Periods are messy, both literally and figuratively. Dealing with them can be frustrating, and downright confusing if you don’t know what you’re doing. Unfortunately, many women around the world are never fully educated about how they should handle their periods, and more often than not, menstruation is viewed as dirty or shameful.
No matter where you live or what stigmas you’ve heard about your period, it’s important to understand two things. First of all, it’s not something to be ashamed of. Secondly, it’s up to you to make sure your body stays clean and safe during your time of the month.
Here are some hygienic tips regarding your period that you may not have stumbled across before. By implementing some of these techniques, you’ll feel better about your menstruation and ensure that you’re doing what’s best for your body during that time.
YOU SHOULD ACTUALLY WASH DOWN THERE
You may have heard that the vagina is self-cleaning, and although that is true, a little bit of extra cleanliness is needed during your time of the month. Take a light, unscented soap and lightly wash your vulva when you shower on your period. This will help combat any unusual scents down there and ensure that you’re staying clean. Don’t scrub too hard or you may cause irritation; just a light rub is fine.
CHANGING YOUR PAD OR TAMPON OFTEN IS 100 PERCENT NECESSARY
With busy schedules and heavy price tags on feminine products, it can be tempting to wear your current pad or tampon all day. However, that’s a big mistake. Tam pons should be changed every four to eight hours while pads should be changed even more frequently (at least every four hours). If you fail to wear new products as needed, you could contribute to nasty bacteria build up down there and cause serious issues.
DON’T WEAR SCENTED TAMPONS OR PADS
Even if you experience weird odors while you’re on your period, don’t fall prey to seemingly-lovely scented products. Many women are actually allergic to the substances in those tampons and pads, which means you could make your vagina itchy and irritated if you try to use one. Keep in mind that strange smells are often normal while you’re on your period, and they should naturally subside as the process comes to an end.
WASH YOUR HANDS BEFORE TOUCHING YOUR LADY PARTS
While you’re dealing with Aunt Flow, you’ll probably visit the bathroom more often than not to change products or relieve yourself. That means you’re exposing your hands to more germs than usual and touching yourself more. To avoid spreading germs around, wash your hands before and after you change your feminine product.
STEER CLEAR OF CLEANING PRODUCTS
One walk down the period aisle at the superstore will reveal a variety of sprays, douches, and other products that supposedly help freshen up your lady bits while you’re menstruating. However, you should abstain from using most of those products. Science has revealed they can cause pelvic inflammatory disease and other serious problems, plus they’re an unnecessary expense. You can use wipes on the outside to freshen up on the go, but never internally. Stick with warm water and some unscented soap if you need to clean up down there, but again not internally.
FEEL FREE TO HAVE SEX
Many women (and men) seem to think that sexual activity is off the table when the woman is on her period. That’s actually not true; many women enjoy having sex while they’re on their periods. Intercourse can even help calm down painful cramps and reduce stress levels, which are often high during a lady’s time of the month. Feel free to ask your partner to get frisky with you, even if you’re bleeding.
When you’re on your period, you feel gross, but there are things you can do to stay clean and fresh. Focus on washing your lady parts appropriately, swapping out your feminine products regularly, and avoiding unnecessary period products. Throw in a little bit of sexual activity and you’re sure to start feeling better about Aunt Flow’s monthly visits.