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Topmost common myths about period days

[vc_row full_width=”stretch_row_content”][vc_column width=”1/6″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_empty_space height=”20px”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner][vc_column_text]Menstruation is a biological phenomenon unique to the female gender. It is also commonly referred to as periods. From times immemorial, periods have been a cause for taboos and myths that have excluded the womenfolk from various socio-cultural events. Many societies across the geographical barriers have associated menstruation with so many illogical beliefs that it impacts the girls and women’s emotional state, mental upbringing, lifestyle and of course health and hygiene. The issue is further compounded by the poor educational spread among the womenfolk in most societies, giving rise to misconceptions about puberty, menstruation and general ignorance about
the process of reproduction.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_separator el_width=”50″][vc_empty_space height=”20px”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]What is menstruation?

The onset of menstruation occurs in girls between the ages of 9 and 15 years when they are said to have attained puberty. It signifies the commencement of an important part of the reproductive cycle in women when the unfertilised egg or ovum is discarded from the uterus by the body along with accompanying blood through the vagina once in approximately 28 days. Normally this oozing of blood lasts for 4 to 5 days and is therefore called periods. This normal physiological phenomenon triggers some other changes in a girl’s body that will last till she remains in an active reproductive age of women, up to 45 to 50 years, when she is faced with menopause.

Forced Restrictions:

During the days of her periods, a girl is subjected to exclusion from many normal activities inflicting a stigma on her, which is both social and emotional. This exclusion and the associated stigma is fraught with many implications, most of them being harmful. This is more pronounced in Indian society and other poor societies across the world, where the women have been subjected to learning deprivation, making myths and superstitions the dominant culture. To overcome the deleterious effects of ignorance that acts as a fertile breeding ground for imposition of taboo needs a sustained strategy to clear the cobwebs from the constricted minds to emerge into a
more egalitarian and healthy social order. It is important to first tackle the prevalent myths about menstruation.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”9742″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_separator el_width=”50″][vc_empty_space height=”20px”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”9740″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Common myths about periods:

Menstruation is all about the process of ovulation followed by the missed opportunity of pregnancy. As a result, there is bleeding in the endometrial vessels and a precursor to the preparation for the next cycle. Scientifically there is no basis for the existence of myths that are a product of utter lack of knowledge coupled with superstition. The common myths associated with menstruation in India is more cultural than real. They are:

• Menstruating girls and women are impure: The origin of this myth is traced to the Vedic times. The girls and women are barred from normal household chores during this period, from which they have to be purified to return to their normality. Due to this false notion prevailing in our society, menstruating women are restricted from:
a) Entering the kitchen and cooking.
b) Entering the prayer room and offering prayers.
c) Touching holy books.

• Menstruating girls and women are unclean: It is believed that they can
contaminate food, especially sour foods as they are unclean and unhygienic
during the periods. This is reinforced by the fact that it is believed that the body emits an odour and ray that harms the food. This is total make-believe without any scientific backing.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner][vc_column_text]• Menstruating girls and women are associated with evil spirits: The clothes used during the period is buried so that the spirits cannot use them. It is also believed that a menstruating woman can impose her will on her man. This is full without any basis whatsoever.

• Menstruating girls and women should avoid sour food: It is wrongly believed that ingestion of sour foods like curd and pickles stops menstrual flow. It is a notion without basis.

• Menstruating girls and women should avoid physical activity: On the contrary, physical exercises reduce premenstrual syndrome and dysmenorrheal. It causes serotonin release that makes one feel happy.

• Menstruating girls and women cause pollution: In an extreme case of false
perception, menstruating women are not allowed to bathe during periods
implying that they would pollute the water sources. This notion that excreting bodily fluids as well as the person is polluting bears no explanation.

• Menstruating girls and women cause infertility: Cows are not allowed near them as they would be rendered infertile by their touch. This is an illogical notion of curse and purity.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_empty_space height=”20px”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Impact of myths in the life of girls and women:

Among the worst impacts, in India, about 23% of girls abandon going to schools when they attain puberty. The stigma attached to menstruation further pushes the womenfolk further into the clutches of ignorance, removal of which would be the first step to counter the ill effects of unfounded myths.

