– Dr. Shilpa Agarwal
Menstrual Hygiene Day 2022: Every year on May 28 is celebrated around the world as Menstrual Hygiene Awareness Day. Menstruation is a natural part of every woman’s life, yet it is rarely talked about. A woman spends more than 1800 days of her life menstruating. In other words, about 5 years of her life is spent bleeding. Although menstruation is a normal physiological process, there is a lack of information about menstruation in society and it seems to be related to many myths. Lack of awareness and many misconceptions can lead to “serious danger” in these girls.
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Only 15% of married women use sanitary pads (sanitary napkins/self-made pads) during menstruation. There is a positive correlation between the use of hygiene practices and the socioeconomic status of women.
Methods used during menstruation.
1. Sanitary napkins
2. Cotton sanitary pads
3. cotton clothes
4. menstrual tampons
5. menstrual cup
The main determinants used for health are classified as follows, upper secondary education, a woman married after the age of 18 and living in an urban area. Women from tribal communities use hygiene more than scheduled caste women. Women with baths use hygienic methods during menstruation. Women with flush toilets used hygienic methods and women without flush toilets used pit/dry toilets. People who don’t talk about personal hygiene care less about hygiene, while women don’t care about hygiene. Immediate attention should be paid to the use of sanitary pads during menstruation, as well as awareness, affordable sanitary pads and privacy.
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Hygienic menstrual hygiene in women using pads/napkins or home wipes as a practice to prevent bleeding. The use of rags (old or torn cloth) is common among rural and poor women. In many cases, the old and torn clothes used to control menstruation are dirty and infected because they are not properly washed and dried in a secluded place where there is no direct sunlight. It is surprising that about 1% of women in India do not use anything during menstruation.
– Pads should be changed frequently even if bleeding is low.
– The used cleaning pad should be wrapped in paper and discarded.
– In case of emergency, please do not store this coin purse in the pad, even if you are storing it, please wrap it in paper.
– If you use cotton cloths, wash them properly and dry them in the sun
– Do not dry them in closed, secluded and unnatural places.
– Drink much liquid
– Wash the vagina from the anus and do not rub from the anus to the vagina.
– Knowledge, use, disposal – Extremely important factor
– Garbage cans, water, availability of different bathrooms, sanitary towels for girls are required.
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If you don’t clean yourself during menstruation
– RTIs and vaginal infections are more likely.
– Vaginal infections are more likely
– Reproductive infections
– Urinary tract infections
– Infertility (due to infections)
– Toxic shock syndrome
– Failure to wash hands after changing a clean towel (can spread infection) during normal menstruation.
It is important for adolescent girls to be aware of the risk of menstrual hygiene and reproductive tract infections. School nurses/trained health workers, educational television programs, and many others can play an important role in spreading the message of proper menstrual hygiene among adolescent girls. Poverty, the high cost of disposable sanitary pads, and some ignorance seem to be hampering the use of commercially available menstrual pads.
This can be prevented through community and school health programs to help bring about positive changes in consciousness and awareness levels among girls. This can be prevented through social programs and school health programs to help bring about positive change and awareness in girls’ behaviour.
(The author works as a specialist in high-risk pregnancy and fetal medicine at Jaslok Hospital and Research Center.)