Gynaecologist Dr Madhushree Vijayakumar sheds light on the importance of menstrual hygiene for teenage girls

Menstrual hygiene is one of the top most important things that all women need to take care of. But teenage girls after hitting puberty may find it difficult to maintain the right hygiene. So, Dr Madhushree Vijayakumar, Consultant Obstetrician & Gynecologist, Motherhood Hospitals, Bengaluru, gives some exclusive tips to lead a healthy life.
Menstrual hygiene tips for teenage girls Menstrual hygiene tips for teenage girls
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Once a girl hits puberty, she starts seeing many changes that take place in her body, and one of them is menstruation. After they begin menstruating, there are several things that she needs to take care of one of them being menstrual hygiene. Menstrual hygiene is extremely important. Taking care of menstrual hygiene may become a huge deal for a girl who is just entering her teens. So, Dr Madhushree Vijayakumar, Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, Motherhood Hospitals, Bengaluru, gives some menstrual hygiene tips for all teenagers.

Why is menstrual hygiene important?

If one does not take proper care of menstrual hygiene they can end up with- Urinary tract infection (UTI), Reproductive tract infection, or cervical cancer, etc. There is this condition called ‘Toxic Shock Syndrome’ where the prolonged usage of the tampon without changing it with a clean one can trigger this condition. There is a bacterium, in this case, that can grow and lead to a multi-organ failure.

Importance of disposing of sanitary pads

One needs to know that they need to dispose of the sanitary napkin responsibly. Hygiene does not stop with only looking after your body but also extends to one’s surroundings. This is how one should ideally dispose of sanitary napkins: -

1-Properly wrap the used sanitary napkin in an old newspaper or one can wrap it in the same cover that has been provided.

2-Discard it in the dustbin properly.

3-These sanitary napkins are incinerated at a very high temperature which cannot be achieved at home hence it is advised not to burn it at home.

4-NEVER flush a sanitary napkin as it can clog up your bathroom.

5-Disposing of sanitary napkins is also very important because if it is left open or undisposed for too long it will start smelling foul and even attract insects to it.

Cleansing Menstrual cups

Menstrual cups are small funnel-shaped, rubber cups that women use during their menses. Menstrual cups are reusable and environmentally friendly. These cups hold much more blood than sanitary napkins or tampons. Before using a cup, one must always sterilise it so that you are sure that there are no infections or bacteria that can be transmitted through your vagina. After using a cup drain out the blood and clean it with hot water, dry it and keep it in a safe place.

Tips from the doctor:

1-One must change her sanitary pad every six hours or else it can lead to many medical issues. The warmth of the blood might attract bacteria, flies, or insects towards it and if one does not change her pad for a very long period of time it can end up in irritation around her private area, urinary tract infection, and other serious conditions like cervical cancer. 

2-If one is using a tampon, make sure to change it every 4 to 6 hours. While pulling it out be gentle, do not be harsh.

3-Keep your genital area clean. Do not apply soap on your private parts, just rinse your private areas with warm water. If you use too much soap or cleaning products the natural cleaning mechanism will get disrupted and lead to a dry vagina or even bacteria in the vagina.

4-Keep your undergarments clean and dry because if not done so, bacteria can grow on undergarments as well.

5-It is better not to use cloth during your menses, as it can become messy and cleaning the cloth may be a problem. If the cloth is not washed properly even a little number of blood calls can attract insects and bacteria.

6-If you are using menstrual cups, choose the right size of the cup.

7-Always wash your hands before and after touching your privates.

8-Menstrual hygiene is of top-notch importance because if cleanliness is not maintained they are calling upon diseases like cervical cancer and other infections. So, maintain good hygiene for a healthy life.

Also Read: 5 Reasons for a delayed period that doesn't include pregnancy