We all know the importance of maintaining good personal hygiene – brushing your teeth, cutting your nails and controlling body odour. Taking care of your intimate hygiene is just as important during your menstrual cycle. Even today, with several of the best menstrual products being available in India – from disposable pads to cloth pads and menstrual cups to tampons, many Indian women unknowingly put their health at risk as they don’t maintain proper hygiene.
Importance of maintaining good hygiene during periods
Here are a few reasons why you need to maintain good intimate hygiene:
- It reduces your risk of a Urinary Tract Infection – bacteria that grow in a damp, dirty menstrual pad can invade your urinary tract
- Reduced Rashes in your genital area – Constant abrasion, allergy and prolonged wetness can lead to rashes.
- Ensuring good reproductive health – Reproductive Tract Infections (RTIs) are caused when bacteria invades the mucus layer of the reproductive tract and damage the uterine walls, fallopian tubes and more.
- Minimizing Risk of Cervical Cancer – Sharing of reusable absorbent pads, not washing of hands after changing sanitary napkins and lack of hygienic sanitation are some causes that can increase the risk of developing cervical cancer
HOW HYGIENIC ARE DISPOSABLE PADS VS CLOTH PADS?
You would have definitely watched advertisements by popular sanitary napkin brands who showcase bright white pads that are scented and smell fragrant, with a message that implies that these pads hide period odors and keep them feeling fresh all day. But did you know that rather than being hygienic, these pads are actually harmful? They contain bleach (to make pads white), fragrances and dioxins (for a flowery smell) and a up to 90% plastic (so they remain leak-free). Not only does this cause itchiness and rashes, but also cancer, so you can bet that they are not the most hygienic option to choose when it comes to selecting the best menstrual products in terms of health.
Cloth pads, on the other hand, are composed of fabric, they allow the skin between the cloth and the body to breathe and they are soft and gentle, unlike regular sanitary pads. But many women wonder whether cloth pads are hygienic or not. It is important to keep in mind that whether you use regular disposable pads or cloth pads, one must change the pad every 4-6 hours in order to maintain hygiene. Bacteria thrives in dark, moist places and pads that are used for a prolonged period of time are breeding grounds for harmful bacteria that can enter your bloodstream and make you ill.
ARE REUSABLE CLOTH PADS HYGIENIC?
As we said before, if you change your cloth pad frequently, you don’t have to worry about hygiene issues. However, many women wonder whether washing a cloth pad kills bacteria. The notion of cloth pads being unhygienic stems from the fact that when using cloth pads, the stains may not go away completely, even after washing. However, this does not make the pad unhygienic. As long as pads are properly washed with laundry detergent and clean water, and are left to dry completely before reusing, cloth pads will be hygienic – just as hygienic as your underwear.
To address the problem of cloth pads that stain and look old with repeated use, we’ve introduced a revolutionary product called Avni Safepad. These reusable menstrual pads are not made with regular cotton but with a combination of fabrics that make the pad stain-proof and leak-proof. What’s more? These pads can be washed by simply running the pad under water or soaking them for a few minutes to remove menstrual fluid. Thereafter, wash them in the washing machine with regular detergent or hand-rub them under water with detergent and they’ll look as good as new. Next, dry them outdoors (if its sunny) or indoors (if it’s a gloomy day) and these quick-drying pads will be ready to use in just 4-6 hours!
Still not convinced about cloth pads being hygienic? We’ve gone a step further and developed a fabric that is treated with anti-microbial properties which is tested to destroy up to 99% of bacteria and pathogens, namely S. Aureus, K. Pneumoniae, E. Coli and C. Albicans. The treatment of the material does not contain any harmful chemicals but the strength and durability due to this process being very high has given the pad its retaining anti-microbial properties, hence the pad can be used over and over again up to 75 washes that’s for around 3 years.
So, if you’ve ever wondered how hygienic cloth pads are, we hope this blog post has provided some information and assurance that you can have a healthy, hygienic period by using a product that’s good for your body, your skin, and the environment, too.
Lastly, remember to always wash your hands every time you change or wash your eco-friendly sanitary pad – it is a small but significant step in ensuring good hygiene during periods.
You may also like to read our blog post on 5 things you didn’t know about vaginal infections and whether you should completely switch to cloth pads or use cloth pads along with disposables on your period.