Any and every girl who is past the age of 12 is considered to be an adolescent. This is the time a girl hits her puberty and witnesses some developmental changes in her body. It can also be said that this is the age where she becomes a woman as her breasts start to develop and she experiences her first period. Menstruation is a part of a woman's life right after she hits puberty. Periods usually occur in girls between the age of 10 to 12. It involves the discharge of blood from the vaginal opening for anywhere between 3 to 6 days.
Menstruation involves bleeding, bloating and severe to mild cramps. Menstruation waste is referred to the waste that is generated by a female all through her reproductive years. It becomes quite stringent for a woman to take care of this waste as it can be the adobe for several health ailments if not treated properly. Hygiene becomes a necessity for a girl on the days she's down with her periods. Unhygienic practices may lead to the following ailments
- Fungal infection
- Urinary tract infection (UTI)
- Yeast infection
- Bacterial infection
- Infertility and birth complications
Therefore, in order to steer clear of these severe health hazards one must follow healthy hygiene practices. Here are a few unhygienic menstrual practices that you need to force stop immediately.
1. Don't keep your sanitary friend on for too long
Whether you're using a cotton pad, tampon or menstrual cup, make sure that you don't keep it on for too long and change them at regular intervals. It is suggested to change the same within every 4 hours. Changing your sanitary friend regularly helps the vaginal area to stay dry thereby keeping infections at bay. In simpler terms, a person is less prone to infections caused due to poor hygiene if they change their pads/tampons/menstrual cups. Keeping the pad on for any longer than that may lead to;
- Skin infections
2. Clean your vagina
When a person is down with periods, they are most prone to urinary tract infections and other skin infections. This is the time that she needs to be very cautious of the same. Therefore, make it a habit of washing your vaginal area every time you change your pad/tampon/ mentrual cup and even when you you urinate. Keep your vagina clean, fresh and free from any infection.
3. Regular bathing
The best way to maintain quality hygiene is to regularly bathe. Bathing also caters to refresh and relax during these difficult times of the month. A hot shower right before you hit the bed will help you in feeling much more hygienic and better. Contrary to popular belief, taking a bath everyday during your menstrual cycle isn't just safe, but is also good for you.
4. Don't use too many soap/ vaginal wash
As important as it is to clean your vagina, it is equally important that you do not over do it with soap and/ or vaginal washes down there. Vaginas are self sufficient when it comes to cleaning, therefore they don't need much other than just water. Washing with soap washes the inside of the vagina as well which disrupts the pH balance of vagina. This can result in bacterial or yeast infection and irritation. Washing too much with soap may also hinder the ability of vagina to self clean.
5. Dispose the right way
As important as it is to maintain your hygiene, It’s equally important to properly wrap and lock your sanitary pads or tampons before you dispose them off. In this process, your dispose will no longer be a breeding ground for infections or bacteria. These disposals should not be flushed down the toilet. Once you’ve discarded the waste, make sure that you wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
Poor menstrual hygiene management can have a significant negative influence on both a person's physical and mental health. Therefore, to correctly manage your menstrual cycle, you must first understand that this is a before, after and during process. Make sure that you track your periods, and wear cotton and/ or breathable clothing during this time of the month. Don't use scented products down there and feel no shame to be vocal about even the slightest discomfort at work, home or otherwise.