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According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef), 1.8 billion people worldwide menstruate every month. No matter how much awareness we raise around menstruation, it can pose significant challenges and difficulties for teenagers and women. While we’re shattering the taboo and stigma around menstruation, which often leads to social exclusion, periods come with its set of troubles like cramps and terrible mood swings. But fret not! If you abide by these period rules for women, Aunt Flo’s visit may go like an easy breeze.
Health Shots got in touch with Dr Manjiri Mehta, Consultant Gynaecologist and Obstetrician, Hiranandani Hospital Vashi – A Fortis Network Hospital, who listed 5 rules to have a happy period.
Dr Mehta says, “Given the lack of awareness among women about periods, it is no surprise that one study said that 71 percent of adolescent girls in India are unaware of menstruation. It remains so until they get it themselves, which in turn leads to a lot of anxiety and stress. While menstruation is unavoidable, it can be handled with ease if we follow some period guidelines.”
Most women use sanitary pads during their periods. However, the pads must be changed after every four hours, especially if a person is experiencing a heavy flow. If you have very little blood flow, never wear a pad for more than eight hours. Additionally, there are many alternatives that a person can use instead of a sanitary pad like a reusable cloth pad, menstrual cup, and tampons.
“In fact, menstrual cups and reusable cloth pads are much more environment- friendly while also being cost-effective. These are good alternatives to sanitary pads,” adds Dr Mehta.
It is extremely critical that the vaginal area is kept clean, especially during menstruation. According to Dr Mehta, one should use warm water and diluted soap to clean the area. Avoid using too many soaps and vaginal washes, especially if they irritate the skin. Also, since the vagina has a self-cleaning mechanism, the use of additional cleaning products like washes and soaps is rarely needed or recommended.
A good diet is essential for any person’s overall well-being and health. This is especially true during menstruation, as the body goes through many physical and psychological changes. In such a scenario, a balanced diet will help you reduce the symptoms related to periods, including bloating, cramps, and nausea. Stay hydrated with sufficient water and eat various fruits and vegetables so that your body remains nourished and healthy. Also, if you tend to suffer from painful cramps, it is best to manage it through different tactics like hot water bags or mild pain killers . Keep in mind that it is best to not take medicines without consulting a doctor as they can have severe side-effects at a later stage.
While regularly changing pads is essential, wearing clean and comfortable undergarments is also vital. Tight thongs and fabric that make your skin sweaty will lead to infection and discomfort. It is best to wear clean and comfortable cotton undergarments that will allow your skin to breathe when a person is undergoing their periods.
Dr Mehta suggests, “Sanitary pads and tampons must be appropriately discarded as they can spread infections if not done otherwise. Ensure the pad is properly wrapped before it is thrown away to contain the smell and infection. It is also important that a sanitary pad is never flushed down a toilet since they can easily cause a blockage. Finally, always wash your hands after throwing away the pad and maintain good hygiene during the entire duration.”
In conclusion, good menstrual hygiene management is every woman’s right, and they must be provided with access to the same, including clean toilets and good sanitary products. It is also vital that if a person notices any unusual symptoms during their periods, they should consult a gynaecologist at the earliest.