As Women’s day comes closer, let us talk about a key factor effecting women everywhere around the word – The lack of awareness about menstruation.
Menstruation is a normal biological process and a key sign of reproductive health, yet in many cultures it is treated as something negative, shameful or dirty. A study from UNICEF revealed that 1 out of 3 girls in South Asia knew nothing about menstruation prior to getting it while 48% of girls in Iran and 10% of girls in India believe that menstruation is a disease (WaterAid 2013, Menstrual Hygiene Matters).
Here are the most crucial tips to menstrual hygiene that every woman must know:
1. Change your sanitary napkin every 4-6 hours
Menstrual blood attracts various organisms that multiply in warm blood. Changing your sanitary napkin or tampon every 4-6 hours reduces this growth and thus prevents infections.
2. Wash !
Vagina’s are a part of your body too and need to be cleaned well. The ideal way to do it, is to wash from the front to the back. Never wash in the opposite direction or the bacteria present in the anus could transfer to the vagina leading to infections.
When on your menstrual cycle, a lot of blood residue still remains after changing the sanitary napkin. Make sure that is cleaned well too.
3. Don’t Douch
Douching is the process of washing your vagina with soap or perfumed products. Wash the exterior of your vagina with mild soap but leave the inside to do its own cleaning – it cleans itself by regularly expelling the mix of fluid and cells you probably know as discharge.
If you do douch, you could upset the balance of power between good-guy and bad-guy bacteria in your vagina.
4. Discard the sanitary napkin properly
Wrap them up and throw them away in a bin to prevent the spread of bacteria. Dont flush them as they are made of absorbing material and will likely clogg the drain.
Wash your hands after discarding.
5. Don’t use two methods at once
Either use a tampon, or a sanitary napkin or a mentstrual cup – do not use more than 1 at the same time because it can cause infections too.