Menstruation is a normal biological phenomenon, wherein over 800 million women and girls menstruate on any given day. Yet, talking about the period remains a huge taboo in India. Poor menstrual hygiene, inadequate sanitisation, and disposal options can be a cause of concern as it increases the risk of reproductive tract infections and urinary infection.
According to Dr Rita Bakshi – Senior Gynaecologist & IVF Expert, International Fertility Centre – menstruation is not a matter of shame and there is a need for educating children about this.
“Menstruation is a biological phenomenon and it should not be looked down upon with disgust. Children should be sensitized about reproductive health so they grow up to understand their body with dignity,” Dr Rita Bakshi said.
She said that poor menstrual hygiene impairs the reproductive health of women and therefore it is very important to highlight the importance of good menstrual hygiene management.
“By discussing women’s health, we create a safe space for women to share their health concerns. Maintaining menstrual hygiene is paramount for women’s health,” she said.
“With adequate nutrition and hygiene, women can easily prevent the onset of infections and minimize the risk of developing Cervical Cancer. Poor menstrual hygiene also impairs the reproductive health of women,” the doctor added.
Today is ‘Menstrual Hygiene Day’ and this is an annual awareness day to highlight the importance of good menstrual hygiene management. A lot needs to be done to raise awareness about menstruation, but at the same time, it is equally important to promote more environment-friendly options sanitary pads. Sanitary napkins are made of plastic – that will take 400-800 years to decompose, have an absorbent material that covert liquid to gel, and also contain cellulose gum. All these things made it very harmful to the environment.
According to Dr Nupur Gupta – Director, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram – there is an urgent need to consider more disposable options which include organic tampons and biodegradable pads or reusable cloth pad.
“There is a need for biodegradable pads that are more environmentally friendly. Cloth pads should be popularised as they are Re-usable washable and cost-effective,” Dr Nupur Gupta said.
Silicon menstrual cups are also economical and eco-friendly and easy to use, Dr Nupur Gupta added.