Menstrual Hygiene Day: Expert Recommended Tips For Menstrual Hygiene
Menstrual Hygiene Day 2018: Gynaecologist tells about menstrual hygiene and what are the best ways to maintain it. Maintaining menstrual hygiene is crucial to a girl's overall health and well-being.
Menstrual hygiene day 2018: It is important to bathe every day during periods
- Not maintaining menstrual hygiene can up risks of UTIs
- Menstrual hygiene is important for a girl's overall well-being
- Change your sanitary napkin after every 6 hours
Maintaining menstrual hygiene is important for the overall health and well-being of women. On Menstrual Hygiene Day 2018, we talk about the basics of menstrual hygiene and why it is important to maintain it. Every year, May 28 is observed as Menstrual Hygiene Day in order to make people more aware about ways to maintain menstrual hygiene and the importance of menstrual hygiene for good health. There are numerous myths surrounding menstruation in the rural areas of the country. Myths and superstitions around menstruation deny several girls and women of some basic human rights. However, with more and more people trying to create awareness through films, discussions and awareness campaigns, menstrual hygiene has taken quite the centre stage lately.
We talk to gynaecologist Dr Bandana Sodhi about menstrual hygiene and ways to maintain it. She says, "A girl has to be educated about menstrual hygiene on the day she gets the onset of her first periods. This is important because in the rural areas in our country, people are not aware about menstrual hygiene. They in fact, consider it as a taboo rather than talk about it. Girls in villages are not even aware that they have to take bath every day on days of her periods," she says.
Also read: Premenstrual Syndrome: 7 Signs And Symptoms Of PMS
Referring to how unaware girls in rural areas are about menstrual hygiene, she goes on to add, "They don't know how to use sanitary napkins. In fact, they are not even aware about the idea of sanitary napkins. They use cloth instead of sanitary napkins. In some villages, they use leaves during their periods."
Hygiene is very important during periods. Dr Bandana explains why, "Menstrual blood can be a source of infection if it is not cleaned properly. Not maintaining menstrual hygiene can increase risks of vulval, vaginal and urinary tract infections. A girl may end up having pelvic inflammatory disease in case she continues to get vaginal infections repeatedly. Pelvic inflammatory disease can affect a girl's fertility as well. Being open about menstrual hygiene and talking about it with your mother or teacher can help in maintaining menstrual hygiene to a great extent."
Also read: Premenstrual Symptoms: 5 Reasons Why You Get Premenstrual Symptoms But No Periods
She further adds that mothers should be taught the correct way to teach their daughters about maintaining menstrual hygiene. She gives some tips for maintaining menstrual hygiene. "Removal of pubic hair or clipping of pubic hair can help in maintaining proper menstrual hygiene. Simply clipping of pubic hair can be helpful. You needn't necessarily get it waxed or shaved or clean it with the help of hair removal creams," she says.
For the purpose of keeping the vagina clean during periods, many girls resort to douching. However, Dr Bandana says that douching isn't mandatory either. "Douches may claim that they help in maintain pH balance of the vagina. But they aren't necessarily required for the purpose of menstrual hygiene. The basic thing is to take a bath every day during periods. Keep yourself dry after the bath and this will help you be clean and hygienic during your periods."
Also read: Menstrual Hygiene: 6 Menstrual Hygiene Rules Every Girl Must Know
Speaking of sanitary napkins and how frequently you must change it, she says that it is important to change the napkin every 6 hours. However, this will also depend on the flow of periods. "If you have normal flow, change your napkin in every 6 hours. If the flow is a little on the heavier side, you can change it in every 2-3 hours. Blood is a source of infection. Make sure that you don't stay with a soaked pad for too long," she says.
Apart from sanitary napkins, menstrual cups and tampons are other products which you can use during periods. Of the two, menstrual cups are the ones which are more eco-friendly and comparatively easier to use. All these products are easily available in the market and help in maintaining menstrual hygiene.
(Dr Bandana Sodhi is a Senior Consultant in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Moolchand Hospital.)
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