Most women, if not all women, never enjoy menstrual period because of the associated pains, stomach cramps, lack of energy and general discomfort. In some cultures and in some centuries past, menstruating women were secluded from family activities. This treatment was probably because women did not have the sanitary measures such as access to running water and proper sensitization that are available today. They used old cloths as napkins and often had to wash and reuse them. General ignorance about a woman’s body and the way it functions led to a large number of myths, like not going near a holy place and not being allowed into the kitchen during menstrual periods. But times have changed and so have we. It is important to maintain optimum personal hygiene during menstrual period as an improper hygiene will not tell well of you.
As you get to puberty and start menstruating, you have to carefully choose what kind of sanitary towel to use. Most ladies will go for either sanitary pads or tampons, but if you’re just starting, it is better you make use of sanitary pads as they are easy to maintain. The only discomfort with pad is that it gets bulky and noticeable when you have heavy flow. You’ll need to avoid fitted clothes during this period and ensure you use proper sanitary pad size. Here are some tips to help you stay clean and hygienic during your periods:
It is important to change your sanitary pad or tampon regularly. It is advisable to change your sanitary pad every six hours, while tampon should be changed once every two hours. While some women experience heavy flow and would need to change more often, others will need to change less frequently. Sanitary napkins are made of cotton wool and gel. When you bleed, you get soaked, but at a point the pad gets saturated and may begin to leak. Another consideration is that once the blood leaves the body, it gets contaminated with the body’s natural organisms. When these organisms remain in a warm and moist place for a long time they tend to multiply and can lead to conditions like urinary tract infection, vaginal infections and skin rashes. Therefore, regular changing is essential. In the case of tampons, it is very important because, if left inserted into the vagina for a long period of time it can cause a condition called toxic shock syndrome. This is a condition where bacteria infiltrate the body leading to severe infection known with severe vomiting, high fever and diarrhea that can send the body into shock.
Wash Your Body Regularly
Ensure you take your bath as many times as possible, not just for the cleanliness only, but also to avoid offensive odor from the menstrual flow. It is sometimes preferable to bathe with warm water which will also help you to prevent menstrual cramps. And before and after changing the pad, always wash your hand to prevent bacterial infection in your private part. There’s not much need to clean the inside of your vagina when menstruating, because, it can disturb the normal body flora and encourage infection. Avoid using scented or unscented products after bath; instead wash thoroughly with clean water to make you feel fresh.
Discard Your Used Sanitary Product Properly
Whether you are using a sanitary napkin or tampon, it is important to know how to dispose it correctly. Properly wrap it so it does not open and discard it in a dustbin meant for used sanitary products. It is essential to discard your used napkins or tampons properly because they are capable of spreading infections, and we all know that their foul smell and disgusting sight shouldn’t be seen by another. Do not throw it without a wrapping or in bags. Do not leave it on the window sill or on the floor of the toilet, and never flush it down the toilet. Also remember to wash your hands well after you change your sanitary pad.
Treat Pad Rash with Care
A pad rash is something that you might experience during a period of heavy flow. It can be extremely uncomfortable and painful; in some cases they may get infected and lead to a more severe condition. Moreover, constant pad rashes tend to stain the area causing it to darken. To prevent this from occurring, try to stay dry during your periods. If you do have a rash, change your pads regularly and stay dry. Apply an antiseptic ointment after a bath and before bed, this will heal the rash and prevent further chaffing. If it gets worse, visit your doctor.
Use Only One Method of Sanitation during Your Periods
Women, who experience heavy flow during their periods, tend to use two sanitary pads and a tampon at the same time, or sanitary pad along with a piece of cloth. This might seem like a good idea, but it’s actually not. Changing regularly is a better option. Using two pads, or a tampon and a sanitary pad is bad because the two pads absorb the blood and you don’t feel the need for regular changes. This can lead to rashes and infections or even a bigger problem.
Be Ready with On-the-go Stuff during Your Periods
When you have your periods it is important to be ready. It is important to have extra sanitary pads or tampons properly stored in your bag, a soft towel, hand sanitizer, a healthy snack, bottle of drinking water, a tube of antiseptic medication (if you are using one for your rashes).Your hand sanitizer is very important here. You will need it to clean your hands and flush knob before and after using the toilet. The snack is a backup in case you feel weak or run down during the day, and the bottle of water is to help you stay hydrated throughout the day. It is important to understand that periods are a sign of fertility and good health.