Hygiene and cleanliness during menstruation:

In India, it is found that 77% of menstruating women use old cloth and 88% use other unhygienic materials for absorption of the blood. This makes them prone to serious infections, and bodily odours further give credence to the myths associated with them.

Strategies to combat menstrual related myths:

Empowering women through education and involving them in the decision-making process seems to be the best way to combat these myths. Improving personal hygiene and general sanitation with the use of sanitary napkins for periods will certainly remove many of the irrational notions associated with menstruation. Towards this end, the introduction of natural sanitary pads is an effective environment-friendly measure to cleanse the age-old belief system to effectively combat the deep-rooted social and cultural taboos related to menstruation. Sensitisation of the health workers and a
concerted effort of the Government through the National Rural health Mission since 2010 by their thrust on the improvement of hygiene of the menstruating women will certainly start to bear fruit shortly.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”9745″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner][vc_column_text]Bottom Line:

A sustained multi-pronged approach is the need of the day. Physical infrastructure linked with sanitation and water projects, health education and specific programs related to menstruation, is needed to address the social curse and bring the issue of menstruation into the right perspective as a normal biological process. It is for girls and women to know that menstruation is a virtue that enables them with the power of procreation.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/6″][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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Sanitary Pads: Top 3 Reasons Why Synthetic Sanitary Napkins Are Dangerous

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Since the advent of female hygiene products, the quality of life of women has
improved considerably. But it took a long time for everyone to identify the risks of using seemingly comfortable and most easily available ‘Synthetic Sanitary Napkins.’ We have unintentionally exposed our bodies to considerable risk by using synthetic sanitary pads, which were once considered as most pivotal in providing women independence during menstruation.

Sanitary napkins have evolved from cotton layers held together by a fibre sheet with a waterproof plastic layer at the bottom to prevent staining. As new techniques and designs came up, it transformed into ultra-thin sanitary napkins with gel core, to absorb more and provide safety against leaks. While modern women enjoy the ease that comes with the use of synthetic sanitary pads, little do they suspect the impending health threat that they are being exposed to, is affecting their reproductive health.

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Commercial Sanitary Napkins Are Dangerous for You and The Environment

On an average, a woman uses 11,000 to 17,000 sanitary pads during her lifetime. Use of sanitary pads varies from region to region. According to the National Family Health Survey, in 2015-2016 the use of sanitary pads is 47% in rural India and 77% in urban India. Considering the population of the country, these proportions translate to a huge number. If every Indian woman who uses sanitary pads generates waste of disposable sanitary pads weighing 500 gm, then the total waste generated in the country is a whopping 16180 tons.

Most components of synthetic sanitary napkins are non-biodegradable and adversely affect the environment. Considering the risk to the environment and inadvertently the life on earth, more emphasis is being laid on using low carbon footprint components in the manufacturing of sanitary pads. The aim is not only to use sustainable and natural resources for the composition but also to minimise health risks without compromising on the convenience.

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Sanitary Pad Concerns- Lack of Deeper Research and Regulatory Flaws
Bureau of Indian Standards, 1980 specifies very basic tests regarding only the
physical attributes of sanitary pads. There are no regulations on synthetic sanitary napkins in India that pertain to the toxicity or safety of the ingredients used in the manufacturing. In the U.S, Food and Drug Administration regulates the manufacture of sanitary pads and has more stringent rules.

However, the risks associated with long-term sanitary pad use are not taken
seriously by lawmakers as well as the producers. Biocompatibility tests, toxicology, and microbiological tests are necessary during the preclinical phase to ensure that the product is safe for women as well as the environment.

3 Reasons That Make Synthetic Sanitary Pads So Dangerous

There is a long list of reasons as to why synthetic sanitary pads are risky. Several independent studies have been carried out to determine the extent of health damage caused by the components of synthetic sanitary napkins. Women’s Voices for the Earth is a nonprofit advocacy group in Missoula, published a report in 2013 which states that several carcinogens, endocrine disruptors, and surface irritants are being used in menstrual hygiene products like sanitary pads and tampons.

