Menstruation is a biological and hormonal process that every woman goes through. Every woman has different hormones, and therefore, periods have distinct consequences. However, cramps, pain, itching and feeling haywire are common period symptoms. We cannot change the effects of periods on one's body. Nevertheless, women can manage its consequences by following suitable measures. By emphasizing the importance of menstrual health, Cristiana Sandor, CEO, Stetho Health Systems, said,
We've compiled a list of essential Do's and Don'ts that every woman should follow for better menstrual health management. Read further to know them all.
1. Eat Healthy Diet
Not only in periods, but eating a healthy and nutritious diet is essential every day. It is essential to eat healthy in menstruation as the body is already losing blood and water, and lack of blood might drain your energy and make your body iron-deficient. So, to fulfil the deficiency of iron & deliver vital nutrients to the body, it is necessary to eat a diet with the right proportion of carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, proteins, minerals and water. Even in the premenstrual stage, eating salmon, dark chocolates, oatmeal, citrus fruits, and eggs helps ease the symptoms.
2. Take Adequate Rest
In a busy schedule, people forget to give their bodies appropriate rest. Lack of sleep results in high-stress responsivity, body pain, reduced quality of life, emotional distress & mood disorders, and performance disorders. And, in periods, it's natural to feel lethargic, sleepy & low on energy due to the blood flow from the body. It is essential to rest at least 6-8 hours a day to balance menstruation symptoms if you are menstruating.
3. Stay Hydrated
Water is an essential component and comprises up to 60% of our body. However, the percentage of water in the human body varies according to age, gender, level of physical activity & needs of the body. According to Larry Kenny, a professor of physiology & kinesiology at Penn state, "Hydration is important because our body is composed mostly of water. The proper balance between water & electrolytes in our bodies determines how most of our systems functions". In periods, the water levels are highly affected due to the blood flow, and it generally results in dehydration, low blood pressure, low energy and mood disorders.
Hence, drinking at least 8-10 glasses of water is necessary to prevent these disorders. Many people generally get confused that only plain water can fulfill the required hydration quantity. But drinking other liquid drinks such as juices, tea, milk, watery fruits, and coconut water are also rich sources of hydrating the body.
Many people believe that workouts are prohibited for maintaining better menstrual health during periods. But the truth is reversed. Doctors suggest that working out in periods helps to improve mood and minimise cramps. Hence, every woman should do a light exercise or a walk even while menstruating. An individual should avoid working out if she is diagnosed with a health issue & exercising might worsen the condition. In such a case, she should perform exercise only after the doctor's recommendation.
5. Choose the Suitable Sanitation Method.
The sanitation method right for someone else might not be suitable for you. Choosing the wrong sanitation method can result in leakage & various infections. You can opt for pads or tampons if your flow is light, but you should probably use menstrual cups for heavy flow. Using oversized sanitary napkins can also lead to irritation, rashes and itching. Therefore, choosing the correct sanitation method is essential according to your blood flow.
Besides choosing the correct sanitation method, maintaining proper menstrual hygiene is also necessary. Do not forget to change your sanitary napkin every 4-6 hours, dispose of your sanitary product appropriately, wash your genital area & hands properly to maintain better menstrual hygiene.
6. Visit a Gynecologist Whenever Required
Our body changes from time to time. Sometimes, these changes are untraceable and can result in severe health issues. Therefore, women must visit a gynecologist in case of changes in the menstrual cycle or any matter related to the genital area. Most of the women avoid consulting with their doctors by considering it negligible. However, it is necessary to understand its importance and visit for a check-up with a gynecologist. Also, educate others for better menstrual health & hygiene management.
There are some don'ts that females should avoid doing for better menstrual health.
1. Do not eat Junk & Oily Food.
Avoiding unhealthy & junk food is also essential to maintain good menstrual health. In periods, you already feel weak due to blood flow, and delivering essential nutrients becomes necessary for your body's better functioning. Junk, processed & unhealthy food makes you feel full but does not deliver vital nutrients to your body. Doctors recommend not to eat processed, sugary, spicy and junk food for better health during your periods.
2. Do not take Painkillers.
We understand that period pain is real and becomes intolerable for some women. But taking painkillers might disturb the natural cycle of the body. Hence, avoid taking painkillers in periods. However, if there is no other option, consult doctors first before taking any painkiller. Still, instead of it, using natural and home remedies like a heating pad, gently massaging the abdomen and taking a warm bath to manage dysmenorrhea.
3. Avoid Alcohol or Caffeine during Menstruation.
Alcohol is not good and has adverse effects on the body. Consuming alcohol or caffeine in periods can disbalance your hormones and increase the production of both estrogen and testosterone in the body. It leads to an irregular cycle, lowers the level of magnesium from the body, mood swings and intensify PMS symptoms. Therefore, it is essential to avoid alcohol or caffeine during menstruation.
4. Don't Use Additional Intimate Area Cleaning Products.
Many women rely on vaginal cleaning products to maintain their menstrual hygiene. The vaginal cells keep it at an average PH level & have a natural cleaning tendency. These products contain additional chemicals that might harm the natural cleaning tendency of the vagina during periods. Therefore, you should not use any product until your gynecologist prescribes it. You can use a mild soap to clean the area around the vagina but never douche any spray or soap in your vagina. Just wash it with lukewarm water and use a clean & dry towel to wipe it properly.
It is essential to take care of your health and follow the mentioned do's and don'ts to promote better menstrual health and hygiene. Eating a healthy diet, taking adequate rest, working out regularly, choosing the suitable sanitation method are some of the things that you should essentially follow. Whereas alcohol, junk food, and using additional vaginal-cleaning products are prohibited for good menstrual health.