Menstruation is a natural process that all women go through from a young age. There is nothing to be ashamed about this, but a taboo remains in our country where people choose not to talk about it. Around 52% of the total female population of our country is of a reproductive age and they will be menstruating every month. However, most of these women will not have access to sanitary napkins let alone a private space to clean or change the menstrual napkins. So why is this the case? Is menstruation supposed to be invisible? As crazy as it sounds, that is the reality.
Common Myths About Menstruation!
Many cultures have certain myths, beliefs and taboos regarding menstruation which is ridiculous and simply untrue.
- You cannot have any contact with anybody during your menstruation as you are impure.
- You cannot bathe during your menstruation, otherwise, you can become infertile.
- You cannot enter the kitchen and cook during your menstruation as you are unclean, unhygienic and toxic.
- You have to bury your menstruating cloth, otherwise evil spirits will use it.
- Cannot touch a cow when you are menstruating as it will become infertile.
- Cannot enter places of worship.
The most disturbing fact about menstruation that due to lack of facilities and sanitary products available, girls are forced the temporarily and permanently exit schools. How is that justifiable? We need to empower our girls and educate them as good as our boys. This stigma around menstruation is a violation of human rights, dignity, right to health, privacy and non-discrimination.
Risk To Health If Poor Menstrual Hygiene Practiced
There are health risks associated with poor menstrual hygiene which are relatively serious if not managed appropriately. Infections can be a consequence if poor protection and the inadequacy of facilities are seen.
1. Wearing a Sanitary Napkin for too long
We are all guilty of not changing our pads as frequently due to simply being lazy or not having access to a clean pad. This can lead to fungal infections and rashes which can irritate the skin greatly. Ensure that you are changing the sanitary napkins every 6 – 8 hours to avoid bad odour developing.
2. Unsafe Disposal of Sanitary Napkins
There is a great risk of the infection spreading to others especially Hepatitis B viruses. The problem with our society is the safe disposal of sanitary napkins.There is a societal health risk of rivers and water bodies being polluted by used sanitary napkins. Always dispose your used sanitary pads into a dustbin after properly wrapping it into a paper and then a polythene bag. Don’t flush them!
3. Not washing your hands properly
It is key to wash your hands thoroughly during your menstruation as yeast or Hepatitis B infections can arise. It is good practice to wash your hands before changing the sanitary napkin and also after disposing one too.
4. Not wearing cotton underwear
Women often like to wear synthetic inners, however during your monthly menstruation cycle, these may not be ideal. Synthetic clothing can irritate your skin causing rashes to be developed. Therefore, have a different set of cotton underwear especially for your menstruation cycles as cotton is a breathable fabric and keep you feeling fresh and comfortable.
5. Not bathing regularly
Your hygiene needs cannot be compromised during this period of time. Ensure you are cleaning and bathing your genitalia with a medicated shampoo if you are susceptible to rashes as this will protect you from it.
So all your girls and women out there, do not be hesitant to talk about menstruation with your family, friends or colleagues. It is a natural process so embrace it and empower your younger counterparts to face up to something which is nothing but natural. Be is committed to helping women of India with their hygiene needs. Visit our website to get the latest on all our hygiene products.