Importance of Menstrual Hygiene Management: A Comprehensive Guide

For young women, maintaining menstruation hygiene is very important. As a result, menstrual health and menstrual hygiene initiative are widely spread and educated to all parts of India. The rural areas especially, need the most of these insights.

To achieve proper menstrual hygiene management one must understand what MHH, or Menstrual Health and Hygiene is. When girls reach adolescence, their menstrual period starts. As a result, blood discharged from the body can be a great inconvenience for young women. Leaving aside everything, it is imperative to manage the discharge with proper caution and sanitation. Otherwise, the degradation of health is not uncommon.

Among all the places that need menstruation hygiene management, common knowledge, especially among poorly educated and ignorant individuals is very important. The root cause of poor period hygiene management is how the rural society looks at menstruation.

Women during their periods were still considered untouchables, and they refrained from doing any important or holy activity, such as performing rituals or entering temples. Some families even abandon their women for the said period in fear of getting “impure” themselves. Hence, educating people on how menstruation works, what are safe ways to handle it, and how not to discriminate against women on its basis is the first step.

What is Menstrual Hygiene Management?

The safe way to clean the menstrual discharge and dispose of it so that it does not impose any health hazard to anyone is through menstrual hygiene management. Having a clean environment, required privacy, and having the infrastructure to have clean water, soap, and cleaning materials is required. Moreover, it also gives importance to the psychological aspect of this to women.

Since many women have been subjected to constant exposure to negligence, secrecy, and social stigma towards menstruation, they have often been discriminated against in society and family as well. This lowers the confidence of any young girl to be able to manage her menstrual hygiene as well. Catering to this factor is also an important part of menstrual health and menstrual hygiene initiative taken by the government and various NGOs.

Priority Areas for Menstrual Hygiene Management

  • Education

Education plays a very important role in promoting menstruation hygiene management. In countries such as India, mostly in rural areas, people are very ignorant of how menstruation works. Instead of accepting reality, they are more inclined towards “impurity” and “evil spirits” residing in the human body.

As a result, menstruating women are often restricted in their movement. Imparting proper education to the people, especially women, will not only help people understand and accept how normal menstruation is but will also help the women to be able to come out of their restricted lifestyle.

Another aspect of menstrual hygiene management in education is how young girls are affected by their schools. On average, around 23 million women in India drop out of school every year when they start menstruating. This is roughly around 30 percent of women undergoing menstruation in India.

While some schools themselves do not allow young girls on their periods to not enter the school campus, other schools simply lack the facilities and infrastructure that are required for the girls to manage their menstrual hygiene properly.

Getting local teachers to identify the problems and encouraging young women to come to schools is one part of the solution. Similarly, government bodies need to provide adequate infrastructure to the schools so that young girls on their period are not uncomfortable while coming to school.

  • Health

Since most women do not even know the basics of menstruation hygiene management, it is very easy to do bad practices that hurt their health. With the ignorance of rural people and with the prices of sanitary pads, many villages and relatively less developed parts of the country do not use sanitary napkins. According to data, around 49.6% of women in India still do not use sanitary pads during their periods. Alternatively, they wear old clothes which may or may not be sanitary. Moreover, using old clothes which then contribute to litter is a potential health hazard to the surroundings as well.

With women not maintaining their menstrual hygiene, the chances of getting infections in the urinary tracts and reproduction tracts increase manifold. Some of the future complications include having problems in giving birth or infertility. Moreover, urinary tract infections can adversely affect the kidneys as well.

Unsafe practices such as not washing hands or using used clothes can aggravate conditions, which can ultimately lead to diseases such as thrush and hepatitis B. Even sexually transmitted infections can occur in certain cases.

With young girls dropping out of school for menstruation, their nutrition intake gets affected as well. This mainly happens in rural areas where the girl belongs to a poor family, and they rely largely on the midday meal provided by the school.

Additionally, the physical discomfort generated from poor menstruation hygiene management can lead to psychological problems and stress as well. It has been seen that most women who are subjected to negligence or stigma suffer from a case of low confidence and an inferiority complex.

  • Economical Aspect

With more easy access to sanitary pads and requirements for menstrual hygiene management, women can improve their general state as well. With women becoming more educated, they will easily be able to look for jobs, get promotions, and work in various fields as well. As a result, the average economy of the Indian household is also going to improve. With more and more demand for workers, depriving women of maintaining menstrual hygiene is also keeping a major workforce in the country down. This, in turn, is affecting the country from an economic viewpoint.

  • Environmental Waste

Finally, having proper menstrual products such as sanitary pads can help in changing the environment for the better as well. With a huge number of women using disposable sanitary products, these alone contribute a significant amount to environmental waste.

Not disposing of them properly can cause environmental hazards. Giving out proper menstrual equipment along with steps on how to use them is a major part of maintaining menstrual hygiene management, which can have a great impact on the environment as well.

Wrapping UP

With more and more initiation and education, more women are getting the opportunity to maintain their period hygiene properly. Even though there is a lot left to do, the initial steps are slowly but surely helping the women of the country to lead towards a better future.