Many of us still lack proper education about menstrual hygiene and not maintaing hygiene during periods can result in bacterial and fungal infections and repeated infections may lead to serious reproductive tract infections which can at time result in infertility as well. Women in villages and smaller towns still use reusable unhygienic cloth during their periods.
1. Take a shower or bath at least once a day.
2. Change pads or tampons regularly to prevent infections – it is advisable to change a sanitary pad once every six hours, for a tampon, it is every two hours.
3. Opt for good sanitary pads – women with sensitive skin may avoid sanitary pads with plastic lining, as they can cause rashes, itchiness, and boils when rubbing against the skin.
4. Use clean underwear and change it everyday.
5. Do not use soaps or vaginal hygiene products to wash the genital area. Instead, clean the vaginal area using warm water regularly, after each use of toilet and even after urination.
6. Washing the vagina with an intimate wash can kill the good bacteria making way for infections.
7. Always pat the vaginal area dry after every wash, else it might cause irritation. Also, keep the area between the legs dry. Use antiseptic powder to help keep the area dry – preferably before wearing the pad and after washing the vagina Always wash or wipe the genitals from front to back.
8. This is important because cleaning in the opposite direction can make way for bacteria from the anus to the vagina and urethral opening, leading to infection. Make sure that you wash your hands with warm water and soap after changing your pad/tampon/menstrual cup.
9. Never flush used sanitary pad and tampons down the toilet as they can clog plumbing and cause the toilet to overflow.
10. Discard them properly and throw them in the dustbin to prevent the spread of infections.
11. Wear comfortable, loose clothing, rather than jeans or tight-fitting during periods. This will ensure air flow around the sensitive areas as well as prevent sweating to a large extent.