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Menstrual Hygiene: What it means, and how to achieve it.

An important lesson on being a woman is to never, ever let your period stand in your way.

Missing school or work and feeling insecure should not be what that time of the month is all about. Don’t let your period embarrass you – get the facts, and get healthy! When you’re clean, you tend to feel better about yourself. Mental health during this time of the month is just as important as bodily health. Never forget to give your body the love and attention that it deserves. Keeping good hygiene during my period is how I stay ahead of the game!

Did you know that improper hygiene during your period can put your health at risk? Using unsanitary pads or materials can lead to infections that could affect the uterus and vaginal wall. Making sure that your materials are sanitary is the first step to good hygiene. The skin can also become infected if pads are not changed often enough. (I learned that when I was first starting out). Avoid skin inflammation by changing your pad every 2-4 hours.

Be prepared! Keep an extra pad with you at all times, if possible, to avoid mess and stress!
Bathing once a day while menstruating is an important and helpful factor in keeping clean and staying healthy. Bathing regularly helps to fight off infections and keep any unwanted odor at bay. Normally, I am a shower every-other-day type of gal, but when it’s that time of the month, you’ll catch me bathing daily. Another thing to keep in mind: douching, contrary to popular belief, is not the healthy way to stay clean during your period. Frequent douching can actually cause more bacteria to occur within the vagina rather than get rid of it. My advice, stick to classic soap and water.

Special tip: a warm bath is great way to stay clean AND ease those pesky cramps. It works for me every time!

How do I keep good, basic hygiene? Simple! I change my reusable cotton pads roughly every 3 hours, and (when feasible) hand wash them with a gentle laundry detergent and let them air dry on the patio. Sunlight is a great, natural way to sterilize cloth pads for future use. A clean pad means a healthier you! (For disposable pads- keep the 2-4 hour rule when changing, dispose of them in an appropriate trash can, and wash your hands before and after putting a new pad in place).

I find that when I am clean, I am more confident, and when I am more confident, I perform better at work and at school. Your period could have a tendency to make you feel dirty or unwell, but it doesn’t have to! Show your period who is boss and take care of yourself! Make sure to be open about your period, and don’t let others make you feel inferior. Be proud of who you are as a woman, and fight the taboo on menstruation. Proper hygiene should be taught to women everywhere. Knowledge truly is power!

Lift each other up, help each other out, and spread the word about menstrual hygiene!

Days for Girls
Days for Girls is an award-winning global NGO bringing menstrual health, dignity and opportunity to 3+ million girls (and counting!) worldwide.