Flow Freely
Perfecta Osawaru MD

All over the world, there are different research outcomes and statistics on period poverty (which

refers to a lack of access to menstrual products, sanitation facilities and adequate education),

and this widespread issue affects an estimated 500 million females worldwide.

Those experiencing period poverty may have mental health challenges and physical health

risks. Also, because they live in communities where menstruation is seen as a taboo, they

would have inadequate menstrual knowledge, resulting in a wrong approach to the


Before I dive into the number of problems this topic on menstruation has posed, let me say this:

I know we were all psyched about reproductive health when we were taught in school. However,

while our biology teachers did their best in nearly scratching the surface of the topic of

reproduction, you would agree with me that we were not taught in detail about menstruation and

all that it entails.

Now, do you know that out of over 7.9 billion people on earth, roughly 26% of that global

population includes women of reproductive age, and menstruation is still being stigmatized.

Just like the statistics cited—which is one of the reasons myriads of females are not well

educated on the subject matter—some other beliefs about menstrual blood being unclean and

how it is regarded as a forbidden matter in many countries of the world contribute greatly to why

the topic of menstruation is often swept under the carpet.

If you are wondering why, you should give time and attention to the understanding of what

menstruation is about, I will tell you in a moment. Before then, ponder on this scenario for a

couple of seconds: If you knew you would have to compulsorily spend about 10 years of your

life in an environment that might determine how well your life turns out at the end of the day, you

would most likely agree with me that the wise thing to do would be for you to know about the

culture of that place, the policies that make things go smoothly, how their healthcare system

works, the way their legal framework is structured and everything else that will affect your total


By now, you must have started thinking about other things you must also pay critical attention

to in such a situation because 10 years is a great deal of time, right? Well, that is about the

number of years a woman spends on her periods. Yes, you read that right—statistics show that

the average woman would have about 450 periods in her lifetime.

As if 10 years of one’s life is not enough, imagine spending a huge percentage of that time

nursing pain and not being productive. Allow me to say, “Wahala for who no sabi dis period thing

o!” Which literally translates to “Trouble for one who doesn’t understand this period thing.” Now

that you have an idea of the importance of understanding menstruation, let me tell you a little bit

about my period struggles.

My Menstruation Story

Speaking from experience, compared to anyone else I’ve come across, I had the worst

menstrual cramp ever. This is not to play down your kind of pain. However, it was one of those

pains I could have never gotten used to. I doubt anyone would like to live with such a monthly

ordeal for several years of their lives. For me, menstruation was associated with excruciating

pain and agony. Then, the vomiting, diarrhea (frequent and watery bowel movements) and

uncomfortable increase in temperature were also a constant.

You know that aren’t-you-exaggerating-this-pain kind of look people give, whereby they just

want to simply ask, “Is it that serious?” I have been there, and you might possibly know

someone who experiences such as well.

I sometimes got injected with whatever it was that I was injected with in order to ease my

menstrual pain. This kept me on a steady lookout for a way to ease my pain, and I got several

kinds of recommendations and suggestions ranging from ridiculous to shocking.

One of such “solutions” was the consumption of alcohol around the time of my period. I never

went that route but I know quite a number of ladies have turned to alcohol because it was the

promised savior that was prescribed to them.

Nevertheless, it might interest you to know that alcohol causes dehydration, hence it ends up

worsening the situation by making the pain more severe since the blood can’t flow that freely

anymore. Some might claim that this works, but that could be a result of the Placebo Effect.

If you are one of those women who merely experiences mild discomfort during their periods, or

maybe you’re a curious man reading this, at this point you might wonder, “What is the essence

of this story?” This story is about dysmenorrhea, well-known as menstrual pain. It is a story that

will help you understand how gruesome the issue of that time of the month might be for some of

your colleagues or friends, and how you might be able to empathize with them.

It is a story that is meant to plant the seed of menstrual health advocacy in you, with the hope

that you would bridge the knowledge gap in your own little way.

Dysmenorrhea has affected, and it keeps affecting, many girls and women all over the world

despite the fact that it has solutions and preventive measures. Yet too many women—educated

and uneducated alike—have no idea as to how to end the misery that pays them monthly visits.

Just like so many avoidable health issues affecting humans generally, lack of proper education

on such matters and misapplied information have led to the endurance of needless pains, loss

of productive time and questioning of one’s self-worth amongst other negative effects.

And if you are a man reading this, you probably have a sister, girlfriend, fiancée or wife who has

complained about menstrual pain. You might have even witnessed times when one of these

people were literally writhing in pain. It can be frustrating to see someone you deeply care about

go through agonizing moments when the best you can do is to say “sorry” endlessly.

That is if you can stand the ordeal in the first place. You probably keep pondering, “What can I

do? How can I help to get her off this excruciating pain, and not just watch her wallow in

them? Or can’t we even end the whole menstruation process altogether?” The answers you

seek are right ahead; the simplicity of some of them will amaze you.

Finding Help

Apart from my menstruation struggles, I always had to deal with some sort of pain at different

stages of my life. Growing up, I fell ill repeatedly, and I got used to the medications. It seemed as

though it would never end. Coupled with the monthly ordeal that was now in the equation, I got

curious about the possibility of living sickness-free for several years in a row, without having to

worry about the next form of pain I would encounter.

This got me started on the search for how to get better results and obtain optimal health

because I was tired of the temporal reliefs, and this birthed my journey into learning about how

to unlock health right within my body system instead of constantly relying on medications to give

me short-lived ease.

It was from my constant search that I discovered how what I eat, what I do and other overlooked

factors could affect my overall well-being. As I began to put my findings to use, I became more

wholesome. My discoveries made it look like I had discovered the missing link.

Most people live like I did, and they are constantly exhausted with issues surrounding their

health and vitality. Some have even subconsciously resigned to fate. They have accepted to

manage pain their whole life. But this is definitely not the way anyone would want to live their


As it is, life itself comes with its own troubles, dealing with constant health challenges should not

be gift-wrapped as a part of that experience. That is why I have written this book with the intent

of letting you know that it is possible to live without many of the health challenges women must

normalized and to show you how to unlock that possibility yourself.

The journey to a painless life begins with a deliberate act toward health. It was that

deliberateness that helped me in my journey such that, beyond my menstrual health, I achieved

better results in other areas of my health that I have had issues with. Seeing how pleasant my

life became in turn; I was eager to help replicate my triumphs in other people’s lives but without

going to the trial-and-error route.

My quest made me study more and got professionally certified in core areas of holistic healing.

We all have heard time and time again that “there’s purpose in your pain. “That saying is so true

of my mission: to help you journey through a pain-free life because I know what both sides of

the coin feels like, and I now know how to permanently stay on the vitality side.

Now, what do I mean by “a deliberate act toward health”? When people hear “healthy,” they

come with the mindset of “Oh! You want me to stop eating this or doing that, and I can’t. The

taste is so satisfying; I just can’t do without it.” Alvin Toffler once said, “…we unlearn to relearn.”

Firstly, I would address the mindset here. There is a need to come off the idea that being

healthy means depriving yourself of the nicest things.

Because sometimes some of these “appealing foods” are detrimental to your health, and people

always go for them because they are readily available

Written By: Perfecta Osawaru