Menstruation is such an important part of a woman’s life but not everyone is informed about it in the right way. There are so many baseless myths around periods which adds to the bummer.
According to a study, out of India’s 355 million menstruation women only 36% females use sanitary napkins. While the rest of them use old rags, ash, leaves, mud, husk and other unhygienic, life threatening material to manage their period flow.
This is the main reason for the exponential increase in cervical cancer in rural women.
Due to inadequate information many girls refrain from going to school. Even parents ask their girls to avoid school for 3-4 days and resume only once the period gets over. This kind of attitude leads to low self-esteem in young girls.
WHY MENSTRUAL HYGIENE IS IMPORTANT?
Every year on may 28th menstrual hygiene day is celebrated.
This is done to create awareness and highlight the importance of menstrual hygiene.
Why is menstrual hygiene important?
- It ensures your intimate hygiene health is on point
- Protects you from bacterial and fungal vaginal infections
- Protects you from urinary tract infection
- Protects you from skin rashes and irritation
- It ensures our reproductive health remains fit and fine
- Protects you from cervical cancer
- Protects you from a very severe condition known as toxic shock syndrome
- It can help us maintain self-confidence and feel good even when we are menstruating
Menstrual hygiene is a topic of serious health concern because failing to do so increases the chance of numerous infections which can directly or indirectly affect the fertility of a female.
Sometimes it can even be life-threatening.
7 TIPS TO ENSURE MENSTRUAL HYGIENE
Maintaining menstrual hygiene is not at all tough and fancy just by following some simple tips you can ensure your hooha is all happy and safe.
Let’s delve right in
1. CHANGE YOUR PERIOD PRODUCTS FREQUENTLY
When you use a sanitary pad, the blood gets collected outside your body. With time the blood starts to react with oxygen which results in the growth of bacteria and bad odor, so it is very important to change sanitary pads frequently.
Though the advertisers claim the product to be effective up to 12 hours, it should be changed within a 4-8 hours interval depending on your flow.
For days when the flow is very minimal, you can use a pantyliner.
If you are using a tampon, make sure you don’t leave it in for more than 8 hours because tampons can cause toxic shock syndrome and it is a potentially fatal condition.
2. DISPOSE OF USED SANITARY PADS IN A RIGHT WAY
WHY PROPER DISPOSAL IS NECESSARY?
- If left open, it will leave to foul smell and ugly sight
- Transmission of hepatitis B and C can take place
- It will attract flies and insects making the environment extremely unhygienic
Correctly disposing of used pads is a part of maintaining menstrual hygiene.
It should not be flushed because it can clog the pipeline which can create a great mess.
The correct way is to just wrap it in a newspaper and throw it in the dustbin. Wash your hands after you are done and that is it.
This exact method should be used for disposing of the used pads when you are out.
Sometimes when I go to public restrooms and I see women throwing that away all over the place, I feel embarrassed for the womankind in totality.
And it’s very dirty when somebody else has to clean your personal stuff after you.
Sure, nobody will know if you do it discreetly, nobody will know that you threw it away but you know what, the real class is in being classy even when nobody is watching you.
Some women often forget these basic etiquette.
So one should be very mindful of these things and should not compromise with the health of others.
3. KEEP YOUR PUBIC HAIR TRIMMED
Menstrual blood consists of cervical mucus, vaginal secretions, and endometrial tissues which sometimes can get trapped in pubic hair, which is not at all hygienic.
It is very important to ensure that the area remains completely dry and moisture-free so it is advisable to trim your pubic hair before the period starts.
4. ENSURE PROPER CLEANING OF REUSABLE PERIOD PRODUCTS
Some of the reusable period products are as follows
- Menstrual cups
Menstrual cups are such a blessing when it comes to maintaining menstrual hygiene. At the same time, it is very important to keep some important tips in mind when inserting and removing a menstrual cup
Wash your hands with a mild soap before and after inserting the menstrual cup.
Do not apply perfume or strongly scented lotion in your hands before inserting and removing the cup.
Always sterilize the cup before your period starts.
After sterilization keeps the cup inside the pocket that comes with it.
Big nails can be a problem, so be very careful if you have them.
- Cloth pads
Modern cloth pads are made up of cotton and are a great alternative for women who have very sensitive skin.
However, it is very important that you sun-dry them. Sun is a natural sanitizer, it kills the bacterias present on the cloth and keeps them fresh and clean.
Most women keep it in some dark and shady place after washing which is absolutely not recommended.
- Period panties
Period panties are yet not so common but it is something you should consider trying.
It is made up of that swimming suit material so washing it is extremely easy but again drying them under the sun is very much needed. It is just like your normal panty and does not create any kind of discomfort.
Period panties are really great if you are a working woman and have irregular periods. So when you are suspecting that your periods can arrive any day now, start wearing them instead of wasting a pad every day.
5. WEAR LIGHT COLORED COTTON PANTY
You may feel like cotton underwear is really boring and old school but the truth is that it is highly suitable and comfortable for the skin. Especially during summers when we tend to sweat a lot, cotton panties are a savior.
Next, is why light-colored?
A lot of girls make the mistake of wearing black or red-colored panties.
Sometimes what happens is the napkin just shifts around and in that case, you can get a side or back leakage.
So if you are wearing a dark-colored panty, it would be difficult to spot the stain and you will end up spoiling your clothes.
And I am sure stains is the last thing we would want to have
So it is better that you go for a light-colored panty where you can at least spot a stain and maintain your hygiene.
6. USE INTIMATE WASH TO CLEAN LABIAL AREA
A lot of women are more at risk of getting an infection during menstruation due to a change in pH. It is a good idea to use an intimate wash that will help you to maintain a good pH level.
Remember, NO douching. This spraying action can ruin the necessary pH balance of the vagina by eliminating the good bacterias. It can also cause an overgrowth of harmful bacteria that can lead to yeast infections.
By no means you should try to wash the vagina from the inside because it has a self-cleaning mechanism, you just need to wash the outer part and that is it. Nothing fancy and scented products should be applied because they all disturb the natural flora of the vagina increasing the risk of infections.
7. DON’T USE TWO PADS SIMULTANEOUSLY
Some people on the internet advise using two sanitary napkins at once for heavy flow or during the night for better protection but let me tell you how it can harm you.
First of all, if you are experiencing heavy flow or discomfort at night, invest in period panties. Either the reusable one or the one which is just for one-time use.
Secondly, we all are aware that modern sanitary pads are scented and they come with the technology that converts liquid into gel.
Sure, it has made the user experience better but it involves a lot of chemicals.
By using two pads simultaneously, you are being exposed more to these chemicals.
Never do that.
Instead, go for menstrual cups, they are a great alternative to pads.
Menstruation is a natural phenomenon and nature does not intend to give us sufferings.
A period is a time where we should indulge in lots of self-love and self-care.
Maintaining hygiene with all those advanced period products is not that tough.
There is no reason to miss our school, colleges, or offices just because we are menstruating.
Opportunities will not wait for your period to get over first. So get up, don’t act silly that ‘oh! I am not stepping out of my house because I am on my period.’
Take these tips, ensure proper hygiene and see how confident you become.