Menstruation is a naturally occurring physiological phenomenon in adolescent girls and pre-menopausal women.
Menstrual Health Hygiene could therefore be defined as ‘the activities involved in women and adolescent girls using a clean menstrual management material that can be changed in privacy and as often as necessary for the duration of the menstruation period to absorb and collect blood’ using soap and water for washing the body as required and having access to facilities to dispose of the used material.
Despite the various methods of handling this period, many girls especially in low income settings have low awareness on hygienic practices and lack culturally appropriate materials for MHM practices. They therefore exhibit silence, shame and social taboos that are further manifested in social practices that restrict their mobility, freedom and access to normal activities.
Having basics on simple home MHM is hence an essential aspect of personal sanitation for women and adolescent girls between menarche and menopause for it boosts their confidence, presentability and self-esteem.
To avoid the discomfort and tussles of this ‘proud’ phase here are some five simple and basic things girls within this bracket should take care of during their periods.
- Avoid drinking cold and or sparkling water during menstruation.
- Avoid eating cucumbers during periods because the sap in cucumber may block the period (blood loss) in the uterine walls leading to higher chances of causing sterility.
- Avoid applying shampoo on the head. This is since the pores of the head are open during periods and cause a headache. This can be persistent, severe and dangerous so one may opt to cut the hair when still young or later when they get old.
- Drinking or eating ice during periods can also cause blood to remain in the uterine walls and if this prolongs for five to ten years may result to ‘uterine tumor’ or ‘cancer’.
- At all cost your body should not be hit by hard objects especially on the abdomen as it may cause vomiting or worse injury to the uterus.
To cup it all, here is the simple, safe, efficient and proven home routine that you would try immediately after your menses for the tranquility and self confidence we all deserve:
- Boil water (to about 100c)
- Get a scented leaf
- Get some sea salt (just a handful)
- Dissolve the salt in the boiled water in a bowl and put the leaves in steam
- Undress and sit over the bowl (vapor)
- Open your legs and allow the vapor to get deepest in your genitalia
- Do this for five minutes.
You’re good to go as you wave BYE BYE to;
- Pussy odour
- Toilet infections
- Menstrual pains
- Fat belle