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Excruciating period pains can make you roll over and over on your bed. Some women find comfort in pain-relieving pills, hot water bags or even hot water baths! Sounds comforting, doesn’t it? Well, if you’re among the women who feel cleaner and more comfortable after a bath under a shower or in a bathtub – it will help to remember some hygiene tips!
It may sound gross to some, but yes, there can be some women who enjoy relaxing in the bathtub during periods. Are you wondering if it’s okay to bathe in the bathtub during periods? Keep wondering, because my dear ladies, it’s really a matter of personal choice!
Apart from keeping you clean, bathing in general has many positive effects on your mood and stress levels. But there are certain things you need to be careful about while taking a bath when you are on your periods.
Dr Sarita Channawar, Gynecologist Wockhardt Hospitals, Mira Road, Mumbai, explains what you need to remember:
1. Don’t forget to remove your pad, tampon, or cup before bathing
It’s OKAY to let the vagina bleed in the shower. The blood will run right down the drain. Clean the old blood stuck to your pubic hair. Dispose of the pad, or tampon properly and wash the menstrual cup from time to time to avoid infections.
2. Have a bath twice a day
Regular showers are necessary to prevent odour and lower the risk of infection during menstruation.
3. Clean the bathtub if you’re using one
If you want to use a tub, clean it before entering it and definitely after using it too!
4. Avoid scented and chemical products down there
Use plain water to clean the vagina. Do not use harsh products that can irritate the vagina and lead to allergies and infections.
5. Rinse from front to back to prevent infections
This can help to prevent the spread of bacteria to your vagina.
6. Clean the vagina from outside
The vagina is a self-cleaning organ. Cleaning from inside can disturb the pH balance, and result in an infection. Rinse the outer part of the vagina with water.
Dr Manisha Singh, Senior Consultant – Gynaecology and Sub Specialist – Reproductive Medicine, Fortis Hospital, Bannerghatta Road, Bengaluru, tells HealthShots, “It is an individual’s choice to take a bath in a tub during periods. You may have to deal with a pool of blood around you (if you don’t use a menstrual cup like you do in a swimming pool). If you are okay with it, then you can. However, it’s not ideal to have a bath during your periods in a bathtub.”
1. Change sanitary napkins on time
Change their sanitary napkins or tampons every 3 to 4 hours.
2. Don’t forget to remove tampon
People must remember to take out their tampons from the vagina when they’re going to bathe. There have been cases where people have forgotten to remove their tampons, and it has led to infections in the vagina, uterus and fallopian tubes and can have severe consequences like toxic shock syndrome, and abscess formation inside the pelvis.
3. Try to use menstrual cup
For people who are sexually active and those who are not afraid to touch their private parts, the hygienic way to go about managing periods is to use silicone-based menstrual cups. These can also be used for longer hours than a sanitary napkin.
All you need to do is clean it, dry it, and reuse it. The cup can be used for up to two years, and you don’t have the headache of buying sanitary towels or tampons if you have a period. They are completely safe & hygienic. Visit a gynecologist to know the right size that fits you.
Stay well hydrated (drink 2 to 3 litres of water daily) and consume a nutritious diet.
Take a break from work for a couple of days, if needed.
People with heavy periods and severe pain need to visit an expert at the earliest because they might be missing conditions like fibroids and endometriosis.