Though your period experience is unique to you, maintaining hygiene during those days is a pretty essential thing to do. It will not only give you that clean feeling but also will protect you against potential diseases and even infertility. It often comes with cramps, bloating and uneasiness and thus, this phase requires utmost care. Unfortunately, many women in India do not have proper access to sanitary products and some are not aware about the importance of menstrual sanitation. Many women in rural areas look for alternatives to sanitary pads as they cannot afford them and these alternatives. Unhygienic menstrual practices can cause a lot of issues, including impact on fertility.
In collaboration with The Channel 46, Dr Suparna Bhattacharya, Fertility Consultant at Nova IVF Fertility, explains how hygiene is associated with fertility, hygiene tips to follow during menstruation, and common myths related to periods.
How Is Hygiene Associated With Fertility?
With maintaining hygiene during your menstruation days, you can avoid the risk of pelvic infections. But a lot of women do not have access to the basic amenities they need to ensure that. Having affordable period products, clean water, and a supportive environment is the bare minimum the menstruating population deserves. Poor menstrual hygiene can lead to infections, infertility and even complications during pregnancy. It can also disrupt your menstrual patterns. Furthermore, not maintaining proper hygiene can also let bacterial infections thrive in your pelvic area. All these conditions can lead to reproductive tract infections, which can in turn cause infertility in the future, if not treated properly.
6 Basics Of Hygiene To Follow During Menstruation
1. Don’t Skip Bathing
Taking a bath or shower at least once a day is important to keep your body clean and avoid odour.
2. The Right Way To Wash
We all know that washing our hands is necessary while using period products or cleaning the area, but our vagina is much more sensitive than any other body part. Avoid using regular soap, body wash or shampoo in the intimate area as they can disrupt the acidity of these parts of the body. Opt for wash products that are specifically formulated for intimate hygiene and care. Read here to know more about vaginal washes.
3. Right Clothing
You generally should avoid wearing uncomfortable and tight clothes but, during periods, following this rule is unavoidable. Wearing fabrics that don’t let air pass through can cause moisture in your pelvic area, which can lead to yeast and bacterial infections. Wear something light and comfortable like cotton to stay fresh and dry during those days.
4. Change Your Pads Or Tampons Often
That damp pad won’t just irritate your skin and make you feel uneasy, it will also increase your risk of catching infections. It is advised to change your pads every 4 to 6 hours but the duration also depends upon your flow and period experience.
5. Use A Menstrual Cup If You Can
Don’t get us started on how it’s a better alternative. Menstrual cups store the flow rather than absorbing it and thus, it does not cause irritation and uneasiness. They are comparatively safer to use and can last years with proper care, which makes them extremely pocket-friendly.
6. Practice Safe Sex
Sex during menstruation comes with a high risk of passing on or contracting blood-borne diseases, such as HIV or Hepatitis B. The risk is increased as the concentration of HIV and Hepatitis B is higher in blood than semen or vaginal secretion. Having your periods doesn’t mean that you can’t have sex, just make it safer. Sex is also a period pain reliever for some women.
3 Realities Of The Menstruating Population In India
For women in India, periods are surrounded with myths and cultural restrictions.
- Even with great advancement in medical science, the topic is treated as a taboo. In an estimate, 200 million children and adults lack basic awareness about menstrual hygiene. Many girls drop out of school because they don’t have access to period products at their education institutions. It is easier for them to drop school than to ask for what they deserve.
- Many women suffer from vaginal infections and complications every year and they choose not to talk about it because of the stigmas.
- It makes it even harder for women in such areas to deal with their menses and it will take a lot more than good products to tackle it.
Taking care of your wellbeing and lifestyle isn’t always the easiest thing to do but plays a vital role in avoiding future consequences. Following the right hygiene practices during your menstruation is easier if you have the resources to do so. With the choice of right products and following menstrual health guidelines, it can be easily implemented. When your menstrual patterns are regulated, your overall health is affected too. Menstruation can be a tough time for women as it comes with a lot of uneasiness, cramps and mood swings. While maintaining intimate hygiene is essential for the menstruating population across ages, it becomes imperative for those who want to start a family, since poor menstrual hygiene can lead to infertility and pregnancy complications.
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