In India, most of the women are not in the condition to take care of their menstrual health. They are unaware of the hygiene that should be maintained to keep away health risks and infections. Menstruation is meant to be silent and invisible in our country.
There are certain beliefs and taboos regarding this issue, and some problems areas too.
- Most women believe that men should not be introduced to the entire process of menstruation and this remains unknown to them. As a result, lack of facilities still exists in many areas.
- The relationship between menstrual hygiene and drop out students are well known. Students are unable to afford sanitary products, they fear blood stains and schools don't provide basic facilities to girls.
- There are inadequate washroom facilities, which enhance the chances of infection. The risk of infection is higher during menstruation than normal, because the blood paves a path inside the body.
- Using clothes rather than napkins is unsafe. Some women even face problems while working, studying or travelling if they are not enlightened about the menstrual products like tampons, menstrual cups and pads or napkins.
The subject should not remain a taboo, even the men should be made aware. Basic facilities like hygiene washrooms should be made available, and so should be sanitary products. Menstrual cups can be reused, are convenient to use and are affordable, so anyone can purchase them and find it easy to use.
Women should be given enough information about the usage and its benefits. Menstrual waste should be disposed of in a way that can be recycled or reused, and not be harmful for the environment or lead to pollution.
Education is a way to empower women with factual information about their body, it's functions and they should be introduced about the processes taking place within their own body. Trained teachers should give enough information about menstrual hygiene to their students, including boys. Males should not be unaware of this issue and should know how to help when in need. Campaigns and conferences should be conducted to promote the management of menstruation and its hygiene. Education on the subject should include disposal in correct manner, adding onto it the ways of keeping our bodies clean during menstruation and the ways to reduce the cramps during the blood flow.
Hygiene reduces health risks, and healthy women are beautiful indeed. Women should not pause wilfully during this phase of five to seven days. No clothes or sanitary products should act as a restraint in their lives. There could be a comfort zone though with regard to what women wear, be it drape dresses, trousers or indo-westerns. These outfits can give them more comfort compared to others. The idea is to be beautiful, inside & out.