My way or the highway- the road towards hygiene

Akin to drinking water, “hygiene” is also one of the most basic needs of human being. I would say an exceptional effort to balance hygiene comes off as hard work in a woman’s life, especially during menstruation. Menstrual hygiene has been a subject of concern in India for decades. Even Bollywood celebrities like Akshay Kumar in PadMan and Oscar-winning filmmakers like Guneet Monga have hard-pressed their boundaries to spread awareness among women who are far from the luxury of menstrual products.

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PadMan, released in 2018, had mentioned that women in rural areas use dirty rags, dry leaves, and even ashes during their menstrual cycle. Yes! Menstrual hygiene’s darkest side lives thousands of miles away in rural areas. It is still a cause of vaginal cancer, severe infection, and many other diseases. Besides, unhygienic menstruation does not only put one’s body at risk but also the family members, friends, and others around them.

Today, we bring you a roadmap to hygiene down there. How can millions of women all over the world join hands to meet their needs to stay 100% risk-free during menstruation? Take a look.

CLEAN GARMENTS ARE THE KEY TO UNLOCK DOORS TO MENSTRUAL HYGIENE

Comfort always comes from a clean and fresh feeling. Among women, it has been observed that while women change sanitary pads quite frequently, they become lazy when it comes to changing into a clean pair of underwear. They know that wearing stained underwear is unclean; however, they get away with the fact by replacing just their pad. Ladies, this is where you are wrong. Even though you have changed your pad, your underwear is still dirty and can cause infection.

A single spot of menstrual blood contains many germs. Indeed, in a study, it has been concluded that menstrual blood does not have any odor. During menstruation, the blood mixes up with vaginal microbes and thus, it smells. It means the blood spot on your former underwear has vaginal germs which can further cause damage if it sticks to vaginal skin.

“TWO PADS AT A TIME?” NOT AN OPTION!

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While you are on periods, there is an 80-90% chance that you may experience heavy flow during one of the days. It is noteworthy to mention that a percentage of women suffer heavy flow due to biological reasons. According to a study, it has been concluded that women prefer using two pads at a time to avoid staining on their clothes because of heavy flow. However, it is not as healthy as it sounds. It can cause severe vaginal infection or UTI. Instead, you can use panty liners to avoid staining on clothes during heavy flow.

VAGINAL SCRUBBING

Well! The vagina is one of the most sensitive parts in a woman’s body. You cannot avoid using daily vaginal wash during menstruation. And, that’s not it! Just as there is a right way to wash your hands, there is also a right way to wash your vagina if you want to get away with the risk of UTI. Yes! Menstrual germs (microbes or any other bacteria) enter the bladder and cause UTI. To avoid UTIs or any other infections, you must take care that you wash off the bacteria with blood in a downward direction. In simple words, start cleaning from the vagina and towards the anus and not the other way around. It will prevent bacteria from finding a way into your body and cause internal damage.

REUSABLE PADS? FOLLOW-UP THE INSTRUCTED NUMBER!

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Reusable pads are effective and keep the pocket loose. However, even among literate women, it has been observed that women risk their health by using reusable menstrual pads beyond the number of times as instructed on the pack. It may not cause any harm in the short-run but it becomes a big deal when it comes to vaginal infections in the long run. While using reusable pads, wash the pad after each use. Once the pad has crossed the number of times it can be used, dispose of and grab a new one.

‘BATHING’ IS AN ESSENTIAL FACTOR IN LIFE, PERIODS OR NO PERIODS!

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Few women use menstruation as an excuse to not shower and to cover their laziness during periods. As it is believed that women should not wash hair during menstruation which is a myth, should not be taken as an excuse to skip bathing. It is an integral part of hygienic maintenance.

The road towards hygiene starts with us. A few steps can take you far away from the risk of infections and severe diseases like cancer.