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Menstruation And Hygiene

Has your period left you feeling like a bit of a hot mess? Yes, you heard it right. This time we are talking about the blood-stained underwear and blood smear on your upper thighs which is exactly a mess. When such things happen the only question which arises into our mind is “I feel so dirty during my period days. How can I maintain my menstrual hygiene every month?” Yes, menstruation does make a mess but it is not actually dirty. Let us put it this way:

  • Does your menstruation make a mess? Yes
  • Are you dirty while you are menstruating? No

It’s as simple as that. Though it may create a big mess if you do not look after yourself but there is nothing inherently dirty about your period. Do you exactly know why do you bleed every month? You bleed because you did not get pregnant. The menstrual cycle is all about female fertility. So first let us discuss that to make everything clear for you.

Your period and the menstrual cycle

Menstruation is basically vaginal bleeding which occurs each and every month. We often call it as menses or just a period. The menstrual blood is made of both tissues as well as blood which shed every month from the uterus lining. The blood flows from the uterus through the small opening in the cervix and then it finally passes out through the vagina. Normally periods last from 3 to 5 days. However, some people experience it up to 7 days which is absolutely normal.

What is the menstrual cycle?

As mentioned above, menstruation is a part of the menstrual cycle which helps the body for preparing for the possibility of pregnancy. The first day of the menstrual cycle is your first day of bleeding. In average, the normal menstrual cycle is 28 days. Having said that it can even range from 24 to 35 days which is normal. We all know hormones that are present in our body rise and fall during the cycle. The active hormones among all are progesterone as well as estrogen. Both of these hormones are made in the ovaries.

What happens during the menstrual cycle?

Let us put it this way. In the first half of the menstrual cycle, the level of estrogen rises which makes the uterus lining grow as well as thicken. Then with the help of the follicle-stimulating hormone, an ovum present in one of the ovaries starts maturing. At around 14th day of your cycle with the help of luteinizing hormone, the egg leaves the ovary. This process is known as ovulation.

Coming to the second half of the menstrual cycle. In this phase, the gg starts travelling through the fallopian tube into the uterus. In this stage, the hormone named progesterone levels rises which further helps in preparing the uterus lining for pregnancy. If the egg becomes totally fertilized by a sperm cell and attaches itself to the uterine wall, a person will get pregnant. In case the egg is not fertilized, it will either get dissolved or will get absorbed into the body. If the pregnancy does not occur, the levels of estrogen, as well as progesterone drops and the thickened lining of the uterus, start shedding during the menstrual period.

During the menstrual period, the thickened lining of the uterus as well as the extra bloodshed through the vaginal canal. A woman’s period my not be the same every month. Not only this but it also may not be the same as every other women’s periods. It can be heavy, light or moderate. Normally, the most menstrual cycle lasts from 3 to 5 days and anywhere from 2 to 7 days is considered normal.

For the first few years after menstruation, you may face irregular period problems. Not only this but also it may happen in women who are approaching menopause. So sometimes birth control pills are prescribed to them to help in dealing with irregular periods. Normally menstrual kit such as sanitary pads or tampons is used during the periods. These are made of cotton or other absorbing materials. But it can be harmful to health as they contain a lot of chemicals. We will tell about it later on.

Women can have various kinds of period problems which include pain, heavy bleeding as well as skipped periods. However, it may vary from person to person. Now let us talk about menstruation hygiene which will help you to enjoy healthy as well as periods.

Change your menstrual product after every 5 to 6 hours

First and foremost you need to change your menstrual products after every 5 to 6 hours. This is because it is the cardinal rule to establish vaginal hygiene. When the menstrual blood gets released from the body attracts various organisms from the body which increases the warmth of the blood and it finally causes irritation, urinary tract infections as well as rashes. So this is very important to change the sanitary product regularly to curb the growth of these organisms and prevents infections.

Wash properly

It is also mandatory to wash your vagina properly during the menstrual days. This is because the organisms cling to your body after you have removed whatever menstrual product you are using. Yes, we know most of the people wash regularly but not in the right way that us using your hands in the motions from the vagina to the anus but not the vice versa. Motioning your hands from the anus to the vagina may lead to the emergence of the bacteria from the anus into the vagina which may cause infections further.

Do not use soaps or other vagina hygiene products

We do not recommend to use vaginal hygiene products during menstruation. This is because the vagina has its own cleaning mechanism which comes into effect during the period cycles. If you use these artificial hygiene products, it can turn into a disaster as it will hamper the natural process leading to the growth of bacteria as well as infections.

Wash your reusable cloth pad properly

Washing your reusable cloth pad properly is an important step. Wash it with the help of a detergent powder so the bacteria and infections do not spread. Apart from this, washing your hands properly is also of utmost importance after you have washed your reusable cloth pad as you are likely to touch the stained area while removing them.

Managing your Menstrual Flow

Most of the people use some type of disposable feminine hygiene product. Recently there has been a lot of information regarding the safety of many of these disposable products. The main reason behind this is exposure to environmental toxins.

Want to Go Green?

  • One of the main reason spotted here was possible exposure to a toxic chemical which is known as dioxin. This is the result of the bleaching process used to make the rayon or cotton blends in such products so white. So we highly recommend unbleached 100% organic reusable cloth pads and they are gaining popularity all across the world.
  • Another point to be noted is that the cotton used to make tampons contains glyphosate which is the chemical disrupter of your endocrine system.

To be very honest, to manage your menstrual flow creates a lot on non-recyclable trash which is not at all good for the environment. You can replace the typical disposable menstrual products with reusable options. If you are one who is currently using sanitary pads try to switch to reusable cloth pads. It is important to know that these alternatives need more contact with the period blood as compared to the disposable options. Yes, these green options may take a little time to get used to, but if you are up to the challenge these options are not only better for the environment they are more cost-friendly for your as well.

Other tips to maintain daily feminine hygiene

Education is very important when it comes to feminine hygiene. Of course, we learnt a lot from interest, BFFs and mom. But there are still some tips which were never taught to us. Is it? We hope following additional tips will help you out through this.

Wear cotton underwear

Cotton is breathable which makes it an ideal fabric for underwear. It can reduce the moisture hence keeps your skin cool as well as dry. With the help of cotton, you will stay away from bacterial growth as well as infections.

Eat right

Try to maintain a healthy diet as this will do good to your body as well as the vagina. Try to have foods like yoghurt with live cultures contain good bacteria. This will help to promote vaginal health.

Use fresh towels

Always make sure to wash as well as replace the towel and wash clothes after you use them. Reusing the same unwashed towels again and again in not wise bacteria can cling to these surfaces which can lead to infections.

 So these are some safety tips which you need to follow to stay hygienic. Do let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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