Maintaining proper period hygiene during menstruation is non-negotiable. It not only ensures comfort and well-being but also helps prevent infections and other complications. However, due to a lack of awareness or misinformation, menstruators may miss it. Here are some common period hygiene mistakes women commonly make and how to avoid them.
Why is maintaining period hygiene important?
Proper period hygiene is vital for women’s health and well-being. It helps to prevent infections such as bacterial vaginosis and urinary tract infections, by reducing the buildup of bacteria. Good hygiene practices also prevent odor, promote comfort, and minimize skin irritation. By maintaining a proper pH balance and using appropriate menstrual products, women can protect their vaginal health and minimize discomfort. Additionally, practising good period hygiene reduces the risk of staining and keeps the menstrual cycle healthy. Overall, prioritizing menstrual hygiene ensures women’s physical comfort, and helps safeguard their overall reproductive health.
Health Shots spoke to Dr Amrita Razdan Kaul, Senior Consultant- Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Asian Hospital – Faridabad, to understand common period hygiene mistakes that one should avoid in order to maintain menstrual health.
Period hygiene mistakes
Here are 7 period hygiene mistakes you should avoid:
1. Not changing pads or tampons on time
One of the most common menstrual hygiene mistakes is not changing pads or tampons frequently enough. Wearing a pad or tampon for too long can lead to bacterial growth, which can cause infections like urinary tract infections (UTIs) and bacterial vaginosis (BV). To avoid this, changing your pad or tampon every 4-6 hours during the day and before going to bed at night is important.
2. Using scented products
Many women use scented pads, tampons and talc to control menstrual blood odour. However, these products contain added chemicals that can cause irritation and allergic reactions, especially for those with sensitive skin. Using unscented products and changing them frequently is the best way to maintain proper hygiene.
3. Neglecting proper hand hygiene
Washing your hands before and after changing pads or tampons is crucial to prevent the spread of germs and bacteria. Neglecting this can lead to infections and illnesses, as blood is a good medium for the growth of microorganisms. Always wash your hands with soap and water before and after changing your menstrual products.
4. Ignoring personal hygiene
During menstruation, it is important to pay extra attention to personal hygiene. Avoiding a shower regularly, wearing sweaty or tight-fitting underwear and not washing intimate areas adequately can create an environment for bacteria to thrive. Maintain proper hygiene by showering daily, wearing clean and breathable underwear, and cleaning the vaginal area with gentle, unscented products.
5. Not cleaning reusable menstrual products properly
While reusable menstrual products like cloth pads or menstrual cups are eco-friendly alternatives, they require proper cleaning and maintenance. Failing to follow the manufacturer’s instructions can lead to bacterial growth and infections. Thoroughly clean and sanitize reusable products using mild soap and water or as per the specific guidelines provided.
6. Neglecting to track your period
Tracking your period is important for several reasons. It helps you plan for when your period will start, so you can ensure that you have menstrual products on hand. It also helps you monitor the length of your cycle and any changes in flow or symptoms. Neglecting to track your period can lead to surprise periods and unnecessary stress.
7. Not staying hydrated
Drinking an adequate amount of water is essential for overall health, including menstrual hygiene. Staying hydrated helps maintain the natural lubrication of the vaginal area, reduces the chances of vaginal dryness, and prevents discomfort. Aim to drink at least 8 glasses of water per day, or more if you engage in physical activities.
Maintaining proper menstrual hygiene is vital for every woman’s well-being. By avoiding these common menstrual hygiene mistakes, women can ensure better comfort, reduce the risk of infections, and have a healthy period flow!