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Are there any ways to improve menstrual health? An expert tells you all

Published on:13 November 2021, 18:00pm IST
Menstrual health and hygiene is often overlooked by women, even though it is extremely critical. Here are certain ways in which you can improve it.
Dr Arpi Sagar Lodha
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menstrual health
Do NOT ignore your menstrual health at any cost. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Periods are usually a tricky time for women. From mood swings to Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS), that time of the month can interfere with your day-to-day life. In the chaos of raging hormones and surprise cravings, one thing that often gets overlooked is ensuring optimum hygiene and menstrual health.

However, these aspects of our health should not be taken lightly. One should be mindful of menstrual hygiene and reproductive health, so as to avoid physical illnesses and infections. 

Your menstrual health is impacted by many daily and monthly factors.

menstrual health
Make fitness a part of your everyday life, even when you’re on your periods. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Here are five essential ways in which one can take care of their menstrual health and hygiene:
1. Move your body

Contrary to popular belief, it isn’t a good idea to avoid exercise and movement during your periods. In fact, light exercises can do wonders for menstrual, mental and overall health. Yoga serves as a good and reliable option to ease menstrual stress. Moving your body mindfully through guided yoga practices can help improve stress and blood flow, which in turn, reduces the intensity of period cramps and pain. 

With the onset of digitization, one can easily opt for online yoga sessions and enjoy its benefits from the comfort of their homes. There are a plethora of services available online, designed specifically to promote menstrual well-being.

2. Practice hygiene

It is important to maintain intimate hygiene at all times, especially during your periods. Even though the vagina is a self-cleaning organ, the vulva still needs to be kept clean to keep infections at bay. To ensure this, one can use a pH-balancing cleanser to wash the area lightly. This can help reduce odour and maintain cleanliness during your menses.

menstrual health
Your eating habits can impact your menstrual health. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

In case of infection or irritation, it is best to consult a doctor at the earliest. Timely consultations can stop further aggravation of the condition, and aid good health.

3. Maintain a healthy diet

Menstrual health, like other areas of wellness, is substantially impacted by your dietary habits. It is crucial that one consumes a well-balanced diet that includes vital nutrients, in order to regulate their menstrual and reproductive health. Periods can be exhausting for the body, which makes it all the more important for women to maintain a nutritious diet, and eat in a timely manner. This will help their body cope with the changes that accompany periods.

4. Take your supplements

While popping a painkiller might seem like the obvious solution during painful periods, it is not the best option, especially in the long run. Painkillers have numerous adverse effects and might even lose efficacy after prolonged and regular use.

It is instead advisable that one opts for a more holistic and natural solution. Naturally-derived supplements can be helpful in menstrual cycle management. They contain essential micro-nutrients, vitamins and minerals that facilitate good menstrual health and reduce period pain, thereby regulating period flow naturally and safely. 

Also Read: Cracking down on menstrual hygiene myths, one at a time

However, it is important to do your research on ingredients and sellers. It is best to opt for brands that allow access to doctors to ensure reliability. Ensure the brand/seller is well-informed on menstrual medicines and dietary requirements, as consuming the right nutrients is critical.

5. Consult a doctor

It is considered good practice to visit a gynaecologist regularly. Visiting your Ob-gyn and getting periodical check-ups is vital, especially for those over the age of 18-20. Menstrual health changes as you age, which is why it is important to stay on top of your well-being. These consultations can help pinpoint any irregularities or problems in advance, so you can manage any underlying concerns for poor menstrual or reproductive health. 

menstrual health
Don’t forget regular doctor consultations. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Additionally, periods and PMS also take a significant toll on the calm and equilibrium of the mind. The constant mood swings and stress only add fuel to the fire. It can feel overwhelming and drive a person over the edge. There is no shame in seeking professional help in the form of counselling and therapy. This can improve one’s mood and overall health considerably. 

In the times of social distancing and technological innovation, online consultations are becoming an increasingly popular choice. It can help one retain their personal space and comfort while getting the help they need.

Menstrual health in a nutshell

Menstrual health is an extremely crucial yet often ignored part of overall well-being. However, it is essential to understand its significance and to put more effort into improving it.

Dr Arpi Sagar Lodha Dr Arpi Sagar Lodha

Dr Arpi Sagar Lodha, MBBS, Senior Consultant in Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Janani