Women in Space ''Houston, we have a problem!''

Uzayda Kadınlar ‘‘Houston, we have a problem!’’

While the world was shaken by the cold war, it was like a slap in the face to the scientists of the period when the female body and space were in the same unknown state . Now we will share with you the brief history of this awareness and how menstruation was tried to be managed in space after women were included in space programs. Put on your period panties and buckle up, because we're about to take off!

The space race begins!

The first name of the space race, which started in the 1950s, was Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin . Following Gagarin, who visited Earth orbit in 1961 , NASA also joined Alan Bartlett Shepard Jr. He sends his astronaut named 'to space'. There was only one gender that these two countries active in space thought could be successful in their studies; Male. In fact, women could not even apply to be candidates because the candidates were selected only from military pilots.

Fortunately, this race quickly became chained to women, which could even be considered a bit funny. The idea that women, whose bodies were thought to be relatively smaller than men, could be suitable candidates for the spaceships of the period, began to become a hot topic within NASA. Thus, towards the end of the summer of 1961, the search for female astronaut candidates began.

An important part of manned space programs consisted of training and challenging tests that would increase a person's resistance to the harsh conditions of space. Yes, that was the brief summary of the programs that included men. When women entered the equation, gynecological examination was added to these tests. 13 of the 18 candidates in NASA's first women's program successfully completed these tests .

We go into space without thinking too much.

While the news that America will put female astronauts into space spreads, the Soviet Union, with a nationalist attitude, quickly begins to work to ensure that the first woman in space will be a Russian. Perhaps due to the excitement of this race , he sent Valentina Tereshkova into space on June 16, 1963, without focusing on too many details (such as menstruation in space...). The approximately 3 days spent in Earth's orbit do not coincide with Tereshkova's menstrual period , and no blood has yet been transmitted into space. NASA, however, is satisfied with the success rate of its female candidates in the tests and ends the program.

We understand in NASA's 1964 program report that not only menstruation but also emotional ups and downs of the menstrual cycle, such as PMS , made scientists nervous that they could reduce the performance of women in space. Thus, NASA space women programs were canceled without any clear data.

In the space race between these two countries, Russia acted more boldly and sent Svetlana Savitskaya into space in 1982. While Savitskaya became the second female cosmonaut to go into space, she also became the first female cosmonaut to perform a spacewalk in 1984. Unfortunately, we cannot access any information about the menstrual period of Savitskaya, who stayed in space for approximately 11 days in total during her two separate missions. Russia does not seem to worry much about this situation either.

There will be blood in space!

This is where the conversation starts, the problem of menstruation in space.

Our bodies resist the earth's gravity and circulate blood. Our bodies, accustomed to this resistance, show laziness in the zero-gravity environment of space and carry out blood circulation in a way that blood collects in the body and head. Knowing this, NASA scientists thought that the blood in the menstrual cycle would not be expelled due to the effect of the non-gravity environment and would even collect in the body.

While this idea was hotly debated in the 1970s, NASA; It abolishes female astronaut programs from 1964 to 1978.

After the Apollo 11 mission, which set foot on the Moon for the first time, NASA began working to increase the diversity of its officers and employees. Thus, women were included in the 1978 NASA team along with people of different ethnic origins...

Fortunately, Sally Ride's entry into the scene was not delayed any further. The team began to think that there was no way to know how the menstrual period was under space conditions without experiencing it, and began working on sending Ride into space. (Unfortunately, we do not know whether Sally Ride is the first woman to have a period in space, but solutions are started to be sought precisely during this journey.)

And Sally Ride is asked the famous question for her 2-week space trip: "Are 100 tampons enough?" While the team trying to calculate all possible possibilities for a menstrual period wants to be cautious, they seem to have moved away from science a little. Sally managed to convince them for half that number, and on June 18, 1983, she became the first American female astronaut in space (along with her 50 tampons). She was also the third woman in space.

Menstruation is the same in space and on Earth.

Since menstruation is a bleeding that is biologically governed by hormones and occurs with the movement of the intrauterine muscles, it did not care much about gravity . Most likely , the cramps, oily skin, hot flashes or feeling of cold that come with menstruation continued as they were.

Scientists must be relieved to see that menstruation in space poses no health problems. But some physical difficulties were too important to be underestimated.

For example, the system that purifies drinking water by purifying urine was not as successful in purifying blood, or how willing were women to take off their cumbersome spacesuits at certain intervals and insert menstrual products? How much room was there for menstrual products in the spacecraft with limited space? Now it was time to focus on these problems for long space journeys!

For women whose space mission coincides with their menstrual period, the road map has now begun to be created according to their own preferences. Choosing or postponing bleeding while on duty, not bleeding.

A second toilet can now be placed on spacecraft for women who choose to bleed. The duration of the space journey and the amount of menstrual product that can fit into the spacecraft can be adjusted by taking certain dynamics into account.

Two alternative solutions are offered to women who prefer not to bleed . The first is drugs containing menstrual-delaying hormones that will prevent menstruation, usually consisting of birth control pills. These drugs are an ideal solution to postpone menstruation for 1 month, but they do not seem reasonable for various reasons during long-term space travels. From where?

First; The large amount of birth control pills that need to be sent from earth to space increases the costs. Latter; Women suppressing their menstrual periods for such a long time brings with it many side effects, ranging from decreased fertility to cyst formation and even bone disorders. It is very important that body density remains constant in an environment where there is no gravity. Birth control pills, which have side effects such as reducing bone density, are not one of the first choices at this point.

Since birth control pills, which must be taken at the same time every day, will be difficult to track in space, women generally prefer implants placed under the skin as an alternative to birth control pills. In this method, it is considered that the implant applied under the skin may damage the skin due to the G force applied by airplanes during take-off and landing, just like the one that occurs during space travel.

In addition to the subcutaneous implant of hormone drugs, space gynecologist Dr. also talks about implants that can be placed in the uterus. Varsha Jain. In Jain's various interviews , we read that women generally do not prefer to menstruate in the less than comfortable conditions of the spacecraft.

So far , approximately 600 people have gone into space, only 65 of them are women. This number is still very limited for menstrual period research in space, but it sheds light on the fact that sufficient conditions can be provided if desired.

In summary; The difficulties of having a female biology are inevitable, even in space. Who knows, maybe one day Houston will solve the problems. We continue to live and provide menstrual comfort freely on the planet Kiklou. If you are wondering where we are now, we are floating slowly from the sky and waving to you from here .

This comfortable and free menstrual experience does not exist (for now) in space.

>>>Click to review Kiklou washable menstrual panties now.


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