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  • The Persistent Dioxin:

    Did you know that your squeaky white sanitary pad uses a dangerous
    chemical called Dioxin to achieve the look of purity? The WHO labels dioxin as a pollutant and carcinogen which does not degrade in the environment easily. The effects it can have on the human body is much more serious than just superficial irritation and allergy.
    Dioxin is a chemical used to bleach the cotton and cellulose wood pulp, to give it a white color. This chemical does not get eliminated from the product on which it is used and finds its way to your body and environment when you use a sanitary pad containing this cotton. Even at low doses, Dioxin finds its way into your fat tissues and continue to pose several health threats.
    Dioxin is a potent carcinogen. Though the exposure to dioxin through sanitary pads is deemed insignificant by product makers, the nature of dioxin to get accumulated in your body has the potential to cause cancers like cervical cancer and ovarian cancer. The vaginal mucous membrane is extremely permeable and can absorb chemical like Dioxin directly into the bloodstream. Dioxin is also an immunosuppressant and can disrupt your hormonal regulatory mechanism. This endocrine disrupter can alter the ratio of estrogen and androgen in your body, resulting in reproductive problems.

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  • Increased Risks of Vaginal Infections:The plasticizers like BPA and synthetic linings of sanitary pads can result in the increased risk of exposure to bacteria and yeasts. Wetness resulting from the collection of moisture can be a breeding ground for bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus and yeast like Candida albicans. These microbes multiply rapidly in a humid environment and cause vaginal infections.
    If left untreated, these microbes can enter the bloodstream and cause severe septic shock. Vaginitis can progress into Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, which has the potential to damage the reproductive ability of a woman. BPA and BPS are also linked with disruption of embryonic development.
  • Compromised Female Reproductive Health:

    A beautiful fragrance is associated with the freshness of sanitary napkins. But the price that you are paying for having an odor-free period is not worth it at all. Synthetic sanitary napkins are laced with odor neutralizers and artificial fragrances. These cheap chemical components can cause serious irritations and allergy. These chemicals can cause complications in reproduction, to the extent of infertility.Phthalates are compounds used to give a smooth finish to the sanitary pads. These compounds have been shown to cause endocrine disruption and affect normal reproductive hormone levels in experimental animals.
    Super Absorbent Polymers used in sanitary pads are mostly petroleum by- products which claim to soak 30 times their weight. This quality of ultra-thin sanitary napkin makes it very desirable for women, but there is a considerable health threat that comes with this convenience. SAP can cause skin reactions, rashes, allergies, reproductive issues, and Toxic Shock Syndrome.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”9834″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Apart from these help concerns, the looming environmental threat due to synthetic sanitary pads is equally serious. Burning or burying of these wastes can release the dangerous chemicals into the air, water and soil, which eventually find their way back to all living beings. This continuous cycle of pollution is affecting all life forms.

What is The Best Way Out?

Use of fully biodegradable and chemical free sanitary pads is a great way to save your body and world. These sanitary pads are made from sustainable and natural components with minimal or no chemicals. Bamboo fiber, jute fiber, corn starch and organic cotton are the main components of such products. The waterproof lining used in such sanitary pads is made of biodegradable plastic. Heyday is a new age brand that brings biodegradable and organic personal hygiene products to the Indian marketplace to keep women’s periods healthy and safe. These sanitary pads are gentle for women using them and do not cause any allergy since they are fragrance-free. These are degraded easily when disposed of, reduce
carbon footprint and release of chemical pollutants.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/6″][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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Importance of Maintaining Good Hygiene During Periods

[vc_row full_width=”stretch_row_content”][vc_column width=”1/6″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_empty_space height=”20px”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner][vc_column_text]Taking care of yourself during menstruation is as important as taking care of your day to day activities. A little negligence in menstrual hygiene management can cause your body grievous harm, and you may also act as an instrument for the spread of infection to others.

Even in today’s age, when several menstrual hygiene products like sanitary napkins, tampons, and menstrual cups are available; 88% of Indian women don’t use the most basic form of menstrual protection available in markets. Instead many use old rags, muds, leaves or anything they lay their hand on to collect menstrual blood. Least to say that how much inconvenience and health risks do such women face for not having access to sanitary napkins for periods.

