Menstrual Hygiene Day – 7 personal hygiene tips

Menstrual Hygiene Day – 7 personal hygiene tips

Here is how you can ensure personal hygiene during menstruation and avoid the risk of infection.

Pad and tampon
Sanitary pad and tampon/ iStock

Tuesday, 28 May marks Menstrual Hygiene Day. It’s a day aimed at breaking the silence and building awareness about the fundamental role that good menstrual hygiene management (MHM) plays in enabling women and girls to reach their full potential.

Every month, millions of women around the globe have their periods, but sadly taboos and stigma can result in limited information on menstruation and menstrual hygiene.

According to the International Federation of Medical Students' Associations at least 500 million women and girls globally lack adequate facilities for good menstrual hygiene management. The organisation is now reaching millions of girls around the world, educating them about the importance of good menstrual hygiene management.

Below are seven ways you can ensure good menstrual hygiene.

 - Change your pad or tampon every 4-6 hours, or when it is full. Leaving it for too long might result in irritation, rashes or urinary tract infections.

- Wash your genital area daily. It’s important to keep it clean and remove any organisms which remain after you’ve removed your sanitary products.

READ: Basic hygiene habits to teach your children

- After using the toilet, make sure you wipe correctly to avoid infection. “Wipe from the opening of where the urine comes out to where the faeces come out. If you don’t wipe correctly, you can be in danger of urinary tract infection,” says Dr. Maloma from Dr George Mukhari Hospital in Gauteng.  

-Avoid using pads and tampons at the same time. It is unnecessary and might result in an infection.

- Wash your hands after changing your sanitary pad or tampon, just like you would do after using the loo. Germs from your hands can cause illness.

- If you use cloth sanitary towels, ensure that you wash them thoroughly in clean water and vinegar. "The vinegar helps to kill bacteria on the pads", says Sherrie de Wet, the founder of Palesa Pads

- Dispose of your tampon or sanitary pad correctly. Ensure that you fold and cover your pad or tampon with a few layers of tissue then throw away in the rubbish bin. Do not flush them, because that might clog the drainage system. 

READ: A solution to South Africa’s sanitary towel problem

Image courtesy of iStock/ IvancoVlad

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