Women and teenage girls use clean clothing to remove or store menstrual blood, and this clothing may be changed to privacy as much as required for menstrual cycles.
Menstrual hygiene management can be especially difficult for girls and women in developing countries, where clean water and toilet facilities are often insufficient. Menstrual waste is largely overlooked in schools in developed countries, despite being a major concern. Menstruation can be an obstacle to education for many people, as the lack of adequate sanitary products limits the involvement of people in educational and social activities.
There are about 3.73 billion women in the world today. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 52% or 1.9 billion of these women are of reproductive age and thus menstruate (WHO,2018). Women must go through the reproductive period at some point in their lives and will undergo menstruation. In 2016, Loughnan, Libbet C., Rob Bain, Rosemary Rop, Marni Sommer, and Tom Slaymaker addressed the findings of the Water Supply and Sanitation Council (WSSCC) which reported that 300 million women are menstruating every day. On average, according to the WSSCC, a woman spends about 3,500 days menstruating during her lifetime.
Many young girls and menstruating women are living in poor socio-economic environments. Wilber, Torondel, Hameed, Mahon, and Kuper (2019) state that 663 million people lack basic access to safe water and 2.4 billion people lack adequate access to basic sanitation. Women and girls are particularly concerned about the lack of safe, accessible water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) during menstruation and childbirth. According to data collected and reported, Loughnan (2017 ) points out that half a billion (or 13 percent) of women had no place to defecate, little or no privacy for menstrual hygiene management, and 3/4 had no access to soap and water.
In a 2014 study in India, researchers found that as many as 42 percents of women who participated in the survey did not know about sanitary pads or where menstruation started in their anatomy. “Most of them were afraid or nervous about the first menstruation.” Globally, in 2018, one in three women had no access to a functioning toilet at all. Menstrual hygiene management issues have been ignored by professionals in the water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) and health and education sectors.
Menstrual Hygiene Day (MHD, MH Day in short) is an annual awareness day on May 28 to highlight the importance of good menstrual hygiene management (MHM). It was initiated by the German-based NGO WASH United in 2014 and aims to benefit women and girls worldwide. The 28th was selected to acknowledge that 28 days is the average length of the menstrual cycle.
Here are some easy hygiene tips every woman must follow:
- Do not use pads or tampons for long
If the menstrual blood leaves the body, it slowly starts to decompose. Holding the used pad close to the vaginal region and skin for a long time exposes the region to bacterial infection and itching. In particular, tampons should not be left inside the body for more than four hours to prevent toxic shock syndrome. Clean the area as specified in the above section before changing the pad or tampon.
- Keep the pubic area clean.
Clip your pubic hair as close to the skin as possible before your period begins. When your time ends, make sure to wash Dettol antiseptic liquid or other antiseptics dissolved in warm water twice a day. Dry the region with clean tissue paper, finish with absorbent talcum powder to avoid chafing and rash.
- Dispose used pads safely.
Used pads and tampons contain germs and bacteria, and if left exposed to the atmosphere, they will emit a foul smell and attract insects. If you are using a menstrual cup, wash it in warm water and antiseptic fluid once a day to remove any germs.
- Stay away from vaginal cleansers and douches.
However, the use of vaginal washes and showers during your cycle is a strict ‘No.’ Not only is there a question mark about the efficacy of vaginal washing liquids, but the use of showers during this time can also cause injury to the private parts and spread infection.
- Rest and catch up on sleep
You can get drowsy and feel boring during your sleep. Relax – this is just the way your body tells you to rest as time goes on. You can nap, read in bed, indulge in sweets and chocolate, and generally do all the things you don’t have the time to do otherwise.