Taking about menstruation is a taboo in most societies, and this contributes to the ignorance and illiteracy on menstrual hygiene management. Using old clothes and other traditional unsafe methods to deal with menstruation hampers mobility and day to day activity of women. The result is that they have to miss out on work, schools as well as other daily commitments. Around 23 million girls drop out of school every year at menarche in India. It is a shameful situation in which due to lack of affordable sanitary pads, menstrual awareness and lack of facilities to change sanitary towels in those
organisations render it impossible for women to go out without the fear of staining or embarrassment.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_separator el_width=”50″][vc_empty_space height=”20px”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Maintaining Hygiene During Periods-Healthy Way to Manage Periods
Menstruation is a normal biological process which is key in maintaining the reproduction health of a woman. When the egg released by the ovary is not fertilised, the egg along with the uterine lining which was prepared for receiving the implantation of a fertilised egg is sloughed off and shed out of the body. This waste contains blood, mucous and lining tissues and is collectively called menstrual blood.

While pregnancy is a celebratory topic, menstruation is considered as a dark phase which is supposed to be dealt with secretly. Regressive socio-cultural norms pertaining menstruation are responsible for the use of unhygienic products to manage periods instead of much safer sanitary pads. Women are forbidden to bath or cleanse themselves properly during these days, which increase the threat posed to their health due to lack of menstrual hygiene. Furthermore, they also feel scared to go out to schools or work since those places too lack facilities like clean water, soap, and washrooms.

Cleanliness of genital area and access to safe menstrual hygiene products can reduce the incidents of infection up to 97%. The proper use of sanitary napkins for periods is important to reduce risks associated with periods. Changing sanitary napkins every 4 hours and washing hands every time sanitary napkin is changed, are small but significant steps towards ensuring good hygiene during periods. Without the discomfort and pain associated with infections, women can enjoy stress-free periods and continue
participating in all day to day activities.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”9839″ img_size=”full” alignment=”right”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_separator el_width=”50″][vc_empty_space height=”20px”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”9843″ img_size=”full”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]The Need to Maintain Good Periods Hygiene Use of unsanitary absorbents in prevalent in developing nations, in poorer settings. Economic status, socio-cultural beliefs and lack of sufficient menstrual awareness are contributors to the lower prevalence of women using sanitary napkins for periods.

Women are forced to use unsafe means of collecting menstrual waste, which is mostly contaminated. Clothes used as sanitary napkins are often washed without detergents and dried indoors, out of shame and fear of superstitions related to menstruation.,

That does not mean that women who use commercially available sanitary napkins are safe from risks of poor menstrual hygiene. Unsafe use of commercial sanitary napkins can result in serious forms of infections like Toxic Shock Syndrome and Vaginitis.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_empty_space height=”20px”][vc_separator el_width=”50″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Here are five important reasons why it is important to maintain good hygiene during periods:

• Reduced Risk of Urinary Tract Infections:

Using damp and dirty menstrual clothes or using a sanitary napkin for longer than 4 hours can act as a perfect environment for growth and multiplication of harmful bacteria and yeasts. Microbes like Candida albicans, Staphylococcus aureus, E.coli, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa grow easily in the humid environment provided by prolonged use of unhygienic absorbents or sanitary napkins.

These bacteria can invade your urinary tract including urethra and urinary
bladder, resulting in painful urination, lower abdominal pain, back pain, and fever. These complications can be easily avoided by using sun-dried and clean sanitary towels or hygienic sanitary napkins for periods. Cleaning external genitalia with clean water and gentle soap along with a frequent change of sanitary napkins can prevent 97% of such infections.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”9840″ img_size=”full” alignment=”right”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner][vc_column_text]• Reduced Incidents of Rashes in Genitals:

Abrasion, allergy and prolonged wetness can injure the external genitalia and
cause rashes during menstruation. If sanitary pads are not changed frequently, vaginal skin may get infected with bacteria or fungus resulting in painful rashes.

Commercially available sanitary napkins are composed of plastics and SAP
which is derived from crude oil. These products have greater potential to cause damage to your health, and hence they need to be changed as often as possible to prevent allergies and rashes.

