The first step towards womanhood comes with the advancing of menstruation cycle. It is of utmost importance to understand the science behind the changes in your body and also prepare for it accordingly. Women have been disregarding menstrual hygiene since time immemorial. They have been creating and practicing myths religiously revolving menstruation. With centuries of not paying heed to the bodily system, women have come around and understood the importance it holds in everyone’s life. Going beyond the myths, taboos and cultural norms that have enrooted deep within the society, it’s time to follow a healthy practice towards menstrual hygiene management.
Menstrual Hygiene Management
There are a huge number of misconceptions that females, especially in a country like India, still believe and practice which affect the menstrual hygiene hugely. Therefore, given below are simple menstrual hygiene management that can greatly change the perspective as well as help to maintain healthy menstrual hygiene:
- Method of sanitation
The lack of proper sanitary products is a grave issue while maintaining proper menstrual hygiene. However, more and more market products are coming in from which women and girls can choose various methods. Sanitary napkins, tampons and menstrual cups are available to aid women and girls of all age. Each of the products has different absorbance rate which further differs from brands to brands. Sanitary napkins and tampons are temporary solutions to each cycle which needs regular changing while menstrual cups last longer.
- Use the right washing technique
To maintain healthy menstrual hygiene management women need to follow a proper washing technique. The motion to clean your genital area should be from your vagina to anus and not the vice versa. The opposite motion can lead the bacteria present in the anus lodge in the vaginal opening which can cause further problems. Plain lukewarm water is enough to clean your genitals compared to various vaginal products available in the market. It is considered a good practice to clean the vagina and labia to rinse off any remaining blood that may cause a foul smell before placing a new pad.
- Changing frequently
Females of all age should understand that once the blood that leaves the vagina it is prone to get contaminated with the body’s innate organisms as well as exposure to air. The vagina has many organisms which have no harmful effects if kept undisturbed. Constant contact with blood and sweat may cause them to multiply in numbers and affect the balance. This may lead to urinary tract infections, skin problems and many more. The standard time to change sanitary pads and tampons is 6 hours even if you are not bleeding heavily. On the other hand, cups vary according to the flow of each woman. However, it is better to change within a period of 10hrs.
- Have a bath regularly
The myth to not bathe regularly during menstruation is based on a reason when women were supposed to bath in ponds, lakes or rivers. With modern plumbing system, it is an unhealthy practice to not bath during the days. It can cause itchiness, skin rashes and feel bloated. Bathing also acts as an enhancer to improve your mood swings, reduce your cramps and backaches and not the least, and keep your lady parts clean.
- Chaffing of thighs
Women with a heavy flow often experience rashes caused by sanitary pads. It occurs due to long hours of dampness caused by the pads which tend to chaff the inner sides of the thigh. To avoid rashes from happening change pads regularly before it becomes too damp. You can also put on an antiseptic cream and leave it overnight to heal. Visit the doctor and have prescribed medicine if the condition worsens.
- Proper storage of sanitary products
Menstrual hygiene comes in hand in hand with a proper storage system. To change every 6 hours, you will need a clean portable pouch, paper bag, a soft towel, some paper tissues or towels, hand sanitizer and an antiseptic cream if you use one. Women need to be extremely careful about the hygiene maintained especially if outdoors because that may lead to UTI.
- Discarding the products properly
Wrap it well before you discard the used pads and tampons to prevent it from spreading any infections. This will also ensure to have contained the foul smell. It is very likely to touch the used product before discarding it; hence, you must sanitize your hands properly after that. Do not flush them down your toilets because they are capable of blocking the gateway. However, women who use menstrual cups do not need to throw away the cup after every use. One can simply rinse off the blood properly with plain water only and use it again. After your cycle ends, sanitize it with lukewarm water and no other fragranced product, whatsoever. Dry it and store the cup in a clean pouch away from sunlight.
Menstrual Hygiene: Takeaway
Women of all ages should regularly follow all of these simple tips to maintain a better lifestyle. Menstrual hygiene management is considered as least of all the problems revolving women of lower class. They should be educated the importance it holds to every woman in existence and the consequences of taking good care of it. Even during times of feminism, women of a particular section consider it as a taboo and withhold all the social norms relating it. Aiding proper sanitary products and educating them about the process of menstruation is the only solution to a proper menstrual hygiene management.