There are many women who feel that their menstrual cycle is extremely bothersome, not only due to the pain they experience but also because they feel that their odor is not at its best, and they believe that the reason for this is menstrual blood, which some describe as “spoiled blood”. However, to their surprise, menstrual blood is not spoiled and does not have this bad smell that many are annoyed by, but the reason is personal hygiene. Yes, it’s personal hygiene!
Most of us women have heard many false beliefs and misconceptions when we were younger, to the point where some believe that taking a shower during their menstrual cycle is harmful! Yes, that’s what used to be said, and unfortunately, many are victims of such myths and false beliefs. We don’t blame them, but our role here is to always correct all the wrong information. So, we thought of discussing today the menstrual cycle, but from a different perspective, far from the pains, painkillers, and other related topics. We will answer the common question of how to maintain personal hygiene during the menstrual cycle.
Remember: menstrual blood is not bad blood, but rather blood resulting from the shedding of the uterine lining. This means that it is not rotten and does not have a bad odor, but rather any odor is usually due to the oxidation of this blood.
There are questions you should consider to know if you are on the right path to taking care of personal hygiene during your menstrual cycle or not.
How often should you change your sanitary pads during your menstrual cycle?
The issue here is not whether the sanitary pad can still endure for a longer period of time or whether it has not leaked, but it depends on the fact that the longer the sanitary pad is left, the more the blood inside it oxidizes and changes its smell. This unpleasant smell that bothers you is mostly produced as a result.
Therefore, we always say that it is preferable to change the sanitary pad every 4 hours, as this is the ideal period to avoid any unwanted odor.
How often should you wash your vaginal area during your menstrual cycle?
Yes, there’s no need to be surprised by this question. Your frequent trips to the bathroom don’t necessarily mean that you’re washing your intimate area well. It’s known that blood provides a suitable environment for bacterial growth, which is why doctors recommend washing/rinsing the genital area at least twice a day – in the morning and evening – during the menstrual cycle. And of course, it’s best to do this every time you go to the bathroom, as it keeps you in better health.
Do you use soap to wash your vagina?
I understand that many women do use soap to wash their vagina. Some believe that using scented soap or vaginal wash is an ideal choice to keep the area smelling fresh during the menstrual cycle. However, to their surprise, the opposite happens. These products can actually dry out the area and promote bacterial growth. That’s why doctors recommend sticking to warm water only to wash the vagina. Remember, the vagina is a self-cleaning organ that only needs warm water.
Do you use wet wipes during your menstrual cycle?
Let’s face the truth, many of us suffer from vaginal sensitivity during our menstrual cycle to the point where it makes it difficult to use regular bathroom tissue, no matter how soft it may be, so they resort to using wet wipes. And truly, there is no problem with that. It just depends on the type of wipes you choose. Doctors say that they should be free of perfumes and alcohol, and should have a balanced pH level so as not to harm the acidity level of this sensitive area. If the wipes are free of all these things, you can use them safely, as they will not cause any sensitivity or irritation.
What about your hands before and after changing sanitary pads?
Yes, I am completely serious and not joking. Some women overlook the importance of washing their hands before and after changing sanitary pads, and unfortunately they do not realize the amount of harm they cause. Simply put, the vaginal area is sensitive, and when you touch it with unclean hands, you are transferring bacteria to it, which means the bacteria will grow and result in infections and unpleasant odor. The same goes after finishing changing sanitary pads, not washing your hands means you are transferring bacteria from the vagina to other parts of the body.
Finally, can you take a shower during your menstrual period?
I understand that this question is somewhat strange, but as I mentioned earlier, there are many misconceptions that have made some women believe that bathing during their menstrual cycle is harmful to their health, which is completely wrong. On the contrary, bathing during this time makes you feel refreshed and helps alleviate menstrual cramps, and improve your mood. However, there are some things to keep in mind, such as:
- Use lukewarm water instead of hot water, as hot water may increase the intensity of your menstrual flow.
- Make sure the bathtub is clean before sitting in it. Your sensitive area’s immunity is not at its best during your period, so you should avoid picking up bacteria.
- Wash and rinse your vaginal area with water before entering the bathtub, to avoid transferring bacteria from it to your body.