Menstrual Hygiene Day first celebrated on 28th May, 2014 was initiated by a German-based NGO WASH United to create a world in which every woman and girl is empowered to manage her menstruation safely, hygienically with confidence and without shame, where no woman or girl is limited by something as natural and normal as her period.
The date was selected to acknowledge that the average length of the menstrual cycle is 28 days. Every year, a theme is selected to mark the day. For 2019, the theme is It’s Time for Action.
Menstrual hygiene management can be particularly challenging for girls and women in developing countries who have no proper access to information or facilities. Furthermore, traditional cultures make the topic a taboo, not to be discussed, making it further difficult for them to address the issue. Poor menstrual hygiene is caused by lack of education on the issue, persisting taboos and stigma, limited access to hygienic menstrual products and poor sanitation infrastructure.
To ensure proper menstrual hygiene management, we take a look at some tips that help women maintain menstrual hygiene
Keep separate underwear for your period: It is advisable to keep separate underwear to be used during the period. If stained, wash it immediately and disinfect it. It is not hygienic to walk around in stained underwear. Keep an extra pair handy when you are going out, just in case you need it.
Change napkin every 4-5 hours: Menstrual blood, when released from the body, attracts various organisms which multiply in the warmth of the blood, causing irritation, rashes or urinary tract infections. Changing napkin or tampons regularly curb the chances.
Wash every time you use the toilet: The outer skin of the vagina has folds which can cause blood accumulation that may lead to bad odour. Wash regularly. Washing the correct way is also important. Wash from vagina to anus not the other way around as it can lead to transmission of bacteria. Also, while using vaginal hygiene products every day is a good idea, using these products during menses can turn things around.
Discard sanitary napkins properly: Wrap sanitary napkins properly before discarding them, so the bacteria and infections do not spread. Don’t flush them since it will block the toilet causing the water to back up, spreading the bacteria all over it.
Use one method of sanitation: While some people pair up sanitary pads with cloth, tampons or another pad during periods, it is actually a bad idea. Changing regularly is a better option. Multiple pads/ cloth/ tampons can lead to rashes and infections.
Enjoy your next menstrual flow. Cheers