Menstrual Hygiene- A Complete Guide on how to stay fresh during periods.
July 8, 2020
What is menstrual hygiene?
Menstruation is sacred for every women. Menstrual hygiene refers to what every women must do during their periods to maintain cleanliness, and have a problem free period.
Why we need to maintain menstrual hygiene?
Periods can feel like a mess sometimes. A lot women suffer from unhygienic conditions merely due to lack of knowledge of how to maintain proper sanitation. This can lead to a lot of direct and indirect detrimental effects on health like rashes, infections, etc and rarely even infertility.
Here is a complete guide on how to maintain menstrual hygiene for a safe and healthy period.
Use proper sanitation method.
Use proper sizes.
Wear proper underwear.
Change at appropriate intervals.
Say no to harsh soaps.
Bath and wear clean clothes.
Maintaining reusable methods.
Don’t combine two different methods.
Proper disposal of used napkins.
Keep your private area clean.
1. Use proper sanitation method.
How you will manage hygiene during periods depends a lots on the method you choose for sanitation. You should choose an appropriate method depending on your flow and convenience of use.
Sanitary napkins and tampons are most commonly used methods. For sanitary napkins, never leave soggy pads on for more than six hours. Rather try to change every four to five hours. Choose a good quality napkin brand that doesn’t cause rashes or allergy. Many women tend to wear gel based pads longer than necessary. You can use cotton based or pads made of natural products like bamboo etc instead.
For tampons, change every two hours and also use a good quality brand. Leaving these on for longer means increased risk of rashes, allergies and infections like toxic shock syndrome.
2. Use proper sizes
Yes, some women aren’t aware but sanitary napkins , pads and menstrual cups come in different sizes. Often they use the wrong sizes which leads to leakage and messy blood stains.
Choose a correct size of your sanitary pad or tampon according to your flow and you’ll free of worrying about period stains forever.
3. Wear proper underwear.
Wear underwear made of breathable material during your period days. You can go with cotton rather than linen , satin etc. These fabrics are don’t absorb sweat well and can cause growth of harmful bacteria instead. These can lead to rashes and allergies around your vaginal area. Not to mention the possibility of bad odour. So ditch them till your periods are over!
4. Change at appropriate intervals.
This is infact the most crucial step in maintaining freshness. Be it sanitary napkins or underwear or tampons, I can’t stress enough the value of regularly changing them within every few hours. Change twice or thrice during day time. Also don’t forget to take a quick change before you go for a long night’s sleep.
Every time you use the washroom don’t forget to clean up afterwards. If you don’t clean, chances are that your vaginal area can become a good culture medium for harmful bacteria. You can use soft wipes and then wash off thoroughly with water. Also wash from front to back to prevent spread of bacteria to your vaginal area.
Also, remember to wash your hands everytime you use the washroom!
6. Say no to harsh soaps.
Although washing up is crucial in keeping hygienic and fresh, never use any harsh soap on your private areas. Your skin and vaginal area are in no way similar. Soaps can kill the good bacteria that maintain the acidic pH of your vagina. A less acidic area means more changes of infections by harmful bacteria.
So, never use medicated body washes or soaps. Use only clean water and if necessary , a pH balanced vaginal wash.
7. Bath and wear clean clothes.
Maintain a good personal hygiene during your period days. Take soothing baths and wash your clothes regularly with mild soaps, preferably with antiseptic soak. Let your clothes sun dry. Sunlight can kill bacteria and prevent bad odour of your clothes. Also don’t forget to change at regular intervals!
8. Maintaining reusable methods.
Some women might be using cloth napkins or menstrual cups as sanitary methods due to various reasons, which vary from lack of resources in rural areas to concern for a sustainable environment.
For using clothes as napkins, choose clean soft cotton as material. For menstrual cups, choose a good quality silicone material. Change frequently or as directed by the company. Wash with antiseptic soak and let air dry. Even while using reusable methods change every few months to prevent infection and other problems.
9. Don’t combine different methods.
Some women combine two different methods like tampons and pads together. Or even use double pads at once. Avoid these as you will tend to use the same pads/tampons longer than necessary. Instead use a proper size that can take on heavy bleeding without problems.
10. Proper disposal of used products.
It is necessary to know how to dispose off your used and dirty products to avoid unpleasant odour and sight around the place you live. Never flush used napkins down toilets as it clogs up the system. Always wrap it properly and dispose in a dustbin .
11. Keep your private area clean.
It’s true that your vaginal area has has defence mechanism of it’s own. But not grooming yourself can cause more problems during periods. So, it is recommended you trim your nether region every few months depending on your hair growth to avoid that smucky feeling during period days.
12. Anticipating your periods.
It helps a lot when you know your estimated period date. Start wearing panty liners one-two days before your actual period day. Also carry some sanitary napkins with you in case of emergency. To keep log of your menstrual cycle, you can use any good menstrual tracker always stay updated!
13. Drink lots of water and eat healthy.
Drinking water will flush your systems and keep all your toxins at bay. Maintain a healthy diet to have a happy and cramp free period. A healthy body cultivates a fresh and happy mind.