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Maintaining Hygiene During Periods

Updated on April 16, 2018
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Menstrual hygiene tips every girl must know

Menstrual Cup and eco-friendly option
Menstrual Cup and eco-friendly option | Source

Monthly cycles can be painful to deal with, however, maintaining good period hygiene is important to avoid infections.

Many women go through their periods without really bothering about period hygiene. At times, they may even wear the same sanitary napkin the whole day. This can prove extremely dangerous for the woman’s health. Here are some basic guidelines you need to know to maintain proper hygiene during your monthly cycle.

Should I use sanitary napkins or tampons?

It is a matter of personal choice. You can use tampons, sanitary napkins, or menstrual cups during your periods. Many women prefer to use sanitary napkins. The best way is to try different brands to know which one suits you the best. Whichever product you use, it is crucial to maintain hygienic conditions while using it.

Using period pads and tampons

As the blood is pushed out through the vagina, it gets contaminated with the body’s microorganisms. Irrespective of the amount of bleeding, menstrual blood contains disease-causing microorganisms. A damp sanitary pad will thus, contain organisms from your sweat, vagina and genital region, and these can multiply faster in a moist environment leading to urinary tract and vaginal infections. Hence, it is vital to change a sanitary napkin regularly.

Changing tampons regularly is also important because leaving them in the vagina for a long time can cause Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS). This is a condition wherein the bacteria multiply rapidly, leading to severe infections that send the body into shock, requiring immediate medical attention.

You must change your pad every six hours, whereas, for a tampon, the standard time to change is two hours. However, this mainly depends on the amount of blood flow you are having. Women with a heavier flow will need to change more frequently, but even those women with moderate flow should change their sanitary napkin at least every 6 hours.

Some other tips to maintain optimal period hygiene

  • Wash regularly

The genital area should be kept clean to prevent germs from multiplying. It also helps to keep bad odour at bay. Always remember to wash your genital area and vagina before changing your pads. If it is not possible, try to clean the area with toilet paper or fresh tissue.

  • Avoid soaps or vaginal hygiene products

The vagina has an acidic pH that protects it from harmful bacteria. Washing the area with soap can alter the pH making way for harmful bacteria to grow. Wash regularly with warm water. You can use soap on the external area, but not in the vagina.

  • Adopt correct washing techniques

Wash the genital area from the vagina to the anus and not in the opposite direction. Washing the area in the opposite direction may cause organisms from the anus to enter the vagina and urethral opening causing infections.

  • Discard sanitary product properly

Always discard your used pad or tampon properly as they are capable of causing infections. Avoid flushing it down the toilet. Always wrap it in paper and throw in the bin. Wash hands thoroughly after discarding.

Follow these simple tips to avoid infections during the monthly periods.


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