Healthy Periods: Periods are one of the distressing time for menstruators. While some deal with mood swings and irritations, others can’t get out of bed due to period pains (and even fever!). While some are so bloated and inactive that they skip workouts and daily routines, others are not so affected by the monthly bleeding. Earlier when there wasn’t any awareness about periods, women lost their lives due lack of access to sanitary pads and other healthy period habits. In fact, even today many women lack access to healthy period because of the prevalent taboo. But, the point is, periods do bring (often bad!) changes in our daily lives and we need to deal with it like a boss! Why? Because it is our body and we have the right to demand its safety even if that means breaking the long drawn silence on periods. So here are some period hacks that might help you deal with periods in a healthy way
Ways to have healthy periods
Change your pads/tampons timely
Using the same pad for a long time can cause discomfort, accidental leakage and bacterial infections. So you need to change your pads every three to four hours if your period is heavy. While a single Tampon should not be used for more than 8 hours.
Reduce period pain
If you have mild symptoms like pain in the lower abdomen, thighs or back, you can place heating pads or hot water bottles on the pain area. Sometimes a warm bath also helps. If the pain is unbearable, take over-the-counter medicine prescribed by a doctor for severe period pains.
Eat healthy Food
Periods lead to immense blood loss from the body. There are chances that your body is low on iron, energy and water levels too which can lead to weakness, dehydration, fever and headaches. So follow the following food hacks during your period:
- Drink lots of water and keep yourself hydrated
- Eat water-rich fruits, green vegetables as they have high iron contents.
- You should also eat chicken during your periods as they are rich in iron and proteins
- What can also boost your iron level and simultaneously serve your cravings is dark chocolate
- Avoid foods like salt, sugar, coffee and alcohol that might retain the water in your body, lead to bloating and other period symptoms.
Go environment friendly
Did you know that a single pad contains plastics equivalent to three-four grocery plastic bags? Since periods are a monthly occurrence, we cannot let it be one of the major reasons contributing to the impending climate emergency. So use reusable pads, if you are comfortable with pads. Or else switch to eco-friendly options like menstrual cups, tampons, period panties etc.
Dispose of your pads properly
Another important period hack to keep in mind is to wrap and dispose of your pads properly. Improper disposal of pads can clog the drainage, cause bacterial infection and create an unhealthy environment. While some women in houses where period is a taboo, dispose of their pads along with the general waste in the waste, others have the habit of flushing it down the drainage. But both the disposal technique is unhygienic and inconvenient. The best and the easiest way to dispose of your pads is incineration. Bio-Medical Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 1998 says that waste products contaminated with blood or body fluids should be incinerated, autoclaved or microwaved to kill the pathogens.
Or else, the pad should be tightly wrapped in layers of toilet paper or paper bags and thrown in garbage cans that are in the bathroom, away from wet waste products of the house, and from pets and animals.
Take care of your vagina
The vagina is self-cleaning. During periods also you just need to wash it with warm water without using soap or other vaginal products. It is normal for your vagina to smell during periods. The smell is because of the presence of bacterias that maintain a slightly acidic balance which is necessary for your healthy vagina.
7. Take a leave if it is too painful
Period leaves is now beginning to gain momentum as many workspaces have become sensitive towards women’s issues. And serioulsy, period cramps and weakness is a genuine health concern for menstruators. It makes no sense in hiding period cramps under sick leave or blaming the person for their frail body or their drama to gain attention. It only encourages the taboo around periods that doesn’t let conversations about understanding period beyond “women’s issue” thrive.