I had always thought that it was “normal” for girls and women to bleed heavily during their monthly periods. After all, I grew up seeing the chamber pot (arinola) in my parents’ room filled with red liquid on the weeks that my mom had.
It was not unusual for us—my mother, my sisters and I—to go home unplanned on days we had our periods because of blood stain. Our mother knew she was a “bleeder.” Like her, we would all “bleed” for weeks to months. But at a time when the Internet was still unknown and medical journals were hard to access, doctors did not have any explanation on our excessive and prolonged menses. Only boys and men could have bleeding disorders, we were told.