Importance of Maintaining Good Menstrual Hygiene
Looking after our self properly during menstruation is as important as eating before going to bed every day, lack of dinner before bed may result to sleepless night. Same apply to lack of proper menstrual hygiene management, a little ignorance or improper management can cause harm on an individual and that individual could be an instrument to the spread of infections.
It is a known fact that women in the Stone Age used old rags, leaves or anything they could use to collect menstrual blood. But even in our contemporary generation that there are a lot of sanitary pads in circulation, several women still practice the old method of collecting menstrual blood. Such as the use of foam, mud, old rags, animal fur and several other unhygienic alternative. This is to show you how these women are endanger to health challenges because they dont have access to sanitary pads for their period. However, they do not wish to carry out these practices intentionally, they do it because they do not have the resources to purchase disposable sanitary pads monthly.
Most societies see menstruation as a taboo, talking about it privately or openly is a great taboo. This ideology has contributed to the illiteracy and ignorance on menstrual hygiene management. Therefore, they adopt the traditional method which eventually hider their day to day mobility, causing a lot of girls to drop out from school. Millions of girls drop out of school on a yearly basis due to the lack of sanitary pads, menstrual awareness and lack of facilities to change sanitary pads. This renders it impossible for women to participate in daily activities for the fear of being stained or embarrass. Socio-cultural norms concerning menstruation are responsible for the unhygienic use of traditional method of managing period.
Healthy Way to Manage Periods
Menstruation is a normal biological process which helps in maintaining the reproductive health of women. Therefore, it is very important to maintain a good health during menstruation, because when the blood, mucous and lining tissues are shed out of the body and they are not properly taken care of, they cause infection that can be spread by sharing the same toilet or toiletries.
Proper cleanliness of the genital area and availabilities of safe menstrual products can tame the spread of infection up to 95%. Also, the use of sanitary pads for period is crucial in reducing the risks associated with period. Changing of sanitary pads every 4 hours and proper washing of hands every time the sanitary pads are changed are minor but very significant steps towards ensuring good hygiene. But it is important to note that even when all these are done, one can still contact infections by the use of sanitary pads that contains high amount of chemicals in them. Therefore it is advisable to embrace the washable and reusable chemical free pad without having any discomfort and pain associated with infections. Women can enjoy stress-free periods and continue participating in all day to day activities when they switch to chemical free product. And one of the chemical free products that have been tested and trusted is Pad-Up Menstrual Kit.
However, the use of unsanitary absorbents has become common in developing nations most especially in rural environment. This is caused by poor economic status, socio-cultural beliefs, lack of menstrual awareness and others. Most women are forced to use unsafe means of collecting menstrual blood which in most cases becomes infectious to the body. These infections do not only occur by the use of rags or other traditional methods, but by also using chemical filled pads which can cause Toxic Shock Syndrome and Vaginitis.
Benefit of Maintaining Good Menstrual Hygiene
1. Ensures Good Reproductive Health:
Reproductive tract infection (RTIs) can be caused by unhealthy and unhygienic absorbent of menstrual blood. RTIs can result to reproductive health morbidities when bacteria responsible for these infections get to the mucosal layer of the reproductive tract and cause damage to the uterine tract, fallopian tubes, and ovaries. Abnormal vaginal discharge and vaginities are common symptoms of RTI.
Most women use chemical filled disposable pads to collect menstrual blood and they are living with some form of infections unknowingly which may lead to RTI. Therefore it is advisable to switch to a chemical free pad for collection of menstrual blood to prevent reproductive complications.
2. Ensures the Reduction of Urinary Tract Infections:
Using of damp chemical filled pad for longer than 4 hours acts as a perfect environment for multiplication and growth of yeasts and bacterial. Microbes like staphylococcus, pseudomonas, E.coli, Candida albicans can easily grow in a humid area when there is a long use of unhealthy absorbents sanitary pads. These bacteria can occupy the urinary tract, resulting into painful urination process, back pain, abdominal pain Etc. one of the surest way to avoid these complications is by a using a chemical free pads such as pad-up menstrual kits which can be washed and sun dried and used for a minimum period of one year. Also, cleaning of the genitalia areas with clean water can help in preventing 95% of such infections. And in a place where there is no water, the pad-up menstrual wipe can be use to clean the genitalia surface.
3. Ensures the Reduction of Rashes in Genitals:
Disposable sanitary pads are manufactured with plastics and SAP which is derived from crude oil. These products have high rate of causing rash in the private part, hence they are not supposed to be worn for a very long time in order to avoid any form of damage to the health. Because allergy, abrasion and prolong wetness can cause injury to the external genitalia during menstruation.
Therefore, to reduce incidents of rash in genitals, it is advisable to use pad-up chemical free, washable and reusable sanitary pads which can absorb heavy flow without causing painful rash. Also, they do not alter the micro-environment of the vagina.
4. Minimizing Risk of Cervical Cancer:
Cervical cancer is caused by Human Papillloma Virus. It is the cancer of the opening of the uterus, this virus can be transmitted by unhygienic handling of menstrual blood and sexually. Lack of hygienic sanitation or disposal of sanitary pads, sharing of sanitary pad, not washing of hands after changing of pads are some causes that increase the risk of developing cervical cancer.