Biodegradable sanitary napkins with all natural composition are effective in
addressing problems like rashes and allergic reactions. They do not alter the
microenvironment of the vagina by maintaining the pH of the region.

• Ensuring Good Reproductive Health:

Unhygienic absorbents or improper hygiene during periods can result in
Reproductive Tract Infection. RTIs can result in reproductive health morbidities since bacteria responsible for these infections can invade the mucosal layer of the reproductive tract and cause serious damage to uterine wall, ovaries and fallopian tubes. Vaginitis and abnormal vaginal discharge are preliminary symptoms of severe RTI.

Majority of women who used unhygienic methods to collect menstrual blood in India have greater chances to suffer from RTI and vaginal discharge. Awareness and access to affordable sanitary napkins for periods can prevent reproductive complications due to RTI.

• Minimizing Risk of Cervical Cancer:

Cervical cancer is cancer of the opening of the uterus which is caused by Human Papilloma Virus. This virus is transmitted sexually, and unhygienic handling of menstrual waste can spread the infection easily.

Sharing of reusable absorbent pads, not washing of hands after changing
sanitary napkins and lack of hygienic sanitation are some causes that can
increase the risk of developing cervical cancer; although several other reasons are also responsible.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/6″][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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6 Powerful Reasons Why You Should Switch To Natural Sanitary Pads Today

[vc_row full_width=”stretch_row_content”][vc_column width=”1/6″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner][vc_column_text]One of the major causes that drives deep rooted cultural beliefs about the curse and impurity of menstruation that plagues the Indian society, is the lack of education and prevalence of unfounded myths and superstitions. A predominant feature that gives legitimacy to this false notion is related to inadequate personal hygiene and general sanitation. In view of the magnitude of the problem, the Government of India has launched a pilot project to distribute locally made low cost sanitary napkins particularly in the rural and slum areas, where the problem seems to be most acute. The National Rural Health Mission, 2010, has plans to cover 1.5 adolescent girls in the target areas. Though it is a move in the right direction, a lot more needs to be done to eradicate the age old prejudices and cultural taboos.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner css=”.vc_custom_1542108858825{margin-top: 10px !important;}”][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_empty_space height=”20px”][vc_single_image image=”9602″ img_size=”large” alignment=”center”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Importance of sanitation and hygiene:

The pronounced poverty of hygiene attached to menstruation in India, is reflected in over 23% adolescent girl drop-outs from school with the onset of puberty. The prejudices attached to menstruation and utter paucity of infrastructure, in the educational institutions to cater to the needs of menstruating individuals has compounded the stigma attached to it. It is also believed that in India around 77% of girls and women use cloth during periods and are sometimes compelled to reuse it. This makes them susceptible to infections and a host of problems. In the urban areas the slightly aware have access to disposable napkins if they can afford it. But, a large section of our affected population, still make do with a piece of cloth embellished with ashes, newspaper, dry leaves and husk to improve absorption in the improvised cloth sanitary napkins, which are neither hygienic nor healthy. In such a scenario, the introduction of eco-friendly natural sanitary pads becomes all the more necessary.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner][vc_column_text]Use of sanitary napkins:

It is still a taboo to discuss menstrual hygiene in India. The home made quick fix cloth napkins, used by a majority of menstruating individuals are not free of problems. The off the shelf synthetic napkins cannot be afforded by the majority and the materials used for making them do not reflect a healthy option as they can leave women susceptible to rashes, allergies, skin infections, UTIs, birth defects, miscarriages, ovarian and cervical cancers. There is an added issue of their disposal. In this light, the introduction of cost effective eco-friendly sanitary pads is encouraging.

Eco-friendly sanitary pads:

The emergence of bio-degradable sanitary pads has led to a sea change in the attitudes associated with menstruation. These biodegradable pads do not contain gels, chemicals, or synthetic fibres that cause irritation and diseases. Heyday is India’s first biodegradable and organic sanitary that is made from the plant based fibres of corn and bamboo.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_single_image image=”13648″ img_size=”large” alignment=”center”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner][vc_column_text]6 reasons to switchover to natural sanitary pads from Heyday:

Biodegradable and organic sanitary napkins with bamboo pulp and corn starch like those introduced by Heyday in India score over regular pads for more reasons than one.

