Menstrual hygiene is a practice that protects women from infections in the reproductive and urinary tracts during menstruation. Women's hygiene behaviours during menstruation are critical, since they may increase sensitivity to Reproductive Tract Infections (RTIs). Poor menstrual hygiene is one of the key causes of the high incidence of RTIs in women and contributes considerably to female morbidity.

Menstrual hygiene management may be especially difficult for women in underdeveloped nations, where clean water and bathroom facilities are frequently insufficient. Furthermore, cultural customs make it difficult to openly discuss menstruation. This restricts access to pertinent and critical knowledge on the regular processes of the female body.

Photo by Alexander Sergienko / Unsplash

Every year on May 28th, Menstrual Hygiene Day is observed. On this day, organisations and people fight to break the silence around menstruation, combat the stigma typically associated with it, and promote awareness of the significance of menstrual hygiene for women and girls all over the world. May 28 is an opportunity to emphasise the significance of menstruation care and raise awareness about the challenges encountered by individuals who do not have access to sanitary goods.

Unhealthy menstrual practices

  1. Wearing a sanitary pad or tampon for too long may cause, irritation of the skin produces discomfort and may lead to dermatitis, a medical disorder in which the skin swells, gets red, and occasionally becomes sore with blisters.
  2. Dirty toilets send germs into the urethra, potentially leading to urinary tract infections (UTIs). It can occur anywhere in the urinary system and can be dangerous if left untreated, as it can destroy the kidneys.
  3. A lack of regular bathing has the ability to alter the pH level of vaginal flora. This can result in a shift in environment and an increased risk of bacterial vaginosis. It has the greatest influence on women who are attempting to conceive.
Photo by Inciclo / Unsplash

Healthy menstrual practices

  1. Change frequently: The cardinal guideline for establishing vaginal cleanliness is to change sanitary napkins or tampons every 4-6 hours. When menstrual blood is produced from the body, it draws numerous organisms from our bodies, which proliferate in the warmth of the blood and cause discomfort, rashes, or urinary tract infections. Changing your sanitary napkin or tampon on a regular basis slows the growth of harmful germs and avoids infections.
  2. Wash yourself properly: Washing your vagina on a regular basis is critical because germs cling to your body after you remove your sanitary napkin. Most individuals wash themselves on a regular basis, but not in the proper manner that is, by moving your hands from the vagina to the anus, not vice versa.
  3. Don’t use soaps or vaginal hygiene products: Vaginas have their own cleansing system that comes into action during menstrual cycles, and these artificial hygiene products can interfere with the natural process, leading to infections and bacteria development.
  4. Discard the sanitary napkin properly: It is essential to properly dispose of your tampons and sanitary napkins. Wrap them properly before throwing them away to prevent the spread of germs and diseases. Make sure not to flush them, as this may clog the toilet, causing the water to back up and spread the bacteria throughout. Washing your hands thoroughly after wrapping and discarding used tampons and sanitary napkins is critical since you are likely to contact the soiled area when wrapping them.
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