India is a country where male chauvinism has always prevailed. A woman plays several roles of being a daughter, wife, mother, sister all throughout her life while always compromising on her dreams and fancies to satiate those her family’s. She not only trades off on her aspirations but also bargains on her health conditions too.

India is a poverty-stricken country where women have to face problems of proper sanitation and hygiene due to unavailability of toilets and open defecation. Such conditions pose several problems as dirty and contaminated surroundings expose them to several diseases. It is also a host to urinary infections which can be really dangerous for women.

The lack of toilets in households, assert women in even today’s times also use soil and ash during their days of menstruation. Such practices in a developing country like India are dreadful and upsetting. The use of a Sanitary Napkin is a must during periods as anything else like an old cloth or ash are very unhealthy for the vagina and health of the women. There are plentiful germs and infections that these alternatives carry, which can be cancerous and hazardous.

Here are some sanitation tips that women must ensure their wholesome health and proper cleanliness:

1.Change your pad at regular intervals:

It is very important that women wear sanitary pads during their periods. Any other alternative is not advisable. It is always suggested to change your sanitary napkins at regular intervals. You must ensure that you do not wear a pad for more than 6 hours. Wearing a pad for prolonged hours induces the risk of infections and the rise of germs in the vagina. Also, always ensure that you dispose them off properly.

2.Keep your Vagina and the area around it Clean

It is important to keep your vaginal area fresh and hygienic especially during periods. Always use a vaginal, hygiene or intimate wash to clean your vagina and the area around it as they are pH balanced. Use the vaginal wash along with some warm water to clean your vagina.

3.Always wear comfortable underwear

Comfortable cotton underwear always ensures that your vagina is healthy and clean. Tight and uncomfortable underwear or those made of synthetic fabrics do not allow the skin to breathe well and can also direct to unnecessary infections.

4.Say NO to Open Defecation:

Stop going to toilets in fields or open areas. There are several germs and microbes in the external environment that can be really dangerous. This exposure leads women to being unsafe.

5.Clean Toilets:

Always go in clean and disinfected toilet seats. Cleanse the toilets seats with a tissue paper before sitting on the seat. This will reduce infections, diseases and viruses.

For our country to prosper and flourish, it is very essential that its women must practice proper hygiene and sanitation along with basic civic sense. The right education and the understanding of these basic services must be taught and apprehended from the school level. They must be imparted and communicated that the toilets and basic sanitation are as vital as food and a house.

In conversation with Dr. Rita Bakshi, Senior Gynaecologist and IVF Expert, International Fertility Centre

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