Maintain menstrual hygiene to avoid infection risk, advise docs

Kathmandu, May 27

Doctors have advised women to maintain hygiene during menstruation to avoid the risks of infections that could seriously affect their reproductive health.

“Risks of fungal infection and inflammation of reproductive organs increase if menstrual hygiene isn’t maintained,” said Dr Aruna Uprety, a public health specialist.  “Many women in the country are found to be using discarded clothes in place of sanitary pads during menstruation. Use of such unhygienic items during menstruation leads to fungal infection in women,” added Dr Uprety.

“Women can use discarded clothes during menstruation, but they has to be properly washed and dried in the sun,” said Dr Uprety.

She also urged the government to provide sanitary pads at cheaper rates so that women living in the rural areas too could use them. “Since sanitary pads are expensive, all girls and women can’t afford them.

Therefore the government should provide sanitary pads at affordable prices. The government should encourage local companies to manufacture sanitary pads,” she added.

A research conducted by UNICEF recently shows that 16 per cent of the girls miss their school during menstruation where Water Sanitation and Hygiene programme was implemented as per the School Sector Reform Plan. Similarly, 22 per cent girls miss their studies during their menstruation where WASH programme is not implemented. The survey was conducted in 12 schools of Accham, Bajura and Parsa districts.

As per the report published by UNICEF in 2014, restrictions related to notions of impurity associated with menstruation have wide-ranging implications, particularly in the mid- and far-western regions. Among all adolescent girls in this region, 95 per cent said they were asked to observe some form of restriction during their first menstrual period.

Forty-four per cent respondents said they were confined to a shed outside their home during their first menstruation. Eighty-five per cent of girls reported that they used cotton clothes during periods.