<h1><strong>-Dr. Mugdha Raut</strong></h1>
The future generation of mankind depends on healthy parents – the man and the woman.
We only talk about rural areas’ hygiene, but there is so much to talk about hygiene in metros. How clean are toilets in schools, even in urban India. Do we have sanitary pad dispensers.
When bleeding starts, the pads get soaked; blood is a good medium of infection. If pads are not changed every 4 hours, it becomes an easy source of infection.
Tampons need to be changed every 2 hours.
When a couple does not conceive, the woman is blamed. We treat a lot of infertile women, repeated miscarriages, we see so many uteri, ovaries, tubes stuck together. All this goes back to menstrual hygiene.
Women do not want to spend on pads even in urban areas. Sincere appeal is to buy good pads. Spend on yourselves. For women who cannot spend on pads, we as privileged people must work to give them a steady supply.
When we tell patients to change even while travelling, do we offer clean toilets to women while travelling?
So many infections can happen during menstruation because of low immunity. We see infertility so often because of chlamydial infections, tuberculosis.
On 4th of June 2018, the Government of Maharashtra has informed that Maharashtra ranks second in the list of repeated miscarriages in India. Out of every three miscarriages, two are from the rural areas and one is from urban area.
<em>The main causes for miscarriage are:</em>
<li><em>Malnutrition of girls</em></li>
<li><em>Lack of education</em></li>
<li><em>Family negligence of women</em></li>
<li><em>Long working hours</em></li>
Is this the way we must treat ourselves as women and get treated?
<strong>There are 10 important tips to be shared:</strong>
<strong>1) Remove all shyness about menstruation from your minds.</strong>
<strong>2) Treat menstruation with respect and not as something dirty.</strong>
<strong>3) Talk to children even fathers openly, clearly about menstruation as soon as their curiosity develops- which happens when they see their moms buying pads, in super markets, or after seeing ads.</strong>
<strong>4) Use biodegradable antiseptic pads.</strong>
<strong>5) Encourage girls and women to change pads every 4 hours.</strong>
<strong>6) Women must clean themselves from front to back.</strong>
<strong>7) See a doctor immediately for any infection. Please don’t ask a solution to family.</strong>
<strong>8) When using public toilets, use Indian style as far as possible. If using western style, cover the rim with toilet paper.</strong>
<strong>9) For all mood swings, please consult a gynaecologist.</strong>
<strong>10) Stay clean with regular bathing at all times.</strong>
It is high time. Wake up, women and men. It is imperative that we remove the stigma around periods, men should be involved in the conversation. After all, they are also part of the family – as fathers, sons, brothers, and responsible citizens. It is important for men to listen, support, and participate in this ongoing conversation on women’s health and hygiene.
Make public toilets, even in urban areas, safe and hygienic for women. Women deserve equal care.
Men, a sincere appeal, pledge for our future generation. Don’t just follow any custom or any myth blindly. And women too. Stop following the customs.
The future of mankind depends on it.