to the usual – drinking at parties, over tiring ourselves in sports but also it works well to understand phases of the female cycle! By observing the cervical discharge, temperature in the local cervical area and their relation with the menstrual cycle, ladies, you can get rid of those apps that inform you about your own body. Now that’s what I would call empowerment.
Self-Observation, an option for empowering yourself
The first step of self-observation is to become aware of the different types of cervical mucus released by our bodies and the change in temperature of the local cervical area. Female fertility and infertility strongly depend on the combination of these two [One can always take help from their partner to understand the difference in temperature, but going solo would definitely do you good ;)]
Interestingly, we can think of this cycle as the four seasons in nature. Picture yourself a few days after the menstrual cycle, so motivated and determined that you feel nothing is unachievable, well.. mostly. During this period the mucus is very clear and fluid. Your ovaries feel the same as your mind by the way, so a lot of jumpin’ around happening in there to find a sperm. It is spring time after all! This is followed by a period of increase in temperature of the local area, the summer time. Fertility becomes low, however the force in the ovaries and the mind remains strong. A period of introspection, inspired vision follows the summertime time when the discharge becomes creamy and white. The eggs have decided to give it a rest. No more sperm hunting! Finally, the discharge disappears and winter arrives – time for complete relaxation. The body becomes fertile again towards the end of the menstrual cycle and the story goes on…till you give the ovaries what they hunt for. This is of course a general guide to self-observation. Each has to understand their own seasons by becoming mindful on a daily basis.
Now that we understand a bit about female autonomy, the challenge in hand is to figure out the best way to stop that sperm from swimming to the hungry eggs. One of the questions raised in the session was “Is the self-observation method enough for prevention of pregnancy?” – Not at all. In fact it would help in quite the contrary! Knowing your most fertile days would increase chances of pregnancy.
There is no one answer to the best choice of contraception.
It’s a decision to be made by you and your partner in accordance to your needs and mood. There is a range of contraceptive methods available from natural ones that don’t affect our hormones to the commercially well-known pills.
To know more about what our experts had to say on natural methods of contraception and tools for self-observation, go ahead and click (french version) – goo.gl/7kXs1c
Our journey came to an end with a very informative discussion on sustainable menstrual products – cloth pads, menstrual cups and the very new Empo menstrual underwear. You can read about these here.
To know more about the female cycle, contraception and menstruation products, our experts suggest Dr E.Raith-Paula, Que se passe-t-il dans mon corps, guide à l’usage des jeunes filles, ed. Oskar Jeunesse.
We have received an overwhelming number of orders for cloth pads, cups and Empo underwear- more than 100 from Sciences Po! Your enthusiasm to invest in the health of your body and the environment has driven us to continue the project of “Sustainable Menstruation and Women Empowerment”.
*if you would like to discuss certain topic related to female autonomy please write to us at email@example.com.
Sustainable Menstruation Team, December 2017