Menstrual Hygiene Day: Common Menstrual Hygiene Mistakes Women Make And How To Avoid Them, Expert Weighs In
I don’t think I can ever emphasise enough how important it is for us, especially women, to treat our bodies well. In fact, in women, one aspect that is vital to look after more than others is menstrual hygiene. That is because when we don’t take proper care of menstrual hygiene, it can end up causing bacterial infections, UTIs, reproductive tract infections, and sometimes even cervical cancer. And so with Menstrual Hygiene Day nearing, I thought that this is the best time to talk about the mistakes women do while maintaining their personal hygiene and the steps they can follow to avoid them.
In fact, even Dr Rita Bakshi, founder of RISAA IVF, says, “Personal hygiene is essential during a woman’s menstrual process as women are inclined to develop infections and serious conditions during this period.”
Dr Rita Bakshi further added, “Poor menstrual hygiene can lead to many issues, such as fungal or bacterial infections of the reproductive tract and the urinary tract. Irritation of the skin causes discomfort and can possibly result in dermatitis… Bacteria into the urethra may cause urinary tract infections (UTIs).”
No, I’m not trying to scare you off. All I’m trying to do is tell you how important it is to take care of your menstrual hygiene. And one way of doing that is by avoiding some of the most common mistakes women do while maintaining their menstrual hygiene.
Here are some of the most common menstrual hygiene mistakes women make:
1. Unclean sanitary pads
Using unclean sanitary pads often lead to fungal infections, reproductive tract infections, and urinary infections, and at last, makes you vulnerable to infertility.
2. Wearing one pad for way too long
Sanitary pads should be changed frequently – at least every 6-8 hours. If you don’t do that then you’re more prone to developing rashes and vaginal yeast infections which have a bad odour as their side effect.
3. Unprotected sex during your period
Using protection is important – not to just avoid pregnancy but also because you become more likely to contract STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) like herpes, HIV, and Hepatitis B – especially when you are on your periods.
4. Not washing your hands
Not washing your hands after changing your sanitary pads can lead to yeast infections or cause Hepatitis B.
5. Intimate hygiene cleanser
Using an intimate hygiene cleanser can disturb the normal pH of your vagina – which in itself is a self-cleansing organ. It can also cause allergic reactions due to the presence of several chemicals that are used in the product.
So, then how do you avoid these mistakes and take better care of your menstrual hygiene? Well, it’s simple, follow the steps below:
1. Keep yourself clean during menstruation
2. Change your sanitary pad as often as possible
3. Wash yourself regularly with soap and water
4. Wash your private areas from front to back and not back to front – this prevents the contamination of the vagina with harmful anal bacteria such as E.coli
5. Only use water to wash your vagina
6. Don’t use perfume on your private parts
7. Always use protection while having sex – especially when engaging in period sex
8. Always carry extra, clean sanitary pads with you
Personal hygiene should always be your priority but doing it in the right way is also as important as maintaining it.