Back to basics: What to keep in mind for optimal menstrual hygiene

Menstruation is a time of optimum self-care and caution, as it’s a vital process that the female body is going through. Part of erasing the stigma associated with monthly periods is promoting proper hygiene practices during this time of the month. Here are some tips you should consider.

Change your pad or tampon regularly

This is the cardinal rule to establish vaginal hygiene during menstruation, mainly to curb the growth of harmful organisms attracted to menstrual blood and to prevent infection. For sanitary pads, it’s best to change once every four to six hours, while for tampons it’s ideal to “wear” a new one every two hours.

Wash yourself down there

Organisms cling to your body after you’ve removed your sanitary napkin, so make it a point to regularly wash your vagina. The washing motion should be from your genitals to your anus – not the other way around, unless you want to transmit bacteria to your urethra opening and get infected.

Keep the vaginal area dry

Always pat this area dry after every wash in order to avoid irritation. Keep the area between the legs just as dry, and try to use antiseptic powder for this purpose. Apply powder before wearing the pad and after washing your vagina.

Discard your menstrual products properly

Be a friend to the planet you’re living in: wrap tampons and sanitary pads before throwing them away, so that bacteria and infections don’t spread and used items are properly disposed of. Never flush them down the toilet as they can clog plumbing and cause the toilet to overflow. Wash your hands thoroughly afterwards.

Wear clean underwear and comfortable clothes

Dress comfortably during this time, opting for loose clothing rather than jeans or tight-fitting items. This will make sure there’s enough air flow around your sensitive areas and excess sweating is prevented. Wear clean underwear and change it every day, unless you’re cool with your intimates becoming a breeding ground for microorganisms.

Clean your menstrual cup and other reusable menstrual items

Sterilise your cup at the beginning and end of your menstrual cycle, and keep washing it with water or antibacterial soap after every change. If you’re using reusable clothes or pads, make sure they are thoroughly washed and dried before every use.

Observing these menstrual hygiene practices are not only a surefire way to manage your period better, but also to be healthier and have a better quality of life during that dreaded time of the month. We got you covered for anything and everything menstrual talk, so keep posted for more!

Sara Bishop grew up in Queensland and lives on the Gold Coast with her husband Luke and their three children. She started working at age 14 and has performed administration, research, and advisory roles throughout her career. She has helped lead multiple companies, including a construction firm and a sales and marketing agency. She loves snowboarding, spending time at the beach, and hanging out with friends. She is the force behind Perfect Timing, a women’s wellness service that delivers customised parcels filled with feminine products to transform THAT time of the month into THE time of the month. Learn more on this page.

Posted November 28th at 4:41am