Home Health,Women Rights Dispelling Myths: The Link Between Menstruation and Infertility

Dispelling Myths: The Link Between Menstruation and Infertility

In a story from Peshawar, a remarkable journey challenges long-held beliefs about menstruation and infertility, shedding light on the complex relationship between these two aspects of a woman's life.
by TNN Editor - 09 Sep, 2023 1573

Naheed Jehangir

In a poignant narrative from the Gor Gathri area of Peshawar, a 70-year-old woman, affectionately known as Pari, shares her life journey marked by societal prejudices and eventual triumph.

Pari's story begins in her childhood when she was engaged to her cousin. However, as she reached adolescence, she encountered a unique twist of fate—she never experienced menstruation nor conformed to conventional feminine beauty standards. This divergence from the norm led to her engagement being abruptly terminated, a decision rationalized by her uncle's family.

Their justification hinged on her inability to bear children, as they aspired for progeny from their son. In their eyes, Pari was perceived as no different from a man. In an era where discussing such conditions was deemed taboo, seeking treatment was a distant prospect. Time passed, and within a year or two, Pari's life took a different turn as she found a new relationship and entered matrimony.

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Remarkably, despite her earlier predicament, Pari was blessed with two healthy sons and four daughters over the course of her marriage. This transformative journey stands as a testament to the resilience and strength of a woman who defied societal expectations.

Debunking Myths: Breast Size, Menstruation, and Motherhood

Pediatrician Assistant Professor Amir Mohammad debunks misconceptions surrounding breast size, childbirth, and milk production. He underscores that a woman's breast size bears no influence on her capacity for childbirth or providing nourishment to her child. Any breast size can sufficiently cater to a child's nutritional needs, emphasizing that infertility may have various underlying causes unrelated to breast size.

On the contrary, Shireen from Peshawar recalls her grandmother, who never experienced menstruation yet gave birth to three daughters and did not develop breasts during puberty. In her grandmother's time, such conditions were neither perceived as illnesses nor was there awareness of potential treatments. Moreover, societal norms played a pivotal role in shaping perspectives. Today, advancements in medical understanding and treatments offer greater options for addressing hidden conditions.

Understanding Infertility: Not Just About Menstruation

Gynecologist Dr. Afroz Khattak from Lady Reading Hospital clarifies that infertility in women typically stems from hormonal imbalances, polycystic ovarian syndrome, endometriosis, or fallopian tube issues. The absence of menstruation, in isolation, is not a definitive cause of infertility.

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Dr. Fatima, another gynecologist, elaborates on the intricate factors influencing motherhood. The process is multifaceted and encompasses various bodily functions, organs, and hormones. Dr. Fatima highlights conditions such as MRKH syndrome, which affects a woman's ability to carry a child. In contrast, some women may have a membrane obstructing menstrual blood flow, treatable through a minor surgical procedure.

She further emphasizes that irregular menstrual cycles, as seen in conditions like PCOS, can often be managed, restoring a woman's ability to conceive. Additionally, some women may lack a uterus but retain functioning ovaries, allowing them to become mothers.

In conclusion, Dr. Fatima reaffirms that motherhood involves numerous interrelated factors, dispelling the notion that a single condition can definitively determine a woman's capacity for bearing children. Medical advancements have made it possible to address many underlying issues, providing hope for those desiring motherhood.