5 Tips for Improving Menstrual Hygiene
Once a month, like clockwork, most women in the world between the ages of 13 and 49 sometimes stop feeling like their everyday selves and turn into some or all of the Seven Menstrual Dwarves: “Crampy,” “Bloaty,” “Hungry,” “Sleepy,” “Weepy,” “Grumpy,” and our personal favorite, “Poopy.”
It’s pretty safe to say no one loves their menstrual cycle, but it’s something women must learn to live with. This article focuses on menstrual hygiene and tips for improving how you feel during your period.
Menstrual Hygiene Tips
1. Only wash with clear warm water
Gynecologists recommend rinsing your genital area with plain warm water at least twice a day during your period — once in the morning and once in the evening. It’s safe to do so more often if it helps you feel more comfortable. Be sure to wash from front to back, starting with the labial area and working backward to prevent bringing bacteria toward the vagina, which could cause an infection.
2. Avoid scented products
You may see advertising suggesting otherwise, but the fact is that the vagina takes care of itself when it comes to cleaning. (We will never forget the day in middle school when our health education teacher proudly proclaimed to all of us, “Ladies, the vagina is like a self-cleaning oven.”) In fact, using douches, feminine hygiene deodorants, and other scented products can disrupt the balance of vaginal flora and trigger vaginitis, urinary tract infections (UTI), and yeast infections. Don’t let concern about possible period odor lead you to make unsafe health choices — your vagina should not smell like bubblegum, a bouquet of flowers, or anything else EXCEPT a vagina. And be sure to share this information with your daughter. Teens are especially self-conscious about their bodies, and more of these products are using their vulnerability to target them through social media.
3. Change your period protection regularly
Frequently changing your period product will prevent infections and odors from developing. According to health experts, it's important to change your product every 4-8 hours. This will depend on the type of product you use (tampons, pads, menstrual cups), and how heavy your menstrual flow is. Always wash your hands with soap and water after changing your product or cleaning your genitals.
4. Take a bath to help reduce menstrual cramps
It’s a myth that women cannot take baths while menstruating. Bathing in warm water can help relieve your menstrual cramps and back cramps. Just make sure the tub is clean before you climb in since your immune system is slightly weakened during your period. (If you prefer a shower, that’s safe, too.)
5. Use moist toilet tissue for “period poop”
Menstruation can affect your digestive system — and we aren’t talking about food cravings for things like chips and chocolate. Your hormone levels change during your menstrual cycle and can cause diarrhea, gas, constipation, and truly smelly period poop. Everything from its consistency to quantity at any given point during your period can be a crapshoot (pun intended!).
That’s where moist toilet tissue comes in. Flushable wipes should be a part of your menstrual kit right next to the tampons and pads because they’re better at cleaning and wiping away period poop than dry toilet paper alone.
On top of that, flushable wipes are softer and gentler, leave you feeling more confident and fresh. Alcohol-free and made with renewable plant-based fibers, Nice ’N CLEAN® Flushable Wipes are strong, soothing, and infused with aloe and vitamin E to make sure your vaginal area stays clean and healthy. Made with Eco-Flush® technology, our septic-safe* and clog-free wipes can be flushed down the toilet one at a time. Make sure you have a package in each bathroom at home as well as one in your purse when you’re out and about.
Practice Self-Care Every Day, Not Just Monthly
Menstruation is a part of being a woman — and it’s nothing to be ashamed about, nor is it something that should cause embarrassment or discomfort. Take care of your body during this amazing process every month (as well as every day!) to maintain your health and well-being.
*Safe for well-maintained sewers and septic systems. Flush only one wipe at a time. Not recommended for use with motorhome or basement pump systems.