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Menstrual hygiene: Do’s and don’ts you must follow for healthy periods

Menstrual hygiene is of key importance to a woman's overall health as poor period management can lead to infections and health issues.
Menstrual hygiene tips to follow and avoid
Know some menstrual hygiene tips to follow and avoid. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Team Health Shots Published: 29 Jan 2023, 15:00 pm IST
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Menstruation is a natural process that every woman goes through. During this time, many women may experience discomfort such as cramps, bloating and fatigue. Proper menstrual hygiene is crucial to maintain personal cleanliness, maintain good health and prevent infections. Be it awareness about the duration for which a period product must be used, or keeping scented products away from the vagina, menstrual hygiene tips should be on one’s fingertips.

Dr Sunita Chouhan, Consultant, Gynaecology and Obstetrics, Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, Indore, has shared a list of basic do’s and don’ts of menstrual hygiene. These will help you stay clean, comfortable and healthy during your periods.

Tips to take care of menstrual hygiene during periods

1. Keep the vaginal area clean by washing it with warm water and mild soap. This will help to remove any menstrual blood and prevent the buildup of bacteria and odour.
2. Does your period blood smell bad? Change pads or tampons regularly (at least every 4-8 hours) even if it doesn’t. This will help to keep the area clean and prevent the growth of bacteria and odour.
3. Wear breathable underwear made of natural fibers. Cotton underwear is a great choice because it allows air to circulate, which helps to keep the area dry.
4. Stay hydrated and eat a balanced diet. Drinking plenty of water and eating a healthy diet will help to keep the skin and mucous membranes in the vaginal area healthy.

Stay hydrated during periods
Stay hydrated during periods. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

5. Take a shower or bath daily, if possible. This will help to remove any menstrual blood and keep the area clean.
6. Keep the genitals dry and avoid tight clothing. This will help to prevent the growth of bacteria and yeast, which can lead to infections.
7. Exercise regularly and maintain good overall vaginal hygiene. Regular exercise and good hygiene practices will help to keep the body healthy and prevent infections.
8. Consult a healthcare professional if you experience any discomfort or have any concerns. Your healthcare provider can help to diagnose and treat any problems you may be experiencing.

healthy periods
Having a healthy period is in your hands. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Things you should avoid during menstruation

1. Avoid use of douching or scented products around the vaginal area. Douching can alter the pH balance of the vagina and lead to infections. Scented products can also cause irritation and allergic reactions.
2. Avoid using pads or tampons for too long. Leaving them in for too long can lead to the growth of bacteria and cause odour.
3. Don’t wear tight-fitting pants or synthetic underwear. These can trap moisture and lead to the growth of bacteria and yeast.
4. Don’t use old or expired pads or tampons. These products may not be as effective as fresh ones and can lead to infections.
5. Do not ignore or self-diagnose any symptoms or discomfort. If you experience any symptoms such as itching, burning, or unusual discharge, it is important to consult a healthcare professional.
6. Don’t ignore menstrual hygiene and cleanliness. Neglecting menstrual hygiene can lead to infections and discomfort.

vaginal infection
Unhealthy menstrual hygiene can cause vaginal infections. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

The last word

By following the do’s and don’ts of menstrual hygiene outlined above, you can help to prevent infections and keep your body healthy. If you have any concerns or experience any unusual symptoms, be sure to consult a healthcare professional.

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