Menstruation, also known as Period, is one of the essential natural phenomena in which blood and some uterine muscles flow out of a women’s vagina every month. Menstrual hygiene is still a cause for concern as it is inadequately acknowledged and has not received appropriate consideration.
Maintaining proper hygiene during the menstrual period can protect you from countless illnesses such as bacterial and fungal infections, rashes, redness, swellings, blisters, and sores in the groin/thigh area. It also reduces the probability of getting embarrassed due to bad odours.
Here are some information every woman should follow to stay hygienic during periods-
Avoid using pads or tampons for long:
It is a very damaging practice to wear pads or tampons for a long interval. As time proceeds, the blood begins to decompose in the sanitary napkin. Eventually, it comes in contact with the vaginal area, causing discomfort in itching and infection.
The permissible time to wear a pad can range from 6 to 7 hours per your bleeding pattern, wherein tampon needs to be changed every 4 to 5 hours. Make sure to always rinse the area with water before changing pads or tampons.
Clean your Pubic area properly:
With blood flowing now and then, periods get muddled up, but there’s nothing to worry about as vaginas are self-cleaning. It ensures a healthy environment by carrying the infection-causing bacteria and lifeless cells out of the body through vaginal discharge. But washing your pubic area frequently with water is equally important for preventing the growth of bacteria.
Say “NO” to soap and vaginal hygiene products:
The most hunted question in every woman’s mind is “Can we use V wash during periods?” and the answer to this query is completely a NO! Using soap, and vaginal hygiene products can lead to an imbalance of pH level down there, which disturbs the natural process and causes infection and development of bacteria.
Dispose of the napkins is EQUALLY IMPORTANT!:
Wrap and throw your sanitary napkins and tampons to maintain a healthy atmosphere by preventing the growth of bacteria and avoiding the insects which may get attracted due to foul smell. Make sure to wash your hands after proper disposal of the sanitary pad. Don’t flush the pads as it would clog the path, causing the water to back up.
Wear comfortable and clean underwear:
Make sure to pat dry your vaginal area after urinating and choose cotton underwear that would absorb the water and eliminate moisture. Wearing tight and synthetic underwear can cause infections as it won’t allow your skin to breathe. The area remains moist and humid, which favours the growth of different bacteria.
Ensure proper nutrition and sleep:
The body undergoes many changes during periods, and for that keeping, a proper check on what you eat and how much you sleep is a must. Drinking a lot of water, choosing fruits, vegetables, nutrients, and fibre over junk food can prevent you from bloating and is highly essential for your overall health. According to the latest studies, women highly suffer iron deficiency during periods which indicates low haemoglobin levels that makes you feel drowsy and less energetic, eating green leafy vegetables, peas, beans, seeds, nuts, meat, eggs, fish, iron-rich foods, and vitamin c rich foods boosts your iron levels and keeps you healthy and fit.
Bathing helps you keep fresh, relieves period cramps, bloating, body aches, and elevates your mood. Treating yourself with a hot water bath can make you feel much better as it eases your muscular pain, encourages blood flow, and reduces the tightening of blood vessels. Clean your uterus after periods with water to build a clean atmosphere down there.
Get your bag pack ready:
Make sure to keep pads handy while travelling. It is important to have towels, lukewarm mineral water, hand sanitiser, a healthy snack, and antiseptic medication if necessary. Be extra cautious while using public washrooms as the chances of infection get higher. You will need to keep your hands clean and stay hydrated all day.
Practice yoga and meditation:
If a woman is facing extreme mood swings, anxiety, depression, stress, and heavy bleeding, practising yoga and meditation eliminate all the negative emotions, regulates the bleeding, prevents hormonal imbalance, helps fight chronic fatigue, and also heals fertility-related issues in women.
Take care of your mental health:
Dealing with mental health issues during periods is normal. Many women experience moodiness, headaches, and stress, which is termed Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS). It happens as the level of progesterone and oestrogen drops after ovulation, which leads to the production of a chemical neurotransmitter, serotonin (happiness chemical). Try to exercise as it would release a chemical called endorphin, which helps improve mood. Spending time with family and friends can also help. Try essential soothing oils that have healing qualities like rose and lavender, a treatment known as Aromatherapy.
Give yourself a break:
You can sleep, be lazy, eat sweets and chocolates and do everything that you don’t have the time for otherwise. Give yourself a break from the routine life and gift yourself a lazy, breezy Sunday. Read books on your bed, treat yourself with coffee, engage in self-care activities, binge watch your favourite series, meditate and journal whatever you feel or experience.
May 28 is celebrated as Menstrual Hygiene Day (MHD), which aims at educating women on proper hygiene during the menstrual period. It is conducted by many organizations, media, social groups, and individuals to create awareness and stand for girls and women.
Changing pads and tampons frequently can prevent the growth of bacteria which causes infection. Cleaning your uterus after periods with water and not using vaginal hygiene products like V wash during periods builds a healthy and clean atmosphere around your vagina. Taking care of the mental health and practising meditation and yoga can keep you stress-free. Break the taboo and learn to take care of your body, mind, and spirit.