Tips on maintaining menstrual hygiene

If there is one thing that most women have to go through on a monthly basis, it's having a period. That time of the month can come with shame, especially with the susceptibility to bad odours, mood swings or even bloodstains.

Right from the first time I had my period, it became nearly ritualistic to know what I needed to do in order to stay clean. Luckily, there was ready information that I appreciated finding. Be sure to follow these tips for a smooth ride during that time of the month so as to avoid infections, and boost your confidence.

  • Wear the correct underwear

During this time, you need to wear well-fitting underwear to minimise sweat accumulation in the lower region. Investing in some cotton panties will work perfectly as they enable airflow.

Ditch your thongs for a while and invest in comfortable cotton underwear instead of extremely tight ones. This will, in turn, prevent body odour. Remember, anything that makes you sweaty makes bacteria thrive easily, which can then cause multiple infections.

  • Change your sanitary products often

If you don't want everyone staring at you because you’ve stained yourself, make sure you are regularly checking yourself. When you wear a pad, change it every four to six hours. A tampon, on the other hand, may need changing every two hours. If you opt for a menstrual cup, it may need constant checking based on whether your flow is light or heavy.

  • Don't use more than one sanitary product at a go

Some people may believe that using more than one sanitary product will effectively minimise leaking. The downside to using two products is that you won't be able to know when one of is full and in need of a change. Ensure that you stick to one at a go and change them regularly.

  • Use the appropriate sanitary product as per your flow

One of the things I used to do in the initial days of embracing this phase of womanhood was trying different sanitary towels. There is such a wide range of products available for use. Once you understand whether your flow is light or heavy, it becomes easier to choose the right ones.

Some pads will be different in length and absorbency and menstrual cups vary in size amidst many differences. Once you are satisfied with your product of choice, stick to it.

  • Wash your hands after changing

Having clean hands is not something to brush off. Changing your menstrual hygiene product brings you into contact with germs and you need to maintain the utmost level of hygiene before and after.  Ensure that you wash your hands with soap to kill all bacteria.

  • Properly dispose of the sanitary product

Properly wrapping up your used pad or tampon and disposing of it appropriately is part of hygiene done right. Ensure that you don't flush them in the toilet as that is a sure cause of drain blockage. Instead, toss them in the bin or use the sanitary disposal bins provided in public restrooms for a safer, environmentally friendly alternative.

  • Shower regularly

Skipping out on taking a shower for a day or two during that time of the month, like I formerly used to, is poor menstrual hygiene. Daily showers are important as you need to properly wash your body to avoid bacterial infection. When washing your private area, do it from front-to-back as this minimises the risk infection in that sensitive area. Be sure to use warm water and avoid any fragrant soaps.