Menstruation is one of the many “blessings” of womanhood. However, even though having our periods every month can be frustrating at the least, it is one of the vital processes of a woman’s body.
During menstruation, women deserve utmost self-care, and it is essential to ensure proper hygiene and a balanced diet. Check out our top tips for menstrual hygiene below.
What is menstruation?
The menstrual cycle is the regular and natural change that occurs in the female reproductive system that is responsible for making pregnancy possible. The cycle is required for the production of oocytes, and for the preparation of the uterus for pregnancy and involves discharging blood and other material from the lining of the uterus at intervals of about one month. Because of this utmost levels of hygiene are required.
Proper washing and cleaning
Washing your vagina regularly is extremely important, especially during menstruation because the bacteria can cling to your body after you have removed your sanitary pad or tampon. While most people regularly wash, however, not always the right way. Always use your hands in motion from the vagina to the anus, not vice-versa, to avoid the transmission of bacteria from the anus into the vagina or urethra, which can lead to infections.
Change sanitary products regularly
As a general rule of thumb, sanitary pads or tampons should be changed every 4-6 hours to establish vaginal hygiene. Menstrual blood, when released from the body, can attract various bacterias from our bodies, which multiply in the warmth of the blood, and cause irritation, rashes or urinary tract infections. Changing your sanitary pads or tampon every 4-6 hours will control the growth of bacteria and prevent infections.
Don’t use vaginal soaps and hygiene products during menstruation
While using vaginal hygiene products every day sounds like a good idea, they should not be used during periods of menstruation. Vaginas have their own cleaning mechanism during menstrual cycles, and artificial hygiene products can hinder the natural process of cleaning. As a result, using these products can lead to infections and growth of bacteria, rather than improved hygiene.
Dispose sanitary products properly
It is always essential to dispose of tampons and sanitary pads properly. Wrap them in their wrapper, or layers of toilet paper before you throw them away, so the bacteria will not spread. Never flush sanitary products down the toilet and always remember to wash your hands thoroughly after.
Stick to one sanitary product at a time
When experiencing heavy flow, many women choose to use a combination of sanitary products at once. However, using two pads or a combination of pads and tampons can lead to rashes, infections and sometimes in the case of tampons, toxic shock syndrome. Always stick to one sanitation method, changing more regularly as the most suitable option.
Dr Bevan Brown is one of the most trusted gynaecologists in Sydney and will be thrilled to give you complete and compassionate care in every way possible. If you have any questions regarding menstrual hygiene or would like to book an appointment, please do not hesitate to get in touch.