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Feminine Hygiene 101

Menstrual hygiene is a hygienic practice during menstruation that helps prevent women from contracting the infection in the reproductive and urinary tract. During menstruation days, the vagina becomes less acidic and more alkaline and hence, it increases vulnerability to fungal and bacterial infections of reproductive and urinary tract infections. Poor menstrual hygiene is one of the major causes behind the high prevalence of reproductive tract infections (RTIs) in the country.

Some of the consequences of unhealthy menstrual hygiene practice includes:

  • Irritation in the vaginal skin can cause dermatitis, a medical condition with swelling of the skin, redness and at times skin becomes sore with blisters.

  • Urinary tract infections can even damage the kidneys if left untreated.

  • Unhealthy hygiene can also alter the pH of vagina flora. A high pH level can provide an ideal environment for the breeding of unhealthy bacteria.

These are further compounded by issues like, lack of education, availability and quality of sanitary napkins, water supply, privacy, disposal of napkins, inadequate reproductive health education and family & community-level support, which are essential for the promotion of menstrual hygiene. Following and maintaining some healthy hygiene habits at the individual level can help reduce and mitigate incidents of infections and other risks associated with periods.

Good practices to maintain menstrual hygiene:

  • Proper vaginal cleansing

  • Avoid the use of soaps or vagina hygiene products during the period

  • Change sanitary napkins or tampons frequently (change it every 4-6 hours)

  • Proper disposal of sanitary napkins and tampons

  • Avoid unprotected sex during menstruation

  • Wash hands properly


  1. Borah, R. (2017, December 28). Good Menstrual Hygiene Practices. C A R M E S I.

  2. Dayal, D. A. (n.d.). Importance Of Maintaining Menstrual Hygiene | Blog. CK Birla Hospital. Retrieved July 12, 2021, from

  3. Chhabra, S. (2017, May 28). 5 things to keep in mind for your menstrual hygiene. India Today.

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