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Is your daughter about to reach puberty? What are the sanitary options you are going to offer her? Read on to find out.
There is a concern in every mom’s mind when her daughter is about to get her first period. We remember our first period stories – mostly negative – as most of us were told ‘periods are bad.’ Let us not continue this tradition of treating periods as a taboo. We should talk to children (yes, boys too) about what are periods and why does a girl get it, and how it helps her to become a mother in the future. You can also take help of numerous videos on YouTube.
Another major concern is the infections and rashes that we get during periods. We had limited choices but these days there are a number of healthier options available like reusable menstrual cups and cloth pads. We must introduce all girls to traditional as well as the modern sanitary protection and let them decide what is best for them.
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In earlier days, when commercial pads were not available in the market, women had no choice but to only use reusable cloth pads made of cotton or other material in menstruating days, post-birth bleeding or regular discharge of vaginal fluids. It was considered a healthier choice but many differ with the opinion of washing and drying in the open which amounted to extra work to be done by women in menstrual days.
As the years passed, women started shifting towards the easier option of using disposable napkin without knowing its disadvantage and ill effect on one’s health. Most of the commercial napkins like whisper or carefree etc. are filled with tons of chemicals and toxins which directly go into the bloodstream and can affect the human body. It’s important for women to choose smarter and healthier option when it comes to sanitary napkin which not only improves the health of women but also keeps the environment clean.
Cheaper: Most women till now are not convinced of using cloth pad due to uncertainty in absorbing efficiency of the pad, added work during the days and initial cost of reusable pads are much higher than disposable option. These small issues generally lead to much worse health and environment issues in the long run. One should be open to new healthier sanitary option. Cloth pads and cups are much cheaper option when considered to be used in a long run as they are reusable. 5-7 pads can last a woman 3-5 years depending on the flow by saving thousands of rupees which is spent on pads/tampons. One cup can last up to 8 years.
Healthier: Ironically, the most important sanitary protection for women is made by tons of chemicals and toxins which can directly affect your health. Using cloth pads or menstrual cups can drastically reduce the risks of such problems.
Eco-Friendly: Disposing of commercial pads is of course an easier option to choose but it impacts the environment hugely. One disposable pad (equal to 4 plastic bags) takes up to 800 years to decompose. Imagine, since decades, women are disposing millions of pads which are rotting our environment with toxin emissions.
No rocket science in using cloth pads. They come ready to use nowadays. Similar to any sanitary napkin, they are also worn with the underwear, these also come with wings to fit in properly. The only difference is the material they are made of. The cloth pads are to be changed after every 4-6 hours depending upon the flow. Once used, it should be soaked in cold water for at least half an hour, then use appropriate force to scrub it with your hands to remove the blood. Once excess blood is removed, you can also wash in washing machine with other clothes. After washing, the pads must be dried in natural sunlight to kill all the bacteria.
These are to be worn internally like tampons. Made of medical grade silicone, one cup can be used throughout the cycle and for upto 3-8 years. As these collect the blood instead of absorbing, they are not associated with any side effects/rashes or infections. You need to fold and insert the cup, wash it every 3-8 hours and reuse it. It needs to be boiled between each cycle.
In conclusion, every coin has two sides positive and negative. Choose smartly and make a healthier choice when it comes to your own health.
Image source: menstruation calendar by Shutterstock.
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