When was the last time you didn’t lower your voice in public when telling someone you’re on your period? The heavy stigma surrounding periods isn’t just limited to silence during biology classes when this topic is discussed; it also reflects how many women still have little to no knowledge about maintaining period hygiene, simply because no one is available to educate them. All it takes is one person with a strong desire to change such a mindset.
Due to the taboo surrounding “periods,” most of us in our Subcontinent go through our periods in secret and don’t bother to figure out if our practices are hygienic or not. We may wear the same napkin for an entire day at times. During periods, women in villages and small towns still used reusable unsanitary cloth. In some households, because periods are considered unclean, they are not permitted to use detergent to thoroughly wash the soiled cloth.
During Women’s Week, the women of Pankhuri have taken it upon themselves to break down these barriers and spread as much information about menstrual Hygiene as possible. Let us take a few minutes out of our busy schedules to educate ourselves on important information that they should be aware of. But first of all, let’s talk about some myths surrounding menstruation that totally need to be busted this women’s day:
Tampons are a No-no!
A common myth about tampons is that they can break the hymen or become lost inside. The hymen is a stretchy membrane that lines the vaginal opening but does not entirely cover it. On average, vaginas are only 3.77 inches (9.6 centimetres) deep, and tampons come with strings to aid removal. So, if the tampon does ride up a little, you can always easily search for the string and carefully pull the tampon out.
Because the hymen is stretchy, inserting something as small as a tampon will not result in tear. And, because blood lubricates the vagina during menstruation, inserting a tampon should be painless if done correctly.
Physical activities disturb the menstrual flow.
Now, this is one point that we’ve been told often that you should be resting on your period and not doing strenuous workouts. While the resting bit is justified as our body needs rest to cope with the blood loss, activities and exercising actually helps with relieving menstrual pain and cramps.
To begin, when you exercise, your brain releases endorphins, which are feel-good hormones. Endorphins block pain receptors in your brain, allowing pain signals from your cramping, contracting uterus to be suppressed. Aerobic exercise, such as brisk walking, can release endorphins and relieve pain.
Do we really need to wash our Vagina?
No, but you should wash your vulva. Let’s go over some fundamental anatomy. The vaginal canal is the inner canal of your body. The term “vulva” refers to the skin surrounding the vagina.
Washing the vagina can cause a variety of issues. There are a lot of “good” bacteria in your vagina, which self-cleans it. These bacterias also keep your vagina’s pH balanced, which is slightly acidic. Because of the acidic pH, “bad” bacteria have a difficult time infecting your vagina. Hence, its advisable to wash your VULVA regularly with warm water only, and not your vagina!
Slow and steady wins the race, but the race must be held. Now that we’ve debunked some myths about menstruation, here are some quick fixes to help you relieve period pain and have a healthy, happy, and clean period:
- Change Regularly:
Menstrual blood becomes contaminated with the body’s natural organisms after leaving the body. This rule applies even if you don’t have much bleeding because your pad is still damp and will contain organisms from your vagina, sweat from your genitals, and so on. When these organisms remain in a warm and moist environment for an extended period, they multiply and can cause conditions such as urinary tract infections, vaginal infections, and skin rashes, so no matter how busy you get, it’s best to change pads every 3-5 hours.
- Choose your method of Sanitization:
There are various options for staying clean today, including the use of sanitary napkins, tampons, and menstrual cups. In India, most unmarried girls prefer to use sanitary napkins. If you must use a tampon, choose one with the lowest absorbency rate possible. Because brands are as individual as you are, switching between them regularly can be unsettling. And, for one period, it is best to stick to one method of Sanitisation because adjusting to different ways can be difficult.
To learn more about Tampons and Menstrual Cups, attend Pankhuri’s free Menstrual Hygiene Masterclass:
- Beware of Pad Rash:
Pad rash is something that you might get if you have a lot of flow. It usually happens after the pad has been wet for an extended period and rubs against the thighs, causing it to chaff. If you do get a rash, make sure to change your pads regularly. After a bath and before going to bed, apply an antiseptic ointment to heal the rash and prevent further chafing. If the situation worsens, see your doctor, who will be able to prescribe you a medicated powder to keep the area dry.
Menstrual Hygiene is an essential and broad genre that cannot be covered and explained in one sitting. It has many layers, and it’s past time we unwrap each one and become more aware of our bodies. Pankhuri has come up with masterclasses in collaboration with PEE SAFE for Women’s Week 2022. To raise awareness and dispel myths about menstruation, the products used, and educate young girls and women about menstrual Hygiene.
And the best part is… It is entirely free! So sign up now to gain access to a variety of gift baskets and essential information, as well as course certificates!
HURRY NOW! Limited SLOTS!!
Click on the image below to register yourself!