Patient Tips: Hygiene Tips During Menstruation

1. Choose Your Method of Sanitation
Today there are a number of ways including the use of sanitary napkins, tampons and menstrual cups to stay clean. The best tip here is to try and use one brand for one type of protection for a while to know if it helps your needs.
2. Change Regularly
The warm and moist environment that various organisms get, once your pad or tampon becomes damp, is the perfect place for them to multiply and cause various infections and rashes. So, it is necessary to change the pad or tampons regularly.2
3. Wash Yourself Regularly
Properly washing the vagina and other intimate parts of the body everyday is really important, because the organisms remain inside the body after the removal of sanitary napkin.3
4. Use the Right Washing Technique
Always wash or clean the area in a motion that is from the vagina to the anus. Never wash in the opposite direction. Washing in the opposite direction can cause bacteria from the anus to lodge in the vagina and urethral opening, leading to infections.1
5. Don’t Use Soaps or Vaginal Hygiene Products
The vagina has its own cleaning mechanism that works in a very fine balance of good and bad bacteria. Washing it with soap can kill the good bacteria making way for infections. So, it is important to wash yourself regularly during this time, all you need to use is some warm water. You can use soap on the external parts but do not use it inside your vagina or vulva.1
6. Discard Your Used Sanitary Product Properly
A key step to menstrual hygiene is to discard sanitary napkins or tampons properly. Make sure that you do not flush them as they may clog the sewage pipes and drains. Always wrap them properly and throw them in the designated bin to avoid the spread of harmful bacteria.4
7. Unclean Hands
Not washing your hands while changing sanitary napkin can cause infections from viruses like Hepatitis B.5
8. Beware of Pad Rash
It usually occurs when the pad has been wet for a long time and rubs along the thighs causing it to chaff. To prevent this from occurring, try to stay dry during your periods. Apply an antiseptic ointment, after a bath and before bed this will heal the rash and prevent further chaffing.1
9. Use Only One Method of Sanitation at a Time
Some women who have heavy flow during their periods tend to use either (i) two sanitary pads (ii) a tampon and sanitary pad (iii) a sanitary pad along with a piece of cloth. This might seem like a good idea, but it actually is not, changing regularly is a better option.1
10. Have a Bath Regularly
A number of cultures debar a woman from taking a bath during those days of the month. Bathing is the most hygienic thing you can resort to on your menses. Bathing immediately freshen your mood and relieves you off cramps and bloating that is quite common during these days. Warm water shower can be quite a comforter if you suffer from backaches.6
11. Be Ready With On-The-Go Stuff during Your Periods
It is important to have extra sanitary pads or tampons properly stored in a clean pouch or paper bag, a soft towel, some paper tissues or towels, hand sanitizer, a healthy snack, bottle of drinking water, a tube of antiseptic medication (if you are using one).1
12. Use Dettol to Wash Your Bed Sheets When on Period
You need to change your bedsheets frequently to have a clean period. It is advisable to use Dettol while washing the bedsheets when you are on your period. Also, change your underwear frequently to avoid infection and itching.7
13. Wear Comfortable Cloths
Avoid wearing tight clothes, especially close to your vagina. Loose fitting clothes and cotton underwear are recommended for a smoother period.8
References
  1. 10 menstrual hygiene tips every girl and woman should know. Adapted from https://www.thehealthsite.com/diseases-conditions/hygiene-during-menstrual-periods-10-things-you-should-know-81218/
  2. 6 tips on general hygiene during menstruation. Adapted from https://www.sironaindia.com/6-tips-on-general-hygiene-during-menstruation/
  3. Menstrual hygiene is vital in summer: Follow these nine tips. Adapted from https://fit.thequint.com/her-health/menstrual-hygiene-as-a-part-of-our-daily-routine
  4. Menstrual hygiene day 2020: How to make periods more hygiene. Adapted from https://indianexpress.com/article/lifestyle/health/menstrual-hygiene-day-2020-simple-tips-safe-periods-6427664/
  5. Good menstrual hygiene practices. Adapted from https://mycarmesi.com/blogs/flowingthoughts/good-menstrual-hygiene-practices
  6. 6 menstrual hygiene tips you need to follow. Adapted from https://womennow.in/menstrual-hygiene-tips/
  7. Menstrual hygiene day 2017: 5 basic menstrual hygiene tips that are often ignored. Adapted from https://www.india.com/lifestyle/menstrual-hygiene-day-2017-5-basic-menstrual-hygiene-tips-that-are-often-ignored-2176169/
  8. Period hygiene routine: Tips to have clean period. Adapted from https://www.india.com/lifestyle/period-hygiene-routine-tips-to-have-clean-period-1753824/

*PMS Premenstrual Syndrome

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