Menstrual Hygiene Day- Tips To Maintain Good Menstrual Hygiene
In the hustle & bustle of everyday life, we often tend to forget the importance of intimate hygiene. The problem is grave in rural India, as many women still don’t have access to sanitary products. Therefore, they tend to use dirty clothes and other unsanitary products. Poor menstrual hygiene can cause health problems such as vaginal irritation, urinary tract infections (UTI) and cervical cancer.
Here are some tips that you should implement to ensure proper menstrual hygiene.
1) Opt for the sanitary product of your choice
In today’s time, there are several products available in the market. You may choose any of them based on your preference, budget and comfort. If you want to make a choice that’s good for the environment, you can opt for menstrual cups. Make sure to choose one of your sizes. If you prefer tampons, it is vital to select one with the lowest absorbency rate as per your flow. When it comes to sanitary napkins, make sure that it is of proper size. Opt for sanitary napkins that don’t contain artificial additives like perfumes or harsh synthetic chemicals.
2) Change frequently
It’s crucial to change your pad or tampon frequently as it might cause various infections. The standard time to change a sanitary napkin is once every six hours, whereas the average time to change a tampon is every two hours. Nevertheless, you can customise the changing schedule to suit your needs. Make sure to wash & clean the menstrual cup after every few hours. Also, don’t forget to sterilise it before storing it.
3) Ditch Vaginal cleansers & douches
The vagina has a self-cleaning mechanism and keeps itself in a healthy state by maintaining the correct pH balance. It also has a rich microflora of good bacteria. The use of such cleansers can not only hamper the pH balance but can also kill good bacteria. To wash the vulva, you can use lukewarm water.
4) Avoid using two pads simultaneously
Often to avoid staining of clothes & to control the flow, some women use two sanitary napkins simultaneously. But it’s not a good idea, as it can cause vaginal infections. The same rule applies to the simultaneous use of tampon & pad. If you experience heavy flow, stick to one & keep changing it to control the flow.
5) Wear clean & comfortable underwears
It is essential to wear comfortable underwear as it allows the skin to breathe. Opt for underwear made up of breathable fabric like cotton. Clean & comfortable underwear not only makes you feel a little comfortable but also ensures that there’s no room for infections. Try to avoid wearing tight undies.
6) Eat a balanced diet
Make sure to keep yourself hydrated and try to stay away from processed foods.
To ensure that your menstrual health is in the best state, you should include the food items mentioned below in your diet.
– Water-rich fruits like watermelon and cucumber are always a good idea.
– You can eat sweet fruits to curb your sugar cravings without lending a helping hand with refined sugar.
- Leafy Green Vegetables
– It is common to experience a dip in your Iron level during periods, especially if your menstrual flow is heavy.
– To keep that in check, include leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, broccoli, etc.
– Being an anti-inflammatory spice, turmeric helps to deal with several health and skin issues.
– You should include turmeric milk in your diet as it has antispasmodic properties that can soothe the pains during the menstrual cycle.
- Protein-rich food
– Include eggs, chicken, salmon, sardine, or mackerel in your diet to ensure that your body is getting enough protein.
– If you are a vegetarian, you can balance the protein needed by eating mushrooms, tofu, lentils, legumes & nuts.
7) Keep stress at bay
In these unprecedented times, it might get hard to find a semblance of normalcy. We need to understand how much stress can adversely affect the menstrual cycle by altering the hormonal balance. Try to pamper yourself and you can even indulge in a light workout. Cultivate hobbies and take out time for yourself to beat stress.
The COVID-19 pandemic has reaffirmed the focus on menstrual hygiene, especially among the marginalised women. We need to take lessons from this pandemic and step up action and investment in menstrual health and hygiene now!