Menstrual hygiene: Tips every girl and woman should follow

Feminine hygiene has an impact on the overall health; feminine hygiene needs to be observed stringently especially during menstruation. With a lot of discussions on GST being imposed on sanitary pads, we look at what other things are important in maintaining hygiene for women

Affordable sanitary pads can reduce reproductive tract infection in women: Doctors
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Most women would believe that the only product to maintain hygiene for them during periods is a sanitary napkin or tampon. In our listicle, we look at products that can be used to maintain menstrual hygiene.

When we talk about menstrual hygiene, we focus on treating vaginal discharge, infections, odour and itch issues etc. related to the vulva and vagina.

“While a variety of products are available in the market, it is important to understand the right usage, frequency and application,” said Dr Manjiri Mehta, Consultant Gynecologist, Obstetrician and Laparoscopic Surgeon, Hiranandani Hospital, Vashi.

Dr Uday Rane, a Mumbai-based Gynaecologist said, “Cleaning your vagina is perhaps the most important personal hygiene rule that every woman must follow. During menstruation, avoid using scented pads which can lead to infections and use anti-fungal powders and lotions after consulting your doctor.”

“Change your sanitary pads at regular intervals – at least every 2 to 3 hours, depending on the flow. This is to avoid spillage, rashes and most importantly infection, as blood is a strong growth medium for germs. If you have sensitive skin, wash thoroughly and pat dry, before placing the pad,” added Dr Mehta.

“Talking about using sanitary napkins, women are very cautious these days. This can be mainly because of the sex education in schools and increasing exposure due to media,”  said Dr Neeta Warty, consulting gynaecologist and practising obstetrician at Breach Candy Hospital.

Another alternative to sanitary napkins can be tampons. These are frequently used by athletes and swimmers as they do not bulge out under clothing, are odourless and are easier to carry around.

Be sure to change them every few hours. It is recommended to make a switch between pads and tampons every now and then. Keep in mind: (SOURCE: DR MEHTA)

  • Avoid wearing tampons overnight, a sanitary napkin is recommended during night time
  • Do not wear a tampon if there is an existing infection. Consult your gynaecologist before making a choice
  •  Do not use a tampon if you are not on your period
  • Do not use two tampons at the same time, if your flow is heavy; instead, use the one with high absorbency value

“Talking about menstrual cups, they are worn internally, there is no room for external discomfort. Sports or other activities are definitely possible. Do not use a cup if you have had an experience with toxic shock,” said Dr Mehta.