Menstrual hygiene tips every woman must follow
World Menstrual Hygiene Day: From dealing with skin problems during periods to disposing pads or tampons the right way; here are menstrual hygiene tips every woman must follow.
World Menstrual Hygiene Day is an annual awareness day which is observed on May 28 to raise awareness about the importance of menstrual hygiene. When it comes to talking about periods, the conversations are often hushed which results in lack of awareness around the subject. A better understanding of menstruation from childhood can help inculcate safe habits, which can further prevent infection and other diseases. The awareness around using the correct menstrual hygiene product, dealing with skin problems during periods to disposing pads or tampons in the right way is important. (Also read: Myths related to sexual and reproductive health of women)
"Menstruation and menstrual practices are still shrouded in taboos and socio-cultural limitations, leaving teenage girls unaware of scientific facts and sanitary practices, which might have detrimental health consequences in the long run," says Dr Manisha Singh, Senior Consultant - Gynaecologist & Subspecialist in Reproductive Medicine & Surgery, Fortis Hospital Bannerghatta Road, Bengaluru.
According to Dr Surabhi Siddhartha, Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, Motherhood Hospital Kharghar, lack of proper hygiene during menstruation can affect women's health as they are at risk of getting infections and allergies due to unhealthy practices.
"There are many girls or women who fail to opt for appropriate menstrual hygiene products and suffer from problems such as irritation, redness of the skin, or pad rash. Still, many women across the country use cloth during periods that are unhygienic. Women often don’t know about the correct method to dispose of the pads and tampons and tend to throw them away in open or clog the toilet," says Dr Siddhartha.
For the benefit of young girls and women, Dr Manisha Singh offers menstrual hygiene tips that are important for their well-being.
1. Changing sanitary napkins or tampons every 4-6 hours is the cardinal guideline for maintaining perineal hygiene
Menstrual blood attracts a variety of organisms from our bodies, which multiply in the warm blood, causing discomfort, rashes, and urinary tract infections. By replacing your sanitary napkin or tampon at regular short intervals, you can avoid genital infections.
2. Clean your perineal area (vaginal area) properly each time you change your napkin.
Washing your vagina is extremely important because bacteria cling to your body after you remove your sanitary napkin. Most people wash their perineum but not correctly. It should be from the vagina to the anus, not vice versa. Germs from the anus can transfer to the vaginal or urethral entrance if you move your hands from the anus to the vagina.
3. Avoid using soaps or other vaginal hygiene products
While adding vaginal hygiene products to your routine is beneficial, using them during menstruation may cause complications. Vaginas have a cleansing system that works throughout menstrual cycles, and these artificial hygiene products may interfere with this natural process, resulting in infections and excess bad bacteria growth.
4. Properly dispose the sanitary napkin
Tampons and sanitary napkins must be disposed appropriately. Wrap them properly before throwing them away to avoid germs and illnesses from spreading. Make sure to not flush them since that will spread bacteria all over the place. Since you are likely to contact the soiled area when wrapping the used tampons and sanitary napkins, thoroughly washing your hands is critical post disposal.
5. Switch over to silicone menstrual cups if you are comfortable inserting it into the vagina.
It is cheap, safe, hygienic, and reusable (every month for up to 2 years). Ascertain the cup size you need from your gynaecologist and get started.