The first period of a girl is an indication of her transition into womanhood. Subsequently, there could be many periods. Most women go through them secretively or do not bother to find out if the practices adopted during the periods are hygienic or not. This is particularly a problem with women in villages and rural areas who in many cases often wear the same napkin for the whole day or use reusable unhygienic cloth during their periods.
Even a shred of bad menstrual hygiene can cause grievous harm to a girl’s or woman’s body. This in turn can cause infections which in turn can spread to others around. Proper menstrual hygiene is all about girls and women living in an environment that allows them to maintain and manage their menstruation and body with security, safety and dignity.
If you’re a girl or women, there are many ways to adopt and practice good and healthy menstrual hygiene. However, the 10 of the best ways for good menstrual hygiene would be:
- Take bath regularly, even during your periods, with warm water, with focus on your back or abdomen. This will cleanse your body as well as your private parts thoroughly. Further, it will also help relieve you from menstrual cramps, protect from backaches, improve your mood, and make you feel normal sans any kind of bloating feeling.
- Wash your vagina regularly and properly with simple water, before getting into a new pad. In case, you cannot do it, then just wipe off the area with toilet or tissue paper. This will keep it in fresh and clean, free of infections, and also keep incidences like menstrual blood at bay. Else they can cause bad odor.
- Refrain from using any kind of soaps or vaginal products. That’s because vagina has an effective cleaning mechanism that can detect a good bacteria from a bad one. If you wash with soap, what happens is it will kill the good bacteria as well which otherwise helps protect you from infections. So what you actually need to do is to use a certain amount of warm water with soap on your external parts while avoiding the same inside your vagina or vulva.
- Adopt the right washing technique, that is, wash or clean in an arc from the vagina to the anus, instead of the exact opposite which otherwise can create bacteria from the anus to eventually lodge itself in the vagina and urethral opening leading to infections.
- Always clean your tampons thoroughly, whether it’s a disposable or a biodegradable one. In the case of the former, make sure its seal is intact while in the latter case; ensure it is sterilized each time before usage. You also need to ensure that the tampons are inserted so as to make sure that they are safe and hygienic. Finally, wash your hands thoroughly before you insert a tampon.
- Discard your sanitary pads hygienically by properly wrapping them off. This will ensure it does not become a breeding ground for bacteria and infections. Apart from this, avoid flushing them down the toilet. In case, you have flushed them down accidentally, then you need to wash your hands thoroughly.
- Change your sanitary pads every six hours, and tampons every two hours, regularly. In some cases, they may not be completely used, like for instance, on days when you have not had proper normal flow. Likewise, if you have had menstrual blood flow, which once if it leaves your body can contaminate your body’s innate organisms. In such a scenario, if your pad will still be on and still damp with organisms from your vagina, or sweat from your genitals. If they remain warm and moist for long, then they can lead to urinary tract or vaginal infections or skin rashes.
- Pat your vaginal area dry after every wash session. Else it can cause frequent irritations. Apart from this, keep the area between your legs dry by using antiseptic powder before wearing the pad and after washing the vagina. This will keep it dry.
- Wash your genital area from front to back rather than the opposite. Else it can cause the bacteria to flow from the anus to the vagina and urethral opening. They can stagnate there and ultimately cause infections.
- Stay wary of pad rashes which you might encounter during heavy period flows. This can happen if your pad has stayed wet for long and then rubs along the thighs causing it to chaff. To avoid the same, stay dry during your periods. Likewise, if you already have a rash, then apply an antiseptic ointment after your bath and before you go to your bed. This will heal the rash thoroughly and prevent further issues. Also, change your pads regularly and stay dry. In case, it still worsens, then consult a doctor immediately.
It is also important to stick to one type of sanitation method at a time, instead of using two sanitary pads or a tampon with sanitary pad. This otherwise can absorb the blood or lead to rashes and infections. In the case of tampons, it can also cause TSS. Also, refrain from using a piece of cloth as extra protection, next to your private parts.
STAY SAFE AND STAY HEALTHY
During your periods, always wear comfortable, loose clothing and avoid something like jeans or other kind of tight fitting clothes. This will help facilitate continuous free air-flow around your private parts as well as prevent sweating to a considerable extent.
For good and sound health, proper menstrual hygiene is important. This will ensure proper mobility and productivity. Towards this end, you need to take proper care of your body, mind, and overall health during your menstruation. Else, you expose yourself to infections. Finally, always consult your doctor, if you feel any concerns in your menstrual cycle.