Why No One Talks About Menstrual Hygiene
02-06-2017 | Posted By: Rajni Joshi | 2952 View(s)
“Menstruation is something that shouldn’t be talked about” this is the statement that we have been hearing and learning from our mothers and elders at home since long. Although people have become much educated than before but the mindset needs to be changed for sure as discussing this topic remains a taboo. Just because people do not talk about it, such an important issue of menstrual hygiene has been neglected for long.
Thus, it becomes all the more necessary to provide more and more information about this so as to spread awareness among people and to keep the readers updated and informed to stay healthy and fit. Now, before moving to menstrual hygiene let’s get acquainted with the word “menstruation”.
What is Menstruation?
Menstruation is a process which involves a regular discharge of blood and mucosal tissue from the inner lining of the uterus through the vagina. Menstruation usually starts between the age of 12 and 15 years in Girls but can also happen at age lesser than that. The Exact age varies from person to person. A sexually mature and healthy girl generally menstruates once in every 29 to 31 days. Menstruation generally ceases between the ages 40 to 50 which marks an end of the fertile phase of a woman and is Known as Menopause.
Menstruation is completely a natural process however it is considered as a taboo in many underdeveloped and developing countries too. Talking about developing countries, India is one such country where menstruation is rarely talked about. It is one subject across the world, which can lead to misinformation and the promotion of dangerous menstrual hygiene practices.
People need to understand that it is completely fine to talk about it and there’s nothing to hide. Menstrual hygiene is a crucial topic, but since it’s considered to be a taboo, many of us do not even consider this issue to be important. However, if menstrual hygiene is not maintained, it can lead to serious health concerns. Consequently, it affects the psycho-social wellbeing of women and girls (such as fear, stress levels and social exclusion in many cultures. However, the awareness about menstrual hygiene has been growing; and the Government has taken a step to promote menstrual hygiene by introducing the Menstrual Hygiene Day on 28th May.
What exactly is Menstrual Hygiene?
Menstrual hygiene is nothing but the hygiene and health practices followed during the menstruation period which majorly includes the sanitation, cleanliness, disposal, and taking care of other hygiene practices. It is essential to maintain menstrual hygiene and management so as to avoid interruption in your everyday life. It helps in preventing potential situations of embarrassment and in turn, it makes you feel confident about yourself.
Why is Menstrual Hygiene important?
-Maintenance of better reproductive health
-Great self-esteem and confidence
-Vital to the health, well-being, dignity, empowerment, mobility and productivity of women and girls.
-Reduces absenteeism and increased school drop-out rates
-Reduces the chances of getting infectious diseases
What are the ways to maintain Menstrual Hygiene?
1. Choose the correct method of Sanitation
There are several methods of sanitation which majorly includes the use of sanitary napkins, menstrual cups and tampons. However, the sanitary napkin is the most accepted way among these. In India, tampons are mostly used by married women and sportswomen. However there’s no restriction on the utilisation of any method, but usually, girls prefer sanitary napkins.
2. Change the Pad regularly and on time
The sanitary napkins or tampons should be changed on a regular basis, and it is recommended to change it after every 3 hours.
3. Wash and Bath Regularly
It is believed in many cultures that a woman during her periods is impure and suspicious and thus they are not even allowed to enter the kitchen area, temple and religious places. And there’s a myth that says the woman on period should not take a bath, but there’s nothing like that, and every woman must take a bath regularly and wash the vaginal area properly.
4. Proper disposal of used Sanitary Napkins
Women must dispose of or discard the used sanitary napkins or tampons because they may spread infections. The used sanitary napkin or tampon should be wrapped well in a paper and then dumped down in a dustbin. You should never flush the used sanitary napkins and tampons down the toilet as it can lead to a blockage in the toilet.
5. Say no to Cloth
It is widely recommended that sanitary napkins and tampons should be used instead of cloth as using cloth may cause itching, irritation and rashes in the vaginal area.
6. Use Vaginal Hygiene products
There are many vaginal hygiene products available in the market out of which you can choose the best that suits you. Avoid using soaps because it can cause the mucous lining of vaginal area to become dry and unhealthy which can result in much uncomfortable health condition.
7. Refrain from Sexual intercourse
Women should not indulge in any sexual activity for the better management of menstrual hygiene and sanitation.
Proper importance and attention should be given to menstrual hygiene. Women must ensure that they take a shower regularly and wash the vaginal area. Also, they should feel free to select the method of sanitation as well as the vaginal hygiene product, and most importantly they must know that talking about menstruation or menstrual hygiene is not a sin, and they should never hesitate to talk about it and in case there is a problem do not shy away from Consulting a good Gynaecologist in your city.