Poor menstrual hygiene is detrimental to your vaginal health. It can potentially increase your risk of vaginal yeast infection, bacterial vaginosis, and even more severe health conditions.
In this article, I have talked about the most common menstrual hygiene mistakes that you should avoid to stay healthy and enjoy your life to its fullest during your period.

how to stay fresh during your period

1. Storing sanitary products in the bathroom

Although it seems more convenient to store sanitary products in the bathroom, it is not a healthy approach. Air in the bathroom usually has more water vapors, especially after you take a shower. Your sanitary products like tampons can absorb them quickly and get spoiled faster. Therefore, it is advised to store them in a clean and dry place like your bedroom cupboard, etc.

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2. Wearing pads and tampons for too long

Another common mistake that women make is wearing one tampon or pad for a longer period. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), you should change your pad or tampon every 4 to 8 hours. [2] But it is a general range. When you should change your pad or tampon depends on your flow and the quality of the pad. If you have a heavy flow, then it is better to change your pad or tampon every 4 hours. But if the flow is light, then you can change it after 6 to 8 hours.

Germs can grow in a warm and moist area like a pad’s surface. Wearing your pads for too long can make them smelly due to the growth of bacteria. It also increases the risk of infection and itchiness. Wearing tampons for too long also increases the risk of toxic shock syndrome (TSS). It is a rare but life-threatening condition in which bacteria release toxins in the bloodstream. Women who use super-absorbent tampons for more prolonged periods can acquire this health condition.

So, to prevent the adverse effects of wearing tampons and pads for too long, it is better to change them within 4 to 8 hours and keep extra pads with you to stay on the safer side.

3. Cleaning menstrual cups with the wrong soap

Many women find menstrual cups more convenient than pads or tampons, but they do not know how to wash them properly. Using oil-based soaps can ruin the manufacturing material of menstrual cups. Similarly, washing it with a scented soap can cause irritation because they have many artificial chemicals. So, go for mild, water-based, oil-free soap. Wash the cup thoroughly before using it again. You should also sanitize your cup at the end of your cycle with boiling water for one or two minutes.

4. Using scented pads and tampons

Scented feminine hygiene products have artificial chemicals that create their fragrance. When the fragrance combines with the smell of blood, it creates a foul odor. So instead of creating a refreshing fragrance, you experience the opposite effect of scented pads, etc. Chemicals used for scent can also disturb the natural vaginal environment and cause irritation, redness, and itchiness. Therefore, choose unscented products that have the least chemicals.

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5. Not changing your tampon after pooping

Changing tampons after pooping is always a good idea. Its string can get poop on it, which can obviously lead to UTIs if it has contact with the vagina. In addition, your tampon can become loose after pooping, which can also make you feel uncomfortable. So, if possible, try to change your tampon after pooping and stay on the safer side. Otherwise, try to hold the string to the front.

6. Douching

I know you want to stay clean during your periods (as you should!) But don’t overdo it. Avoid douching. Many women douche to flush out period blood and to feel fresh during their period. However, douching disrupts the balance of the vaginal flora and leads to vaginal infections. To stay fresh during your period, you should :

  • Shower daily
  • Wash your vulva with plain old unscented soap and water

7. Not washing your hands before changing your sanitary products

While it is no brainer to wash your hands after changing your pads, tampons, and cups, you can easily forget to wash your hands before changing your sanitary products when you are in a rush. Be mindful that you can be introducing bacteria into your vaginal or genital area if your hands are not clean. It’s essential to wash your hands to protect your vagina from all the bacteria you encounter daily.

8. Not drinking enough water

Hormonal changes during your period can lead to menstrual cramps and digestive issues such as constipation, gas, and bloating. Not being properly hydrated can increase these symptoms. So make sure you drink plenty of water. You can also opt for calming teas that can be helpful if you have menstrual crampings.

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Final Thoughts

Good feminine hygiene is fundamental for all women, especially during periods. Now that you have learned about the common menstrual hygiene mistakes, it is time to stop making these mistakes to stay healthy and comfortable during your period.

References

  1. Vaginal pH Balance: Normal Levels, Correcting Unbalanced pH & More (healthline.com)
  2. Your Changing Body: Puberty in Girls | ACOG
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About the Author

Hermione M.

My name is Hermione. I am the founder of WomenH and I write about women's health, wellness, mental health, and personal growth. I created this platform to inspire women to take care of themselves mentally, physically, and emotionally to become their best selves. Thank you for stopping by.

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