5 important tips for menstrual hygiene

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Highlights

Keeping it clean

Washing your vagina

Pads or tampons disposal

Single sanitation method is best

Role of men in menstrual hygiene

Menstrual hygiene is an essential part of a woman’s life. This is not a once in a year phenomenon. It naturally occurs every month. Every woman bleeds almost half of their lives. That is why it requires utmost attention and self-care. Proper hygiene can prevent many vaginal infections as well as other physical problems.

They say that a healthy period is a happy period. That's why I have listed 5 hygiene tips you can follow and ace (or make better, at least) your period like a champion.

  1. Keep It Clean: When your menses start, your body slowly starts to release blood. When this happens, your vagina attracts various types of bacteria from your body in the presence of blood and a warm atmosphere. Bacteria multiplies exponentially which can in turn lead to unnecessary rashes, irritation or even a urinary tract infection. So changing your pad or tampon every 4 to 5 hours is the best way to stay clean and free from the risks of developing any infections.
  2. Wash Your Vagina: There are many myths and misconceptions around how to wash your vagina properly. After removing your pads or tampons, washing your vagina is the next important step. If you fail to do so, there might be an overgrowth of bacteria. I would like to remind you that you don’t need any kind of specific soap or chemical-based products to wash your vagina. The Vagina cleans itself and all you need to do is wash the outer part of it. If need be, you can use baby soap or Vwash to clean your vagina. But using lukewarm water is best and easiest way.
    The best way to wash your vagina is to move your hands from your vagina towards the anus. Most people do it the other way. In doing so, the bacteria from your anus can reach your vagina and it lead to multiple infections.
  3. Disposing of Tampons/Sanitary Pads: The period is considered such an extreme taboo in India that nobody wants to talk about it, especially when it comes to the disposal of used sanitary pads. There are so many myths and misconceptions around the subject, especially in rural India. In some parts of India women still wash their used pads first then and then dispose it off because it is considered to be "a dirty affair". But keep in mind that these days pads and tampons are designed in a way that makes it easy to dispose off. Just make sure to wash your hands after disposing of it so you don't spread the bacteria elsewhere. Do not flush it in a toilet, only dispose of it in a garbage bag.
  4. Single sanitation method: Sometimes women tend to use two types of sanitation methods at the same time in case of heavy flow. For example, some use tampons and sanitary pads at the same time and sometimes some women use two pads at the same time. While this might keep your clothes from getting stained, a lot of blood accumulation might give rise to harmful bacteria. So it is better to use one sanitary pad and change it frequently.
  5. Role of men in menstrual hygiene- More often than not, men do not have sufficient knowledge or education about periods (especially in rural cities). Men need to be aware of menstrual hygiene. In Indian households, men are the decision-makers of the family, and this becomes a problem for women to maintain hygiene and speak about it openly. Studies show that majority of men neither bring out the topic of the menstruation, nor have they had a mature, logical discussion about it in the family.

Even today, men in rural parts of the country think that buying sanitary napkins is a waste of money and this is the reason most rural India women still use cloth pieces as sanitary pads. Neither men or elderly women of the family discuss about menstruation and its consequences with the young men of the family. As a result, these same young boys grow up to be as ignorant as their role models.

It is time for men to learn and discuss about the menstruation and its physiological changes on women. It is time for men to step up and engage in open conversation about it to become good fathers, brothers, husbands and lovers. Next time, do not hesitate to buy a sanitary pad for your sister, mother or wife.

So if you are a woman reading this, I hope the above mentioned tips help to have a healthy and infection-free period. And if you are a man reading this article, never be shy to discuss/ask about menstruation with women in your family.

Feel free to share your story the first time you encountered the word period.

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8 Ways to stay positive and motivated during this pandemic

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If you are like me, you are probably experiencing more stress that usual. Work is different, the Wi-Fi is acting up, and your social life has come to a halt. Stability and predictability are two words that we are unable to resonate with anymore. After a certain point, all of this can get to you. Fear can make you feel powerless. While you cannot control your feelings, thoughts and the Wi-Fi, you definitely can shift your attention towards the things you can control and help restore your sense of confidence.

Make a list of things that you think are in your control (They could be uneventful or extraordinary) and work on them, every single day. I would like to share with you, my list:

  1. Start a virtual book/movie club: Start your own book club on WhatsApp. Add all the bibliophiles on your contact list. Or if you’re a movie buff, create a group to watch and discuss movies.
  2. Enhance your skills: Work on advancing your skill! It could be something as mundane as taking up an excel course or something fun like baking. Try to complete at least two online courses this quarantine!
  3. Work out: You probably saw this coming. But one cannot stress how important it is to work out especially during uncertain times like these, when your anxiety is at its peak and your thoughts don’t let you sleep. Learn new home workouts every day and let the endorphins and serotonin flow into your body.
  4. Interact (virtually) with your long lost friends and family: Life can get really busy and to be honest it has been. Until now. And we are unable to cope with all the time we have. Talk to all those people you lost touch with and wished you hadn’t (This does not include you ex. DO NOT TEXT THEM!).
  5. Learn a new make-up routine: I personally feel like, the time I spend wearing make-up is all for me. It is the time I have chosen for myself. It could take you fifty minutes or fifteen minutes. That is YOUR time, you are looking in the mirror and focusing on yourself. So create a new look and wear some mascara because, why not?
  6. Write a blog on Glo Community: You probably did not see this one coming. But really, put all your thoughts (happy or sad) into words, not only will it help you learn a lot about yourself, but also help you gain awareness of your reality. You will be helping contribute to the WHO Covid-19 fund!
  7. Limit your news intake: While it is good to be informed at all times, the amount of information can be a double edged sword. So be aware, but also learn to disconnect.
  8. Do your bit: Last but not the least, everybody reading this is probably doing their part by washing hands regularly and staying home unless absolutely necessary. Every small effort is going to add up and will have a huge impact.

Do not lose hope. Stay positive, stay motivated and please be safe. We are all in this together. 😊

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Being 8 Months Pregnant Didn’t Stop This SHERO From Delivering COVID-19 Test Kits To The Nation

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In the battle against coronavirus, India has been criticised time and again for a poor record of testing people. Amidst all of this, there is change set to be brought about, a large part of which is accredited to the one and only virologist - Minal Dakhave Bhosale.

Ms Bhosale headed the team that designed the coronavirus testing kit (called Patho Detect)  in India and is also the R&D chief of Mylabs discovery, Pune. She had just been informed of a pregnancy complication in february, right after which despite personal circumstances, willingly took on the assignment of designing the coronavirus test kits.

Up until now, India had to import COVID-19 kits from Germany at Rs.4500 per kit, but the molecular diagnostic company has been successful in creating a kit that is now able to test 100 samples and costs Rs 1,200 - literally a quarter of the cost of COVID-19 testing kits that were being imported. 

Besides being relatively much lower than kits imported from outside, the team also achieved COVID-19 testing in just two and a half hours compared to other tests that took no less than 6-7 hours. 

What is most fascinating about her story is that Ms Bhosale managed to complete her assignment on time and while being 8 months pregnant, only a couple of hours before she delivered her baby daughter. 

In the words of Ms Bhosale (to BCC) : “ It was an emergency, so I took this on as a challenge. I have to serve my nation”. A true inspiration to women across the world and a real team player - a thousand salutes to the women who put her nation first in the most critical of situations. 

Minal Dakhave Bhosale- A real life hero, A SHERO, as one may say.



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