Period “don’t”s: know what to avoid
Don’t keep your tampons for too long
You are probably aware of Toxic Shock Syndrome, a very rare syndrome that can affect women after a prolonged use of tampons. This is a serious matter, and that is why you must change your tampons frequently during your period – and never use one for more than eight hours, under any circumstance. Even if your period flow is very light, do not use a tampon for longer than 4 to 6 hours.
Don’t use the same pad for a whole day
A sanitary pad is made to be used for relatively short period, as well. Wearing a sanitary pad for more than 6 hours opens the door to nasty bacteria proliferation. And bear in mind that sanitary pads with high percentage of synthetic materials, like plastics, are less breathable than natural sanitary pads, and thus may gathering moisture in your vulva and vagina.
This is a complete don’t. If you’re not familiar with douching, it is a technique that involves spraying the vagina internally with some sort of antiseptic lotion with fragrance and other ingredients that aren’t supposed to be inside your vagina. There is zero evidence of benefit from douching, even during period, and it may cause disruption of your vaginal flora, leading to infections.
Don’t wear fragranced sanitary products
Period blood has a characteristic smell – just like a vagina has its own smell as well. It’s natural and there’s absolutely no problem. Some women think they smell bad when on their periods, so they choose to wear fragranced sanitary products. Don’t. Those fragrances can be allergens or irritants and cause rashes or others. Always go for natural, unbleached, unscented sanitary products.
Don’t have unprotected sex
Although the chances of getting pregnant during your period are slimmer, the chances of getting an STD are not – and may even be higher. Always use protection when having sex, even if you’re on your period. It’s that simple.
Don’t ignore warning signs
Menstrual cramps can be a (literal) pain, as well as headaches, tiredness, nausea, depression. However, do not dismiss your symptoms as “normal” if they don’t seem normal. Abnormal or excessive pain should be checked, as well as rashes, excessive or absence of bleeding, change of colour of your period blood or other symptoms.
Don’t go crazy on the wet wipes
Because of years of period-shaming, many women think periods are dirty, unclean and something to be embarrassed about. As such, excessive cleaning, use of vaginal sprays and fragranced hygiene products and the use of wet wipes are seen as ways to keep clean and fresh.
Intimate wet wipes are supposed to be used once in a while, in situations like being outside of your house or not being able to do a proper hygiene – only. Using wet wipes constantly on your period can lead to irritation of the skin in the vulva and vagina, rashes, flaking or dryness.
Take good care of yourself means knowing your period and your body, paying attention to changes and listening to what your body needs.