Menstrual hygiene is a term which is officially a taboo for a lot of people. It is considered as a “private” thing which should not be discussed in the open. Menstrual hygiene is not just about sanitary pads, it is much more than that. Supporting women during menstruation is very important to keep their dignity intact and confidence high.
We are lucky to have access to so many things but there are n number of females who are deprived of the basic facilities of menstrual hygiene. They lack facilities, awareness because it is inculcated in their minds that this whole thing should be hush-hush else it will bring embarrassment and shame. No exaggeration, this is the harsh truth of our society.
Menstrual hygiene also plays a humongous role in the empowerment of females. The only motive behind the MH Day which is on May 28th is to create a world for all females to manage their menstruation in a hygienic manner where they feel safe along with their privacy and dignity maintained, no matter where they are. There are certain points that need to be kept in mind while maintaining the menstrual hygiene in order to keep diseases at bay.
1. Sanitary material – The choice of the sanitary protection is completely personal but disposing it off in a proper way is a must for all. The variety of material is vast nowadays but we should choose sanitary pads which are non-fragrant, made from cotton and are ecofriendly.
2. Cleanliness and hygiene – It is of utmost importance to change your sanitary pad every 3-4 hours and cleaning your genitals is neccessary to reduce the chances of infections. A contaminated sanitary pad can hamper the microflora of the area which can escalate things.
3. Waste disposal – The first and foremost requirement to dispose off waste is the need of a garbage bin. Proper disposal is very important to keep the environment clean and disease free. Never throw away used sanitary pads without covering them properly.
4. Undergarments – It is important to wear clean and dry undergarments at all times. You can wash them with disinfectant to minimize chances of infection.
5. Diagnostic tests – After you cross 30 years of age, you should get your tests frequently. Pap smears, hormone tests should be done at regular intervals to control if we see any wrongs in the reports.
6. Gynaecologist/Clinical Nutritionist – Visiting a Clinical Nutritionist is as important as visiting a Gynaecologist. A Clinical Nutritionist will balance parameters of your body by diets. Monitoring your diets during pre- menopausal stage and post menopause are equally important.
7. Balanced Diet – A balanced diet works like medicine to replenish all losses done during menstruation. Curd, turmeric, cumin seeds are foods that are readily available to everyone.
8. Grooming – Grooming is a personal choice but pubic hair are present for a reason which is to protect the genitals from infection. Using razors should never be on list because it causes tiny cuts which become a breeding ground for bacteria and viruses.
9. Diseases – Cervical cancer, UTI, bacterial infections etc are very common in females due to lack of awareness and unhygienic practices. Hepatitis B is transmitted through bodily fluids including menstrual discharge, that is why washing hands before and after changing sanitary napkins. I cannot stress enough about the crucial function of menstrual hygienic practices.
Therefore, menstrual hygiene should be promoted by everyone. Mothers, teachers, friends, family members. It is nothing to be ashamed of. Social media should also become a medium to promote menstrual hygiene. We can and we will fight the importance of Menstrual hygiene.
“Better safe than sorry”