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For women, menstruation is a vital process of the body. They need to take utmost precautions and care while they are menstruating. It is very important to maintain good hygiene down there, eat right and stay in top shape while you're on your period. Here, Dr. Madhuri Burande Laha, Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, Motherhood Hospital, Pune explains why women need to stick to good hygiene practices during menstruation as well as shares a few essential menstrual hygiene tips every girl and woman should know.
Dr. Laha says - Menstruation is still considered taboo and there is a great deal of stigma associated with it. Menstruation is an essential and healthy biological process of women and girls' reproductive cycle. But you will be shocked to know that it is considered dirty, impure, and shameful even now, in many parts of the world. Because of the negative attitudes toward menstruation, many menstruating girls refrain from talking about the normal, healthy process as they feel embarrassed and uncomfortable. Thus, this can impact their health in a negative way. They may feel disturbed, lonely, worthless, and even stressed.
So, it is important to raise awareness about maintaining good hygiene during menstruation as not doing so can lead to vaginal, skin, and urinary tract infections (UTIs) and rashes.
When you are menstruating, you will need to take shower at least 2 times a day. Try to clean yourself properly. Bathing will give you a chance to clean your private parts and keep them germ-free.
Wipe yourself the correct way. Wipe your vagina from front to back. The organisms will still be present in the body even when you remove the sanitary pad. Wash your vagina properly and avoid using chemical products down there. Doing so can lead to bacteria and infections. Pat dry the vagina instead of rubbing the area harder as this can cause irritation.
Change the pad after every 4 hours and if you are using a menstrual cup then clean it thoroughly by washing it properly. Wash your hands after touching the vagina.
Wear loose clothes during the period and avoid tight pants to ensure airflow around the sensitive areas and prevent sweating and odour. Wear clean underwear during periods.
Do not flush the pad in the toilet as it can cause the toilet to back up. You will have to wrap it and discard the pad.
If you have heavy flow then you may experience pad rash. Hence, use a good ointment suggested by the doctor. Stay dry during your periods.
Do not neglect menstrual hygiene at all. Learn to take care of your body and health while you are on your period. Doing so will help you increase your productivity, mobility and maintain good well-being.
Access to feminine hygiene products is a problem in many developed and developing countries, including India. Poor access to sanitary products is one of the reasons why so many girls are missing school during their menstrual periods. This is an area that needs greater attention to improve women's experience of menstruation.
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