In today’s American culture, the onset of menstruation in young women has lost most of the luster it once carried. Many young women still think of their first menstruation as a rite of passage into womanhood, but it’s not considered an experience to be celebrated, or to broadcast – just the opposite, in fact.
Just over four weeks ago something happened to me. I woke up in the night with terrible abdominal pains. It was the longest night I’ve ever experienced, I was all alone and there was so much pain. It just didn’t go away – instead it steadily increased. There was a point when I became frightened by the severity of the pain, and then I realised it was so serious I had to go to hospital.