  1. Comfortable: Natural pads are made of soft, non-synthetic plant based material. They are cushiony and highly absorbent, being commonly made of corn and bamboo fibres. Since it will conform to your shape, you won’t even feel its presence in the most sensitive part of your body.
  2. Eco friendly: Biodegradability being a major feature in natural pads and they do not collect in landfills for long periods of time as they compost within 2 years under the action of microorganisms in the soil and air. These napkins are designed to last for 5-7 hours just like synthetic sanitary napkins but have a quality of not causing the environment any harm. Synthetic pads on the other hand, lie in landfills for over 450 years without any source of decomposition.
  3. Breathing Top Sheet: The natural pads allow your skin to breathe freely with easy airflow to the vagina. You can forget the problem of odour, sweating and rashes as these pads are made out of natural plant based fibres that do not block the skin from breathing for long periods of time as in synthetic pads.
  4. Highly Absorbent: The inner layer is filled with bamboo pulp which is 300 times more absorbent than wood pulp. They are eco-friendly and safer than wood pulp. Bamboo sanitary pads are cost effective, as compared to regular pads. These pads are leak proof and additionally the wings prevent seepage.
  5. Antibacterial Properties: The bamboo sanitary pads have multiple benefits including the fact that the bamboo pulp has natural anti-bacterial properties, natural sterilisation effects and is capable of neutralising odours.
  6. Secure and Safe: The pads are also naturally leak proof with wider hip guards to keep users safe and secure on their periods. The seven super absorbent bamboo core sheets and wide wings provide a secure fit for full coverage. The pads use no chemicals, plastics, perfumes, bleaches, latex  or toxins during production making them much healthier for a woman’s body.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner][vc_column_text]Menstruation is not demeaning but a virtue. By making an educated switch to better personal hygiene products, you are able to take control of your bodily processes in a very empowering manner. The overall advantages allow you to take charge of your body.

The switch to Heyday natural sanitary pads gives you the freedom from the compulsions of using synthetic pads during your periods. The multiple benefits of bamboo and corn pads free you from the apprehensions that you used to carry with improper absorption and the fear of leaks in other biodegradable options. Make this period better for your body and the environment, choose Heyday![/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/6″][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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5 Health Risks of Poor Menstrual Hygiene

[vc_row full_width=”stretch_row_content”][vc_column width=”1/6″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_single_image image=”9205″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center”][vc_empty_space height=”20px”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner][vc_column_text]Menstruation is a normal biological process which maintains the female reproductive cycle. Without this process, there would be no ovulation and hence, no reproduction. This topic remains elusive and is even considered taboo in different parts of the world. In developing countries like India, women have to deal with menstruation secretly. Poverty, gender inequality and repressive conditioning of women folks continue to deny access to proper menstrual hygiene products.

In India, out of the total 355 million menstruating women, only 42.6% use the most basic form of menstrual hygiene product, namely disposable sanitary pads. This means that only 12 % of Indian women use sanitary pads. Lack of awareness and socio-cultural beliefs that render menstruation as a dirty phase in women’s lives have long deprived women access to proper menstrual hygiene management.

In rural India, where the taboo related to menstrual hygiene is even stronger, many girls are forced to leave school out of fear of public shaming and discomfort.  An NGO named Dasra surveyed in 2014, and the resulting report states that nearly 23 million girls drop out of schools at menarche. This is a disturbing figure that states the condition of women who deal with menstruation without proper aid, as a result of which they face health risks in periods.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_separator el_width=”50″][vc_empty_space height=”20px”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Menstrual Hygiene Management- How Important Is It?

It is the fundamental right of every woman to be able to manage her menstruation hygienically. But does that mean that those who have access to commercial sanitary pads or tampons are safe from health risks in periods? The answer is ‘No.’

It might be your choice to use biodegradable menstrual hygiene products or commercially available sanitary pads, tampons or menstrual cups. But the concern is about the maintenance of hygienic practices during menstruation so that you are not exposed to health risks in periods.

