Taq: “It all started when I went to therapy for the first time. I was in the second year of completing my Ph.D. at the University of British Columbia and on the outside seemed like I had my life together. On the inside, 17 years of living in a fairly violent home + 7 years of being on the birth control pill (aka not ovulation) = a shitshow.
My amazing therapist recommended a book on the Fertility Awareness Method when I shared my desire to find a different method of birth control. In November 2017, I came off the pill and went on a life-changing trip to my homelands of India, where I got clear on my new mission to spread the WORLDWIDE LOVE OF PERIODS and support people with their mental and emotional health!
I’ll note here that we welcome everyone to our community, whether you: get a period; experience PCOS, endometriosis, and more; are taking the pill, the patch, the IUD; are in menopause; or don’t get a period. EVERYONE IS WELCOME.
For me, the pill just kind of sucked. I felt emotionally unstable, nauseous, and depressed while taking it and so much better when I stopped.
From 2018 onwards, I directed my research towards learning everything on menstrual cycles and mental health I could find written in English. I also learned that the Punjabi word is Mahwari (you’ll read and hear me say ‘mahwari cycles’ A LOT). The Instagram account and blog for @imwithperiods was born.
In 2020, I published a guidebook with Simon & Schuster Press & Adams Media called Self-Care Down There to reach people who menstruate worldwide. I continue to work to share in the love of periods, mahwari cycles, and mental wellness all around the world! To give back to our communities, 10% of our book proceeds are donated to Indigenous-led organizations.”
Taq: “I am a huge nerd y’all. I have a BSc Honours in Biology from Dalhousie, where I learned the nitty-gritty of human development and evolution. My MA is in Health, Policy, and Equity from York University where I learned all about policies related to gender and health. And finally, my Ph.D. is in Social Justice from UBC where I have studied the application of Decolonization and Black Feminist Thought to health and health care in the borders of Canada.”
Taq: “I was truly shocked by everything that I did not know about my own body even after doing so much academic training in health. When I first learned about cervical fluid (spoiler alert: it’s the gorgeous stuff you might find on your underwear from time to time), it blew my mind. I also decided to write Self-Care Down There in order to share more positivity about periods, which are often not talked about or talked about in a very negative way.”
Taq: “My goal in life is to have people at my funeral saying, “Taq is one of the kindest, most caring people I know/knew”. Growing up in a space where kindness was often missing, I aim to make every conversation I have with someone about their periods filled with smiles, laughter, and compassion.”
Taq: “There are so many reasons to check out our book: if you have painful periods, irregular periods, would like to tap into menstrual cycles to manifest your dream life, to prevent and heal from burnout, to learn how to apply sustainability to menstrual cycles, and to learn all the things that (most) of our parents or teachers did not tell us about.”
Taq: “In so many ways. We can actually use particular foods to regulate our menstrual cycles (e.g. something called seed cycling, which I go into in Self-Care Down There). We can also eat certain foods during each of the 4 seasons of menstrual cycles (yes there are 4!) to support our overall health. Moreover, we can avoid eating certain foods in the few days leading up to our periods to limit and/or totally prevent period pain. Healthy ovulation can also support our diet by allowing us to absorb more nutrients.”
Taq: “I personally use a combination of the Fertility Awareness Method and condoms. For all the options check out my blog post *here*.
Taq: “Definitely! I like to call post-partum the 4th trimester of pregnancy. New parents already have a lot on the go, and maybe get very little sleep, so it is totally okay if it takes some time for your period to return during what our body may perceive as a stressful time. Some tips include: making sure you are eating enough in general and then getting in lots of nutrients + carbohydrates (potatoes, rice, sweet potatoes, etc.). Bone broth is really helpful for rebuilding our nutrient stores after pregnancy. Seed cycling which I mentioned earlier and talk about more in my book is a natural way to help your body remember how to cycle through estrogen and progesterone. Taking naps with the baby to make sure you are getting in your sleep when you can is super helpful for restoring cycles.”
Taq: “For people who menstruate and have given birth vaginally, I HIGHLY recommend trying a vaginal steam. It’s basically a sauna for your pelvic region. I give instructions for vaginal steaming (which is as gentle as face steam) in the book. Essentially, the steam helps our uterus and vagina rebuild and get their shape back after vaginal birth. Another great resource for this is www.steamychick.com. Pretty much all of our ancestors have been using this knowledge for centuries. Another MUST is using a high-quality, organic water-based lube anytime you are having sex with your partner of any gender. My favorite is https://www.sutillube.com/ Water-based lubes will not degrade condoms and the hyaluronic acid in the lube will support vaginal health as well. Finally, orgasms are good medicine, so be sure to engage in solo sex as well as sex with a partner to make sure you are getting in all the doses you can 🙂 “
Taq: “That menstrual cycles have 4 seasons that each have their own strengths: Period = winter, pre-ovulation = spring, ovulation = summer, and PMS = autumn. Check out my book to learn more!”
Taq: “Y’all are magical, amazing beings and I am so honoured and grateful that you came across this post. I always love to hear people’s period stories so feel free to reach out and DM me on Instagram.
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