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Menstruation is one very common life process almost every woman goes through. Menstruation, or period, is normal vaginal bleeding that occurs as part of a woman’s monthly cycle. Every month, your body prepares for pregnancy. If no pregnancy occurs, the uterus, or womb, sheds its lining. The menstrual blood is partly blood and partly tissue from inside the uterus. Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) is an essential aspect of hygiene for women and adolescent girls between menarche and menopause. Menstrual hygiene is one very important thing to follow during the menstrual period. Some of the tips to follow to maintain menstrual hygiene are:
1. Do not use pads or tampons for long. Many women make the mistake of using a sanitary pad or tampon for a very long time. This is a potentially harmful practice. Once the menstrual blood leaves the body, it begins to decompose gradually. Keeping the used pad close to the vaginal area and skin for long periods of time exposes the area to bacterial infection and itching. Tampons, especially, should not be left inside the body for more than four hours to prevent toxic shock syndrome. Clean out the area as instructed in the point above before changing the pad or tampon.
2. Keep the pubic area clean. Menstrual periods can be messy. It does not help if you have pubic hair that traps some of the blood as it flows out of the body. Besides, it can cause infections with inadequate daily cleaning. Before your period begins, clip your pubic hair as close to the skin as possible.
3. Dispose used pads safely. Your used pads and tampons cannot be tossed into the trash at once. They must be wrapped in paper and put inside a plastic packet before being thrown away. Used pads and tampons carry germs and bacteria, and if left open to the atmosphere, can emit a foul odour and attract insects. If you use a menstrual cup, wash it once a day in warm water and antiseptic liquid to remove all germs.
4. Stay away from vaginal cleansers and douches. While most women balk at having sexual intercourse during their period, there are some who don’t mind it. However, the male partner must use a condom so as to prevent infections to both partners. However using vaginal washes and douches during your period is a strict ‘No’. Not only is there a question mark over the efficacy of vaginal washing liquids, the use of douches during this time can cause injury to the private parts, and spread infection.
5. Rest and catch up on sleep. You might get drowsy and feel dull during your period. Relax – this is just your body’s way of telling you to rest as your period goes on. You can nap, read in bed, indulge your love for sweets and chocolate, and generally doing all the things that you don’t have the time for otherwise.