Menstrual Hygiene Management is defined by United Nations as the use of clean menstrual management products to soak menstrual discharge by women that are changeable in privacy as required, with proper access to water, soap and disposal methods. If hygienic practices are not followed during menstruation like changing pads every 4 hours, washing and drying out reusable sanitary towels properly in the sun and washing hands after handling used sanitary pads; then the chances of getting Urogenital tract infection increases many folds.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”9588″ img_size=”full” alignment=”right”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_separator el_width=”50″][vc_empty_space height=”20px”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”9589″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Reasons That Account for Poor Menstrual Hygiene in Women

Poverty is one of the top reasons that force women to resort to unhygienic menstrual absorbents use. Rural women in developing nations have been reported to use things like mud, old rags, dried cow dung cakes, wood husk, and even ash to contain menstrual blood. Not only are these things dangerous to the health, but they are also inconvenient to use and hinder day to day activity of women who use them.

Regressive menstruation beliefs in many societies forbid women to dry their menstrual clothes in the sun. They are washed during the night and dried in dark areas. These act as breeding ground for germs and their use causes infection or reproductive and urinary tract infections in women.

Lack of awareness regarding the importance of menstrual hygiene, arising from a lack of education and taboo surrounding menstruation, contribute in a major way why menstruating women do not know the use of menstrual hygiene products. They continue using traditional methods in hiding and expose themselves to health risks in periods.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_empty_space height=”20px”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner][vc_single_image image=”9590″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center”][vc_column_text]5 Health Risks That Can Result from Poor Menstrual Hygiene

According to BBC Magazine, around 70 % of the reproductive infections in Indian women are caused by poor menstrual hygiene. There are grave health risks in periods if adequate sanitary measures are not taken.

  • Infection of Reproductive Tract: Contaminated products used to contain menstrual blood are breeding grounds for several bacteria like Salmonella, Staphylococcus and E. coli. These bacteria can multiply rapidly in the reproductive tract starting from the cervix and upwards. They can enter the bloodstream directly from the mucosal membrane which is highly permeable. This can lead to sepsis and related complication.
    [/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner][vc_column_text]Dangerous bacteria can also invade the genital tract and can cause Reproductive Tract Infection which is not transmitted sexually. Not changing sanitary napkins frequently can contribute to moisture retention and accelerate the growth of harmful microorganisms.
    A contaminated product can alter the pH of the vaginal region. This causes a change in the microflora of the area, thus increasing the risk of bacterial vaginosis. The common symptoms exhibited by women suffering from RTI are genital itching, back pain, abdominal pain, pustules over genitalia and abnormal genital discharge.

    • Urinary Tract Infection: This is the most common form of infection that is present in women practicing poor menstrual hygiene. UTI presents one of the most serious health risks in periods where hygiene is compromised. When harmful bacteria invade the urinary tract, they can irritate the mucosal region and cause infection. If left untreated, it can develop into a serious complication.
      Improper washing of external genitalia, washing with only water, washing genitalia from back to front and using unhygienic products as absorbents are the reasons for UTI during menstruation.
    • Yeast Infections: Candidiasis is a yeast infection which can be caused by poor menstrual hygiene. Candida albicans is an opportunistic microbe that can cause infection in the reproductive tract and urinary tract. Vulvovaginal candidiasis can affect 75% of women of reproductive stage and is mostly asymptomatic.
    • Hepatitis B Infection: Hepatitis B is easily transmitted through bodily fluids, including menstrual discharge. Hence it is important to wash hands thoroughly with soap and water after and before changing sanitary napkins. The same is true for sexually transmitted diseases like HIV, candidiasis and Trichomonas infection.
    • Increased Risk of Cervical Cancer: Cervical cancer is the cancer of the cervix or the uterine opening which is predominantly caused by the Human Papilloma Virus. 132000 Indian women are diagnosed with cervical cancer per year. Lack of menstrual hygiene is a major factor that contributes to the development of this disease.

     

    No women should live with the shame of menstruation or suffer in silence. The spread of menstrual awareness and use of hygienic products to deal with menstruation are the best ways to avoid health risks in periods.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/6″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

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