Menstrual Hygiene Basics

5 Menstrual Hygiene Basics

Our monthly visit from Aunt Flo also marks a period of increased risk of infection, including sexually  transmitted infections. This happens because the what usually blocks the female cervix is opened up during menstruation period to let the blood flow out. This opening is susceptible to the entry of bacteria into your system.

Therefore, it becomes essential to every girl to have a good understanding about the basics of maintaining all-around period hygiene. While the topic of female menstruation is still somewhat stigmatized, it is key to inform and be informed about the ways through which we can keep ourselves clean and healthy during our period. We should also break this stigma so women can freely practice a more solid hygiene routine without fear of getting judged.

Below are the basics of menstrual hygiene every woman should take to heart.

1. Pick a method of sanitation of your preference

Thanks to science and technology, there are a lot of accessible options for period sanitation these days. From sanitary napkins, tampons, menstrual cups, to the period underwear, unlike before, there are a bunch to choose from now that the field is innovating. 

One of the most commonly used these days is the tampon. However, it is key to remember that whenever using a tampon, you must choose one with the lowest absorbency rate for your period flow. 

For sanitary napkins, it is best to know what brand and type that would fit your needs and body best. Constantly switching up brands or types of napkins may lead to minor discomfort or ineffectiveness.

Lastly, one method that’s been gaining more traction is the menstrual cup, which is something you should consider as well! It works by collecting your flow, instead of absorb it like sanitary napkins and tampons do. Therefore, it lessens the possibility of dryness or irritation. Plus, it’s way better for the environment since it’s reusable unlike disposable, one-time-use pads!

2. Choose your outfit wisely

Making sure you’re comfortable is key in maintaining period hygiene. Make sure your wardrobe is adjusted based on what time of the month it is.

Clothes you should avoid wearing during your period are bottoms or trousers that are tight between your legs such as yoga pants. You should go for clothes that let your skin breathe or have enough space. It is best to wear cotton underwear and loose-fitting clothes to avoid cramping up your skin and causing moisture and irritation.

You wouldn’t want to be experiencing the Armageddon of menstrual cramps wearing really tight, unbreathable, and uncomfortable clothes, would you?

3. Change regularly

Because the topic of menstruation is still somewhat stigmatized, some women tend to be shy about having to change their pads. This is a reminder that prolonged use of the same sanitary pad or tampon makes you more susceptible to risk of infection and even toxic shock syndrome.

Period blood, upon leaving your system, becomes contaminated. And so if you have a full pad already, as time goes by, different substances including sweat from your vagina may congest and lead to serious conditions such as a urinary tract infection and rashes.

You should change your sanitary pad every six hours. For tampons, change them after every two hours. These are just standard intervals. Changing your pads or tampons should still adjust to how heavy your flow is and other factors that may vary per individual.

4. Wash yourself regularly

It should go without saying that since you will need to change regularly, washing goes with it. When changing pads or tampons, make sure you wash excess period blood away as this can still enter small crevices of your body and cause irritation or infection. For times when you cannot wash, find a way to wipe off excess period blood so as to avoid accumulation.

It is also important to shower at least once a day whenever you are on your period.

Washing the right way means having special hygiene products specifically for your vulva and vagina. These are usually applied just externally. You should also avoid normal body soap, body wash, or shampoo. Look for a vaginal wash that is produced especially for intimate use.

As for the manner with which you wash, remember to wash from the vagina to the anus and avoid doing it the opposite direction. This will ensure that there will be no pile-up of bacteria in the vaginal area or urethral opening.

5. Maintain a healthy diet

While most of the tips mentioned are more for external care during your period, your menstruation is determined by the internal conditions of your overall health. How bad you will need acne care because of period-induced acne breakouts will primarily depend on how healthy your organs are.

Having and maintaining a healthy diet is one way to ensure holistic physical health, even without your period. A balanced diet and routine will ensure that your menstruation will serve its natural purpose in keeping your body healthy in the long run.