New user? Let’s get started with these basics.
What is a menstrual cycle?
The time between the first day of a menstrual period and the beginning of the next one is referred to as a menstrual cycle. Usually a typical cycle lasts for 28 days. However, this differs from person to person and can last anywhere between 21 and 45 days.
How long does a period usually last?
On an average, a menstrual period lasts somewhere between 3 and 7 days. This varies from person to person.
How much blood does a woman lose during every menstrual cycle?
Scientific studies reveal that on an average, a woman can lose anywhere between 30 and 90 ml of fluid which constitutes both of blood and mucosal tissue over 3-7 days of menstruation.
Are periods painful?
Slight abdominal pain and cramping during periods is normal. The intensity and duration varies from person to person. This is due to the release of hormone-like compounds called prostaglandins which stimulate contractions of the uterus . Unless the pain is completely debilitating, in which case visiting a doctor would be recommended, most symptoms can be cured using home-made remedies such as hot water compresses and abdominal massages.
What is PMS?
Women usually experience one or a combination of physical and emotional symptoms just before they start their monthly periods. Some of the symptoms include temporary weight gain or feelings of heaviness, tenderness of the breasts, headaches, cramps and general irritability. All these together constitute what is known as Pre-Menstrual Syndrome (PMS). PMS usually sets in a week or so before menses starts and goes away before the bleeding starts. Causes of PMS symptoms can be many such as a change in the levels of estrogen and progesterone during certain times of the month, an increase in these can result in extreme mood swings, anxiety, and emotional outbursts. The changes in these levels affect serotonin, a chemical in the brain that influences the mood, sleep cycle, and appetite.
Why is menstrual hygiene important?
Limited or no knowledge about menstruation and the importance of personal hygiene while menstruating can be a very serious issue. Maintaining adequate hygiene during menses is necessary to stay away from infections as well as for general comfort and easy mobility. Due to a lack of this knowledge, which is a major problem in India today, 71% of Indian women face menstruation-related health disorders.
What are the sanitary products available for menstruating females?
It is important to use hygienic methods to manage your menstrual hygiene to ensure a happy, safe & worry-free period:
Sanitary napkin – The most widely used sanitary product is the disposable ‘sanitary napkin’. Most napkins have an absorbent core and a leak-proof barrier that ensures a dry, leak-free period. These napkins come in a variety of sizes & benefits, with Whisper being the most popular brand in the market today.
Tampons – Unlike the sanitary napkin which is placed outside the vulva, tampons are miniature cylinders of absorbent material that can be inserted into the vagina. Tampons are used more by athletes and people who have a very active lifestyle.
Menstrual cups – These silicone cups can be placed inside the vagina to collect the menstrual flow. Unlike the sanitary pad or the tampon, menstrual cups can be sterilized and re-used for upto 5 years. You just need to take out the cup, wash the blood and re-insert again.
How to dispose of these sanitary products?
Single-use sanitary products like pads & tampons need to be disposed of with care. They should not be flushed down the toilet as they may clog the drains. Each Whisper sanitary pad comes with a disposable plastic wrapper. Once you unwrap the fresh pad, use the same wrapper to fold in the used pad and properly dispose in the dustbin. These will ensure that the pads are disposed of sanitarily.
How can Menstrual Hygiene be promoted?
The most important step towards promoting Menstrual Hygiene is normalizing conversations around the same. Even the smallest step can make a huge difference and talking openly about puberty and menstruation at home and school Will go a long way in helping the cause.