Menstrual Health – A Never-Ending Process by Shruti Barpande

By Jun 5, 2020

The 28th of May was recently observed as the menstrual hygiene day. The day is usually marked with several awareness programs, campaigns, initiatives, and unique activities. But is that enough? I am pretty sure most of us will agree that – it's not. The ongoing pandemic and natural calamities have greatly affected almost every sector. Right from aspects as small as biological clock till those as major as the earth’s atmosphere nothing has been spared from the wraith of these disasters. Although many of them are being addressed, one aspect that has remained unnoticed and unmitigated is – menstrual health. Menstrual health is a never-ending process. It needs to be noticed, considered, discussed, and mitigated irrespective of any external influence or special situations. So, let us not confine our discussions of menstrual hygiene to a specific occasion and explore how we can ensure a safe and hygienic sail through those difficult days. 

1.Consider separate sanitation 

Amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it is crucial to avoid the contracting and spreading of any kind of infection during menses. One of the best ways to achieve this is to ensure the availability of separate sanitation facilities for ladies with and without COVID-19 and for those on and off menses.

2.Reuse 

Though several women may fear the reuse of sanitary products, it is important to know that if done correctly, the reuse of sanitary products can be a saviour. Storing large numbers of sanitary napkins can result in unhealthy napkins or possible infection if not stored correctly. This can be avoided by using washable and reusable products such as menstrual cups, washable pads, or absorbent underwear. Several women’s health-related platforms offer tutorials for the correct use of these products. 

3.Stay Informed

We often spend a significant amount of our time online. But we rarely search about menstrual health. The advancement of science and technology has enabled the development of various modalities to sail smoothly through this week-long hardship. Staying vigilant and informed about such latest advancements can solve several issues. You can also share the information with near and dear ones and ensure a healthy community around you. 

4.Seek medical assistance

Seeking medical assistance for menstrual health should not be restricted only to disorders or abnormalities. The menstrual cycle is a complex biological process and is associated with several factors. Certain practices such as the use of hormonal contraceptives can have a significant effect on your menses. Therefore, seeking medical assistance to ensure that you experience healthy menses is crucial. 

5.Practice safe waste disposal 

Disposal of sanitary napkins is extremely crucial for the health of a woman, her family, as well as the whole community. The sanitary napkins disposed of in dustbins usually pile up in landfills. Additionally, in places like public toilets, the napkins are either flushed or left open. All these practices are extremely unhealthy for humans, animals, as well as the environment. As mentioned previously, the best way is to reuse, however, if not possible to reuse it should be ensured that the napkins are incarnated. 

Following simple steps to ensure healthy menses can have several other benefits such as reduced depression and anxiety, reduced infections, less stress, and a calm and happy mind. It has been very well quoted by Judy Crahn that “Menstrual blood is the only source of blood that is not traumatically induced. Yet in modern society, this is the most hidden blood, the one so rarely spoken of and almost never seen, except privately by women.”So, let us open up, respect, and educate people about this god’s gift. Let us not wait for our daughters to get their first periods and our sons to get married to educate them. Let us not wait for calamities to highlight the importance of menstrual hygiene, and let us not allow the world to stop us from celebrating this unique power of giving birth. Let us not wait for a date, but celebrate each day as menstrual hygiene day. 

Shruti Barpande  <shruti.barpande33@gmail.com>




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