Menstrual Hygiene Day 2020: Importance and steps to follow for good menstrual hygiene during menses
Menstrual Hygiene Day 2020: Dr Madhuri Burande Laha and By Dr Sireesha Reddy have shed light on the importance of menstrual hygiene and steps one should keep in mind.
Dr Madhuri Burande Laha, Consultant, Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Motherhood Hospital, Kharadi has shared the following inputs:
If you fail to practice good hygiene habits during menstruation then you may be harming your body. Yes, that right! Doing so can spread infection and allergies. So, it is the need of the hour to follow good hygiene practices. Read on to know more about this…
Menstruation is still considered a taboo toady. Menstruation can be described as a healthy biological process of women and girls’ reproductive cycle. You will be shocked to know that it is still considered as impure. Still, there is a lot of embarrassment associated with it. Thus, this process deserves the utmost importance and care. So, it is vital to ensure that you stick to proper hygiene practices and see to it that you get healthy and happy periods.
It is no brainer that keeping your intimate areas clean and having access to safe menstrual products can help lower one’s chances of infections. Using sanitary pads instead of cloth can be helpful in cutting down the risk associated with the periods. Thus, changing the pad after every 4 hours, and washing hands can be helpful. Doing so can help you get stress-free periods.
Here we explain to you the importance of following good hygiene during periods:
Lower the chances of rashes: Occurrence of rashes in the intimate areas are common and the majority of women have encountered this problem. Not changing sanitary pads can lead to rashes. This is so because one’s vaginal skin tends to get infected owing to the fungus and bacteria. Likewise, prolonged wetness down there can also invite abrasion and allergies.
Urine infection: Not maintaining proper hygiene during periods can not only invite allergies but urine infection too. Yes, you have heard it right! This will be extremely bothersome and painful for your stomach and may also affect the functioning of your kidney.
Vaginal discharge: Not adhering to proper hygiene during menstruation can invite bacteria in your vagina and its aftereffect can be white discharge. It can be embarrassing we know that. So, maintain proper hygiene down there.
Infertility: Using a sanitary napkin, uncleaned cloth, or tampon for a long time can be problematic. It tends to facilitate the growth of bacteria that makes the way into your ovaries causing you difficulty in conceiving the baby and thereby increase your chances of infertility.
Takeaway: Change your pads or tampons after every 4 hours, wash your intimate parts very often and wear a clean and cotton undergarment. Do not wear tight clothing that leads to sweat and bad odor. Wash your hands properly after changing your pads or tampons.
By Dr Sireesha Reddy, Consultant, Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, Motherhood Hospitals, Hebbal, Bangalore has shared the following inputs:
Adolescence has been recognized as a special period that requires much attention as it marks the onset of menarche, an important milestone in a woman at her puberty. Hence, maintaining hygienic practices during menstruation is crucial to maintaining a healthy and balanced life. India’s 113 million adolescent girls are particularly vulnerable at the onset of menarche where they need support, care and guidance for building a stronger development foundation in their lives.
One of the most critical aspects is the use of safe/ hygienic materials to capture or absorb menstrual blood, including sanitary pads, tampons or even menstrual cups. Menstrual hygiene management is one of the most critical and important aspect in a woman’s life as it is related to both emotional and physical well-being. More so in the case of adolescent women who are stepping in the threshold of a new phase in their life, therefore need to be aware and informed on good menstrual hygiene practice. This will not only help them minimize their suffering but also empower them towards leading a fuller life without any hesitation.
According to the World Health Organization, adolescence as young individuals between 10 and 19 years of age and during this period, women undergo certain reproductive changes; with menstruation, these changes take shape. In country like India, menstruation as a biological event requires more awareness as it is still surrounded by various psychological and religious barriers due to lack of knowledge about the scientific process of menstruation. Especially, adolescent girls, residing in slums and villages are completely ignorant of the fact on what actually happens during the menstrual cycle. Although menstruation is a natural process, it is linked with several perceptions, myths and unhygienic practices within the community, which sometimes may result in adverse health outcomes.
Menstruation is generally considered as impure in the Indian society, isolation of the menstruating girls and restrictions being imposed on them is a common practice across families/ communities. This attitude has created social stigma towards and this phenomenon, in turn, expedites the tendency to follow unhygienic ways during monthly cycles. Recent industry data shows that there is a substantial amount of gap in knowledge about menstruation among adolescent girls as more than three fourth of the girls in the rural area are not aware of the cause and the source of bleeding.
However, hygiene practice during menstruation is an inevitable part of any woman's life and that too in the adolescent age is of vital importance. Varied aspects such as physiology, pathology and psychology of menstruation have been witnessed to be associated with the health and well-being of women; hence, it is an important issue concerning morbidity and mortality of the female population, which needs awareness from its inception.
During this period, a woman is regarded quite vulnerable for developing any kind of reproductive tract infections, urinary tract infections, and various sexually transmitted diseases and that is why menstrual hygiene requisites of special healthcare needs and requirements during the monthly cycle are critical. Therefore, adequate knowledge about menstruation right from childhood may lead to safer and hygienic practices and may help in mitigating the suffering of millions of women.
In fact, women must be aware of the 5 key Hygiene aspects that are changing sanitary pad every 4 hours, washing oneself properly, hand Hygiene to be maintained especially after use of washroom and discarding sanitary napkin safely.
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As per the data, almost 23 million girls drop out of school early when they start menstruating and several of them eventually end up facing acute health problems. It is time we collaborate to address all the myths surrounding the menstrual cycle and empower our girls to lead a complete life filled with pride and knowledge.