While our menstrual experience is widely varying, ranging from “I want to kill somebody”, to “Someone please get me a pound of chocolate”, to “I am dead inside”, to “Woohoo, I’m a butterfly”, What concerns us equally is how to maintain our bodily hygiene when on periods.
Here’s a list of dos and don’ts of menstrual hygiene cutting across various myths and skepticism that have rained on us since our first periods:
1. Change-or- danger:
Although almost all sanitary pad ads these days show women on their periods prancing around all day long, claiming that there product lasts all day, it is absolutely necessary to change your pads/towels/tampons every 3-4 hours AT LEAST. Those with heavier flow should change more often. This is because even though the pad may seem relatively cleaner, the bacterial overgrowth in it causes rashes and infections in the pubic area. As the cliche goes, change is necessary, and more so when it comes to menstrual hygiene.
Source : Bored Panda
Whether you like it bushy or squeaky clean down there, one needs to know the importance of pubic hair and how it grows during periods (pun intended?). Not only does it protect your genitalia from the invasion of pathogens (like a storm trooper!), it also maintains the appropriate temperature for it to function. Pubic hair removal around periods makes the already irritable skin prone to irritation and infections. It’s always better to keep your pubic hair intact around periods.
Source : Pinterest
3. Clean- Jean:
Many of us are confused about the right way of cleaning of pubic region, especially on periods. Although our vaginas have an inbuilt mechanism of self- cleansing, it’s always better to stay a step ahead and maintain a comfortable cleanliness level. One should use mild soaps and water to clean the region daily, and especially during periods. Nowadays, a variety of intimate washing products are available but one must remember that whatever be the cultural expectations, your vaginas were never meant to smell like flowers (though they look like one). One must also be cautious of over-scrubbing it with hard, perfumed soaps and cleaning products as that may lead to irritation.
Source : Pinterest
4. Plan B(leed):
We may have a large range of sanitary products like pads, towels, tampons, silicon cups, etc. but a large population of women in India may not have access to them. It becomes important, therefore for those of us who have the means to collect and provide them with these products as per our means. Other alternatives like clean cotton clothes can also be considered. More importantly, a healthy and wholesome discussion about women’s menstrual health should be started from the smallest levels of family and community to create a practice of menstrual health and hygiene.
Source : Youtube
We all have encountered myths and legends about how periods are the “impure” moments of a woman’s life and hence we should abstain from going to temples, touching pickles and even talking a head bath, and cleaning ourselves properly. In order to break away from these narratives of impurity, the practice of hygiene, health and happiness becomes subversive.