If women could have more conversation around intimate hygiene, it would revolutionise the way they looked at themselves. Wrought with fear and low-confidence about how their genitalia looks and smells, women, sadly, have been conditioned to keep themselves ‘clean’ and ‘fresh’ for centuries now.
To break out of that mould needs some doing.
Keep in mind that if your vagina was naturally supposed to smell like roses, it would have smelled like roses. Obsessing over how it smells not only takes a toll on your emotional health but also on your vaginal flora (the good bacteria in there) when you over-clean it.
Secondly, the vagina is ‘self-cleaning,’ which means you do not need a plethora of products at your disposal to maintain intimate hygiene.
Yet, nonchalance can be harmful. We cannot be blase about our intimate area as it is extremely sensitive. Prolonged use of chemical-laced sanitary pads, tight synthetic underwear, using public toilets, among others, can put us at risk.
But fear not, as there are some precautions that we can and must take to avoid unnecessary irritation and infections. And some just for the sake of our beloved planet.
Use Eco-friendly Pads or Menstrual Cups for a Fuss-free Period
The sanitary pads that a large section of women use are made of toxic substances such as plastic and synthetic fibres that harm not only us but also the environment. Imagine how much waste we send to the landfills in a single monthly cycle of period. Either you switch to eco-friendly sanitary napkins that are natural and biodegradable, or use reusable cloth pads or invest in menstrual cups that will easily last you for ten years.
Menstrual cups are the new rage and rightly so because they’re made from medical-grade silicone and dyes that are biocompatible with the body. They can be emptied every 10-12 hours and reused, and are super easy to carry around. They come in a variety of sizes so you can pick one according to your flow.
Menstrual Cup Wash and Steriliser
On average, a woman sends 23kg worth of plastic to the landfills in her lifetime with period waste alone. You could make a huge difference by just switching to menstrual cups. However, they do need some love and care to keep them in their best condition. One of the important products to have is a menstrual wash – it leaves your menstrual cup disinfected and ready to be stored until the next cycle – and the other is a menstrual cup sterilizer.
The sterilizer is effective in killing germs and bacteria in just 3 minutes, and must be used on your cup every couple of months for a thorough cleaning.
Eco-friendly Sanitary Pad Disposal Bags
If you’re more comfortable using eco-friendly sanitary pads, so be it. Women’s bodies respond differently to different menstrual products and you have the right to choose what works best for you. However, it wouldn’t help to use biodegradable pads if you wrap them in plastic before discarding them.
Use these sturdy recycled newspaper disposal bags that come with a two-fold construction, ensuring the contents are secure and helping waste-pickers avoid direct contact with soiled pads. They also come with labels so that they can be easily identified by the waste-pickers for easy and safe segregation and disposal.
Consider Keeping Portable and Eco-friendly Urination Funnels Handy
If you’re a woman who’s constantly on the run, and have a job that entails you to stay outdoors for long hours, a portable urination funnel should be a constant in your handbag. We say this because public washrooms are usually teeming with bacteria and microbes and can cause UTIs in no time. These biodegradable funnels are gentle on the skin and water-resistant making them an absolute delight to use.
Invest in a Period Panty
It’s a pain to stain your panties during periods, however, stain them we do. We’re not completely in control of any leakage that may happen especially during a heavy-flow day. For times like those, a period panty is like a godsend. Made of a special fabric with three layers; the first is an absorbent layer, the second’s a leak-proof layer, and the third, a cotton layer. These layers help you go about your day without any worry while letting your privates breathe.
We don’t have any patience for vanity. But we do care truckloads for your intimate health and hygiene, dear women. It’s a promise that these products are going to be game-changing for you and the planet. Give them a try!
(Edited by Saiqua Sultan)