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Menstrual Hygiene – The Present Scenario and Adverse Effects

The statistics in India about menstrual hygiene are alarming. Only 18% of the population has access to sanitary hygiene. Additionally, menstruation has been a taboo in India since the beginning of time. Many homes in India still follow the beliefs of the past that include not going to the temple or touching the pickle and some even don’t allow ladies to enter the kitchen when they are having their cycles. These beliefs are rampant in the urban areas as well and not just limited to villages.

Looking at the present state of sanitary hygiene amongst women in India and saddening stories about removal of uterus due to menstrual tract infection of a 12 year old, does make the picture of this state clear. Today, there are millions of women in India who have no access to sanitary napkins because they are expensive thus choosing low standards of hygiene. Over 88 percent women go for using cloth, ashes or even husk during menstrual periods.

Here’s a run through the adverse effects of poor sanitary hygiene.

Menstrual Hygiene

  • Using unclean pads or cheap alternatives can lead to urinary infections, urinary tract infections or fungal infections.
  • If you don’t change your pad for a long time it can cause vaginal yeast infections and rashes.
  • Using cloth and bigger size shapes can lead to rashes due to friction between the thighs.
  • Using the same pad for long can also lead to bad odor.
  • Many of us don’t know that in an effort to keep the vaginal area clean, you tend to wipe and rinse frequently. This can lead to the bacteria’s from the pot reaching your body and causing infections of the urinary tract.
  • Many women think that having an intercourse during a period is a good idea because there is no risk of getting pregnant. But, the fact is, it is risky because you are highly likely to contract sexually transmitted diseases like Herpes, Hepatitis B or STD.
  • Not washing hands properly after touching sanitary napkins also leads to infections like Hepatitis B and that of yeast as well.
  • Poor Menstrual hygiene can also cause cervical cancer. India produces over 70,000 victims every year and is one of the top ranking cancers in women in India.

Well, this is a problem that has a solution and as per the gynecologists in India awareness around menstruation through education is the key. There is a dire need to educate women on how using sanitary napkins can help prevent many infections and side effects besides maintaining body hygiene and shunning away the blind beliefs and taboos around it.

Women Health In India – Current Scenario and Challenges

Every year we celebrate mother’s day and women’s day. We show our love and respect to important women in our lives and celebrate them. Obviously, this is a good sign but that’s only one side of the story. Even today there is a major chunk of women in India who are deprived of their basic rights like education, are forced into marriage early on, are not allowed to work, but to name a few of the hardships they face for being a woman. The picture is same not only in India but many other developing countries.

Women Health In India

There are some startling facts about women health in India that can give you a clear idea of how women in India are deprived of their basic rights, needs, and their health scenario. India tops the list of countries that are said to have highest mortality rates during delivery and even the highest number of non-school going girls. 25% of total number of girls born in India don’t even live to see their 15th Birthday. 40% of the HIV cases in India in 2005 are said to be that of women. While there is much more to the story, looking at these statistics, you can easily derive that the state of women health in India is bad or rather worse.

While the primary answer to issues with women health is the gender inequality issue but then there are others which also include the poor healthcare system of the country. Factors are malnutrition, which not only affects the health of the women but also the infants they give birth too.

Having said that, the current situation can be certainly worked upon, improved and brought under control. But, it requires immense amount of dedication and reforms in the Indian Healthcare system that need to be implemented as well as monitored consistently. Simultaneously, there is also a need to work on bringing awareness amongst the society about the gender equality and equal opportunity in terms of education, health and work for women.

There’s this saying that aptly conveys a message that could help eradicate this issue by focusing on its root cause and it says – ‘When you educate a boy, you educate an individual. When you educate a girl, you educate a family’. It is like empowering women through education thus helping them empower themselves and in an indirect sense even the whole family.

All major surgeries relevant women like hysterectomy, Caesarean section are being done routinely in the gynecology department. Laproscopy, Colposcopy and Hysteroscopy are other facilities available at Vydehi Gynecology hospital.