Menstrual cycles are unique to each individual, and they might even fluctuate from month to month. A normal and timely flow of periods tells us a lot about our health. Menstrual Health Day is observed to spread awareness about everything related to our menstrual cycle to ensure a disease and infection free lifestyle. For example, pads, tampons, cups, and period underwear are all options for managing your monthly flow, and each has its own set of regulations for how long you may use them hygienically. Here is everything you need to know about changing your menstrual hygiene products from Dr. Bharathi Ramesh, Senior Consultant - Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, Motherhood Hospitals, Banashankari Bangalore so you can stay dry, comfortable, and infection-free on those days.
How Often Should You Change Sanitary Pads?
Most women use sanitary pads during menstruation but they do not know its right use. It is important to change sanitary pads 2-3 times a day to prevent infections caused by pads.
- A sanitary pad should be changed every 4-5 hours.
- Hygiene products like tampons and menstrual cups, which are inserted inside your body, carry a risk of diseases such as TSS (Toxic Shock Syndrome) and other infections.
- But with sanitary pads and period underwear, the risk of getting these infections is quite low.
- Changing the pads accordingly is suggested as every woman has a different flow. But, it should not be worn for more than 4-5 hours.
- If you have heavy flow, you should change it more frequently.
- When pads are worn for an extended period of time, they begin to emit foul odor.
- It also depends on the kind and quality of the pads you are using. Sanitary pads, which are designed for wearing overnight, should be changed at least every 6 hours.
When's the right time to change tampons?
How do I know when to change tampon? This is a common question that women have when they are new to using tampons. According to r. Bharathi, tampons must be replaced more frequently than sanitary towels in general. If your flow is moderate, you should change your tampons every three to five hours throughout the day. TSS, an uncommon but serious illness produced by normally harmless bacteria invading the body and releasing toxins, is potentially a possibility if tampons remain inserted for a longer duration of time. For safety and hygiene reasons, it's crucial to remember to replace your tampons more frequently than sanitary towels, and if one gets "lost," go to your healthcare provider immediately.
What is Toxic Shock Syndrome?
Toxic Shock Syndrome is a rare but deadly condition caused by two types of bacteria: Staphylococcus aureus and group A streptococcus. It is linked to menstruation. These bacteria are commonly found in the vaginal area, and if a tampon is left in place for an extended period of time, they can multiply rapidly. By changing tampons frequently and using low-absorbency ones, you can reduce the risk.
What else should be considered?
Yes, you must replace your hygiene products according to your needs, but make sure you do not use one sanitary napkin for an extended period of time. This is because menstrual blood becomes polluted with the body's natural microbes once it leaves the body. Because your pad is wet, blood gets contaminated not just on heavier days but even on days when you have light blood flow. As a result, organisms thrive in moist, warm environments, resulting in vaginal infections, urinary tract infections, and skin rashes. There may be times when your blood flow is reduced. However, this does not eliminate the need to replace your sanitary pad.
That time of the month is indeed quite difficult, but with proper care and hygienic practices, you can reduce your chances of getting many avoidable diseases. Remember, changing your pad on a regular basis is critical for maintaining excellent cleanliness and avoiding unpleasant vaginal odour. It will also make you feel clean and fresh for the rest of the day!
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