Samaira’s story: Teaching teenage girls while going through menopause

As someone who taught teenage girls for years, it’s actually hilarious that I didn’t realize that my periods had stopped. You can’t imagine how much period talk there is in the classroom: “Ma’am, I need a pad.” “Ma’am, I need to skip sports today.” “Ma’am, I have cramps.” “Ma’am, I stained my skirt.” It’s nonstop! I think I was so preoccupied with their periods that I lost track of mine!

My flow got lighter and lighter. From the age of 40 onward, my periods lasted just three days or so, sometimes less. It took me at least six months to figure out what was going on. How embarrassing! I felt I didn’t know my body at all. I was clearly not paying attention to it.

Another way of looking at it is that I must have had an easy menopause. There were uneasy things about it, yes, such as being surrounded by young women on the brink of starting their lives. So much promise ahead of them while many of my experiences were behind me! That was unsettling, some days. But in a way, isn’t that beautiful too? I teach literature, so I feel there is poetry in all of this…the next chapter.

Samaira, 62 – New Delhi, India | Find her story at page 111