Go With The Flow

A Complete Guide to Menstrual Hygiene & Health

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When mummy says, “don’t wash your hair, it’s the first day of your period!” don’t listen to her. Or your pados wali aunty goes, “beta, if the pad is not completely soaked through, why throw it out?” turn it a deaf ear. Why? Because people will have things to say, half of which will be mindless talk.

Aur phir menstrual hygiene tips ke liye hum hain na! We do the heavy duty of research work for you, so you can stay miles away from nonsensical information. If you want to know more about menstrual health and hygiene, keep reading.

What is Menstrual Hygiene?

Intimate hygiene that you practice during the days of your period is what one might refer to as menstrual hygiene. Maintaining proper hygiene during menstruation is vital to having better periods. We get it, cramps, bloating, back pain, crankiness can make you feel like you’re not your usual self. We cannot stress enough on the importance of menstrual hygiene. Don’t let anything make you neglect basic period hygiene.

Why Menstrual Hygiene is Important?

You’d be surprised to know that even in the 21st century, lack of access to menstrual hygiene is the fifth biggest killer of women.

Poor menstrual hygiene can lead to serious health risks, like reproductive issues and urinary tract infections. These can result in future infertility and other birth complications.

It’s not just the lack of access to period products, but also the general lack of hygiene practices during the days of your periods. Did you know that just forgetting to wash your hands properly after changing menstrual products can lead to the spread infections, such as Hepatitis B and Thrush?

How to maintain menstrual hygiene?

  • Changing pads – Don’t take your pados wali aunty’s advice, change pads often even if they are not completely soaked through. Ideally, changing pads every four hours is good. Do this at least on the first two days of your period if not every day. Don’t wear the same pad for more than eight hours at a time.
  • Cleaning reusable pads - There are sanitary napkins that can be reused for several menstrual cycles. Make sure you’re washing these thoroughly. If possible rinse these napkins in an anti- bacterial liquid later. Follow the instructions given and don’t reuse them beyond the recommended number of uses.
  • Keep your vaginal area clean – Keep your vulvar area clean during periods. Liquid blood can sometimes spread everywhere and create a huge mess. Use warm water and mild soap to wash the area. You can also use vaginal washes available in the market to clean the vulvar area. Your vagina itself does not need to be washed or cleaned because it has its own system in place to do all the work.
  • Never use two pads simultaneously – ‘Ek se bhale do’ formula doesn't actually work here. Women who experience a heavier flow tend to stack pads on top of each other. What happens is that the pad on top receives the maximum amount of blood and stays in contact with the sensitive skin of your vulva till the pad beneath is soaked too. This can increase your risk of contracting bacteria and infections.

    And this is where we come in to save the day. RIO Heavy Duty Pads for heavy flow, so you don’t have to manage by stacking pads on top of each other. RIO Heavy Duty pads:

    • 3X more absorbent than a regular sanitary pad
    • XXL from every angle
    • With double wings for double the protection
    • Side leak guards to prevent any spills from the sides

    With RIO by your side, nobody can stop you from having a better period.

  • Wear comfortable, clean underwear – Stick to your granny panties, ladies. By granny panties we mean comfortable, cotton underwear. Wearing tight thongs or fancy lingerie can restrict the flow of air and trap moisture, which can lead to infections. Also, remember to change your underwear in regular intervals of time.

Menstrual Hygiene Health Education

Most girls start menstruating between the ages 9- 14. Menstruation and menstrual hygiene should be introduced together. It’s a good idea to tell your kids about menstrual hygiene management early. Just teaching them how menstrual products are to be used is not enough. They should also know how to dispose of their used products properly.

Most kids often feel awkward discussing things with their parents when something goes wrong. Preparing them in advance is a good idea.

Menstrual Care Products

Some products that you should keep handy in case of emergencies or mishaps are:

  • Sanitary pads (duh) – Keep a few extra sanitary pads in case of emergencies or if a fellow menstruator is in need of one.
  • An extra underwear – We aren’t kidding on this one. Keep at least one extra panty, if you happen to stain the one you have on.
  • Wipes – Keep some wipes to clean any mess that might happen.

Key Takeaway: The Purpose Of Menstrual Hygiene

What is the purpose of menstrual hygiene you ask? The very same as the purpose of normal health and hygiene—to make sure you do okay and stay in the best of health. Since menstrual health continues to be a taboo in India, often women stay shrouded in guilt, shame and secrecy and fail to address problems they are facing. Speaking more about menstrual health, creating more policies on the same, and encouraging menstruators to visit medical practitioners more often can make a world of difference.

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