Good menstrual health and hygiene practices can prevent infections, reduce odours and help you stay comfortable during your period.
Here are some hygiene practices that can help you stay healthy and comfortable during your period:
1. Wear lightweight, breathable clothing (such as cotton underwear)
Tight fabrics can trap moisture and heat, allowing germs to thrive.
2. Change Your Menstrual Products Regularly
Trapped moisture provides a breeding ground for bacteria and fungi. Wearing a pad or period underwear for too long can lead to a rash or an infection.
3. Keep Your Genital Area Clean
Wash the outside of your vagina (vulva) and bottom everyday. When you go to the bathroom, wipe from the front of your body toward the back, not the other way. Use only water to rinse your vulva. The vagina is a self-cleaning organ. Changing the natural pH balance of your vagina by washing or using chemicals to cleanse out the vagina can be harmful and may result in a yeast infection or bacterial vaginosis.
4. Drink Enough Liquid
This can help wash out your urinary tract and can help prevent infections, like Vaginal candidiasis.
5. Track And Monitor Your Period
Your menstrual cycle is a valuable marker for your overall health. Irregular periods can be a sign of conditions like diabetes, thyroid dysfunction and celiac disease. You can track your period on a calendar or with an app on your phone designed for this purpose.
6. Visit A Healthcare Provider For Your Annual Check-up
An annual well-woman exam is a full check-up that includes a pap smear, a pelvic exam and a breast exam. These exams are essential for good reproductive health as they can catch early signs of cancer or other health issues.
Talk to a doctor if you experience a change in odour, have extreme or unusual pain, or have more severe period symptoms than usual (such as heavier flow or longer period)
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