OPEN VOICE: Students discuss menstruation challenges

A few years ago, an innocent girl who constantly complained about painful periods was wrongly advised by a boyfriend that the only way to overcome the pain was to have sex. Knowing little about the outcome of such a decision, she gave in with the hope of getting relief but instead became pregnant.

A few years ago, an innocent girl who constantly complained about painful periods was wrongly advised by a boyfriend that the only way to overcome the pain was to have sex. Knowing little about the outcome of such a decision, she gave in with the hope of getting relief but instead became pregnant.

In order to avoid such cases and raise awareness about reproductive health among the youth, Education Times has launched weekly Open discussions with students in order to expand their knowledge about reproductive health issues in education.

Recently, the Education Times team visited Group Scholaire Mata, a mixed school in Muhanga District, and female students shared with us their first menstruation experience and how they manage their periods despite having limited resources.

A few years ago, an innocent girl who constantly complained about painful periods was wrongly advised by a boyfriend that the only way to overcome the pain was to have sex. Knowing little about the outcome of such a decision, she gave in with the hope of getting relief but instead became pregnant.

In order to avoid such cases and raise awareness about reproductive health among the youth, Education Times has launched weekly Open discussions with students in order to expand their knowledge about reproductive health issues in education.

Recently, the Education Times team visited Group Scholaire Mata, a mixed school in Muhanga District, and female students shared with us their first menstruation experience and how they manage their periods despite having limited resources.

Claudine Umutoniwase

I was 14 years old in 2008 when I started bleeding. By then I was in Primary Five. My cousin had told me earlier about menstruation so I didn’t exactly get scared. She gave me pads and told me keep a distance from boys. She warned me that getting close to boys could easily result into unnecessary temptations. The challenge though is that sometimes I have to do without pads because I can’t afford them.

Aline Nyiramugisha

I was 14 years old when I started my periods. I saw the blood stains in the morning while taking a shower and sought advice from my teachers about how to go about it. My parents only got to learn about it when I was asking them for money to buy pads.

Scientifique Ishoborabyose

I was 14 years when I started bleeding during the holiday. Fortunately, my big sister had told me about it (mentsruation) so I never got scared. When I told her what had happened, she bought me pads. My mother usually buys me pads but when she has no money, I improvise with a cloth.

Emmenance Kaitesi,

I was 13 years in Primary Six when I started bleeding.  We had just studied about reproduction in class so I wasn’t surprised. However, it was a bit embarassing because it happened when I was getting a hair cut in a saloon. I was helped by a female barber.

Delphine Mukadaisenga

My first periods were painful. I saw blood spots in my pants and I got scared. My parents had told me about it although it happened when I least expected it. The experience used to make me so uncomfortable that I would even dodge school. However, teachers would send my friends to get me from home.

Seraphine Mushimiyimana

I started menstruating last year and no one had ever told me about it. In fact my mother has to this day never talked to me about it. On that first day, a teacher saw my skirt stained with blood and taught me how to deal with it. However, I can’t afford pads most times.

Christine Nyiramfashimana

I started getting periods when I was 13 years but remained calm because we had been educated about it at school and so had my mum. When my periods start, I usually feel like staying home because it makes me so uncomfortable.

Collette Uwamugira

I started menstruating when I was in Primary Six (aged 15). By that time I was 15yrs old. I started feeling a lot of back pain and felt sleepy most of the time but the pain couldn’t allow me get rest. When I saw the blood stains, I was not surprised because my friends had earlier told me about it. I was told to take hot tea and did not use pads for a while.

If you have a comment or want the Education Times Open Voice team to    visit your school, please send an email to education@newtimes.co.rw

 

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