Menstrual Hygiene Day or MHD is celebrated every year on May 28  to raise awareness about menstrual hygiene management and break taboos. The date May 28 was chosen to celebrate MHD because menstrual cycle is usually 28 days long and the bleeding lasts for an average of five days, hence the fifth month May. It is an annual awareness day initiated in 2014 by the NGO WASH United based in Germany. Today more the Menstrual Hygiene Day initiative has more than 270 partners worldwide. Every woman and girl must know about menstruation or period and the importance of hygiene management during menstruation. (ALSO READ What is a normal menstrual cycle: Everything you wanted to know about periods).

The menstrual cycle is a natural process in the females. It brings about numerous changes in the body to prepare for a possible pregnancy. It involves an interplay of hormones progesterone and estrogen. The monthly bleeding may cause discomfort and cramps. You can manage your menstrual discomfort and pain by following appropriate hygiene during periods. Here is a list of some of the basic menstrual hygiene tips that are usually ignored but are really important.

1. Take care of your pads

Take care of your pads

Take care of your pads

Your sanitary pads will be in direct contact with your skin, so you need to take care of your pads to avoid pad rash and infections. The genital area is sensitive and pad rash can lead to itching. So, keep your sanitary pads in a dry and clean place.

2. Use Dettol to wash your bedsheets when on period

You need to change your bedsheets frequently to have a clean period. It is advisable to use Dettol while washing the bedsheets when you are on your period. Also, change your underwear frequently to avoid infection and itching. (ALSO READ Simple tips to beat menstrual cramps: How to reduce period pain without popping a painkiller)

3. Wash your external genitalia with warm water

Warm water

Warm water

You should use warm water to clean your external genitalia. You do not have to clean vagina with water and soap as it can take care of the cleaning. Also while washing your genital area, make sure that you wash from front to back. This will help you avoid urinary tract infection.

4. Wash your hands after changing your pad/tampon/menstrual cup

Always remember to wash your hands after changing the sanitary pad or tampons or the menstrual cup. This is general hygiene practice and should always be followed. Also, you must wrap the used pad and tampon and throw it in the dustbin. Do not flush it. (ALSO READ Periods and health: 5 things your period tells about your health).

5. Keep separate underwear

Separate panties

Separate panties

Use separate underwear during your period. Wear them only when you are on your periods and wash them separately using Dettol, warm water and soap. Make sure you carry extra panties to use in case of leakage. If the panties are stained, use lemon or bleaching powder to remove it.

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