5 Tips for Maintaining Menstrual Health and Hygiene During Period

Periods are a natural process that occurs in all women post-puberty till they hit menopause. It is a biological process where the uterus discharges blood and tissues every cycle. Even something as natural as periods is taboo in our society. Isn't that unfortunate?

Being indifferent to severe topics like menstrual health can have serious consequences. Apart from discomfort, cramps and pain, overlooking period hygiene has other medical complications as well.

Lack of proper menstrual hygiene initiative programs is likely to make things worse. Not only does it disrupt daily productivity but also overall health and well-being.

Menstrual hygiene and health are crucial for wellbeing

As we know, to be hygienic means to be clean. So when we say menstrual health and hygiene, we must stay clean to prevent disease. Hygiene concern begins with sanitary products. It starts from the usage of products to their disposal.

Make sure to stay disinfected and clean of bacteria. Menstrual hygiene ranges from proper menstrual education, sanitary products, health services, and menstrual hygiene initiative programs. It is important to remember that menstrual hygiene includes personal and social responsibility.

What makes menstrual hygiene so important?

For ages, society has been grappling with the stigma and taboo surrounding periods. There are several cultural myths and societal double standards in India. Approximately 200 million young girls lack awareness about decent menstrual hygiene.

On top of that, 23% of schoolgirls drop out every year due to insufficient menstrual hygiene initiative conditions. Several organisations carry forward programs to help encourage menstrual education and hygiene. Only through small steps can we break age-old stigma and taboo.

On a given day, around 300 million women menstruate worldwide. And unfortunately, 500 million women cannot access decent sanitary products.

  • Infection prevention

Without any hygiene concerns, young girls and women might contract infections. For example, using pads and tampons for a prolonged time can cause rashes and irritation.

  • Better self-esteem

With a stigma around periods, it will always be a calm conversation until we fight against it. Bullying in school and shaming girls for getting their period is unfortunate. But it does happen. And it damages one's self-esteem and confidence.

  • Better reproductive health

Menstrual and reproductive health are not independent of each other. If our menstrual health is compromised, then it might lead to other diseases like polycystic ovarian syndrome, infections, vaginal irritation, and the like. Extreme consequences could range from infertility to birth complications.

  • Increase access to education.

There is a lack of proper infrastructure, sanitary systems, water supply and menstrual hygiene initiative programs in many regions. Studies show girls are likely to miss school on their period. So, if schools endorse menstrual hygiene promotion, then young girls will not drop out or fall behind given their menstruation.

Five tips to manage menstrual hygiene and health

We celebrate Menstrual Hygiene Day on the 28th of May every year. However, the truth is far from that. There is hardly any hygiene that most women experience. The menstrual hygiene initiative does not only mean staying clean on periods; it is much more!

Women must keep their physical, reproductive and mental health in line to maintain health. This won't be possible unless we fight the taboo and stigma surrounding menstruation.

Being one of the most crucial processes of a woman's body, when a girl is on period, she deserves proper care. Good menstrual health should be your number one priority if you want to avoid any disease or infections.

The following are a few tips that can help in maintaining hygiene while on period-

  • Regular sanitary napkin change

Women and girls must keep a change of pads or tampons with them at all times. Staying in the same product can lead to rashes, irritation or infections.

Thus, women must change sanitary napkins every 4 to 6 hours. You should avoid any bacterial growth or vaginal infections by having regular product changes.

  • Do not use vaginal hygiene or soap products during periods

The vaginal tract has an optimal pH to protect the passage against bacteria and infection. When we use any cleansing product, they tend to kill beneficial bacteria. Therefore, the best way to maintain intimate hygiene is to wash regularly with water at room temperature.

  • Dispose of your sanitary napkins properly after usage

Since we spoke about how you must change your pads after an interval, it is also essential that you dispose of them properly. If not disposed of properly, the used products can be a source of illnesses and diseases.

It would help to wrap them up properly before throwing them in the trash. Never flush them down the toilet that might clog or block the passage. Last but not least, remember to wash your hands to avoid infection.

  • Treat any rash present.

When you do not change the pads or tampons as occasionally as you should, it might result in unwanted rashes. Having a moist pad for longer than usual may cause scrapes against the thighs. The chaffing might cause rash and irritation in your intimate areas.

If the situation is exaggerated, applying ointment before bed can be helpful. However, if it persists, it is better to see a gynaecologist.

The importance of the menstrual hygiene initiative is well-established now. Following the above tips can help maintain proper menstrual health. Avoiding these safety measures can lead to serious medical complications.

To Wrap Up

Any healthy girl who hits puberty is likely to get her period. It is a vital bodily process that requires attention and care. So, the first step to care is to ensure proper hygiene and keep eating habits in order. Having a good diet is the key to taking care of overall health.

Experiencing menstruation is very typical. Hence, it is still a taboo. People talk about it in hushed conversations. Women feel forced to keep a secret about their menstrual cycle.

The result of secrecy is girls indulge in unsanitary practices to manage their periods. However, it is time to remember some rules for proper menstrual health.