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    8 things we bet you’re getting wrong about menstrual hygiene

    By NCVC Staff | Published on Oct 10, 2023

    Menstrual hygiene is an important topic that often gets overshadowed by shame and taboo. As a result, many women rely on misinformation or hearsay when it comes to proper menstrual hygiene practices. However, it’s crucial to educate ourselves and debunk myths to avoid potential health risks. In this article, we will discuss some common mistakes related to menstrual hygiene and provide you with the correct information to rectify them.

    1. Using scented sanitary napkins and tampons

    We all want to feel confident and fresh during our periods, but using scented products is not the solution. According to Dr. Ranjana Becon, a consultant gynecologist, scented sanitary napkins and tampons can actually harm your menstrual health and hygiene. These products contain chemicals that can cause irritation, itching, and swelling when they come into direct contact with your skin and blood vessels. So, it’s best to opt for unscented options.

    2. Douching to “keep it clean”

    Douching is a concept introduced to us by the West, but it’s important to understand that the vagina is a self-cleaning organ. Douching can disrupt the natural balance of bacteria in the vagina, leading to an increased risk of vaginal infections and pelvic inflammatory diseases. So, it’s best to avoid douching altogether.

    3. Sleeping with a tampon in for too long

    Tampons are a convenient option, especially for heavy menstrual flow. However, it’s important to change your tampon every 6-8 hours to maintain proper hygiene. Sleeping with a tampon in for an extended period can increase the risk of infection, including a rare condition called toxic shock syndrome (TSS). So, set an alarm or use a sanitary napkin when you sleep to avoid any complications.

    4. Not changing your pad/tampon frequently enough

    Wearing one pad or tampon for more than 4 hours can put you at risk of a vaginal infection. It’s important to change your pad or tampon regularly, especially during a heavy flow. Remember, prolonged use of a tampon can also increase the risk of TSS. So, prioritize your hygiene and change your sanitary products frequently.

    5. Skipping bathing during your periods

    Whether it’s due to menstrual cramps or fatigue, skipping a shower during your period can have negative consequences. Taking a warm shower can help alleviate menstrual cramps and make you feel clean and refreshed. Additionally, not bathing after a workout can leave you susceptible to vaginal infections due to sweat and grime. So, make sure to maintain your hygiene by showering regularly.

    6. Eating anything without considering its impact

    Food cravings during menstruation are common, but it’s essential to make mindful food choices. While unhealthy foods may not directly affect menstrual health, they can lead to weight gain and nutritional deficiencies, which in turn can impact your menstrual health. Avoid excessive salt, sugar, and caffeine, as well as processed foods and canned juices. Instead, focus on a balanced diet to support your overall well-being.

    7. Having carefree sex on your period

    Engaging in sexual activity during your period is a personal choice, but maintaining proper menstrual hygiene is crucial. Poor hygiene during sex can lead to infections for both you and your partner. It’s important to thoroughly wash your intimate area before and after intercourse and consider using a condom for added protection against infections.

    8. Using intimate hygiene washes regularly

    Intimate hygiene washes may promise germ-free and pleasant-smelling results, but they can disturb the natural pH balance of your vagina. The vagina is a self-cleaning organ, and regular use of these products can cause an allergic reaction or disrupt its natural cleaning process. Instead, stick to water and antifungal soaps for regular cleaning and only use feminine hygiene products when necessary, such as during a specific infection.

    By avoiding these common menstrual hygiene mistakes and adopting proper practices, you can maintain a healthy vagina and overall well-being. Remember, it’s important to educate ourselves and challenge the taboo surrounding menstruation to ensure a comfortable and safe experience for all women.

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