How To Stay Fresh During Your Period: Tips & Tricks For A More Comfortable Experience
Periods are a natural part of a woman's life, but they can also be uncomfortable, painful and messy. During their menstrual cycle, many people experience feelings of self-consciousness and worry about odors and leaks during their period. However, with the right hygiene practices, it's possible to stay feeling fresh during your period.
Periods Are Not Dirty!
It is important to remember that having a menstrual period is natural and there is nothing "dirty" about it. It is a normal process. Anything that you do to make yourself feel better should be done for you and not because of anyone else. If you ever have any concerns or questions, discuss your menstrual health with your doctor.
Vagina Vs Vulva
It is also very important to note that the vagina is a self-cleaning organ and feminine hygiene products are not needed. Furthermore, douching is not recommended as it can disturb the normal vaginal flora (this is bacteria that is supposed to be present in the vagina).
Although the vagina does not need to be cleaned, there are certain sanitary products that you can use around the external genital area (vulvar area) that may help you feel better, but they are not medically necessary. If you wish to use certain products during your time of the month, then that is up to you. Remember to do so because you want to, and not because of any external pressure.
There are a lot of period myths out there, and there is no right way to stay fresh during your period. The best way to stay feeling fresh and clean is the one that works best for you.
Choosing The Right Products
Choosing the right menstrual products is crucial for staying fresh and comfortable during your period. There are many different products to choose from, and some people prefer one over the other. You will have to decide which period product of choice is the one that makes you feel the best.
Sanitary pads are a popular choice for many women. They come in different sizes and absorbencies, so you can choose the right one for your flow. Some pads have wings that help keep them in place. Pads with wings are more likely to prevent unwanted leaks. Disposable pads are an option as well as washable ones. Disposable pads are easier to replace and carry with you. On days of heavy blood flow, you can even wear a pad and a tampon together if needed.
Tampons are another popular option. They are inserted into the vagina and absorb menstrual blood before it leaves the body. Tampons come in different sizes and absorbencies, so you can choose the right one for your flow. When using tampons, it is important to change them every 4 to 8 hours to prevent the risk of toxic shock syndrome (TSS).
For many women who wear tampons, they may even forget they have their period because tampons can be very comfortable once you get adjusted to them. However, this makes it even more important to set a timer to remember to change your tampon every 4 to 8 hours.
Menstrual cups are becoming more popular as a sustainable and eco-friendly option. They are inserted into the vagina and collect menstrual blood. Menstrual cups come in different sizes and are reusable, which can save you money in the long run. When using a menstrual cup, it is important to follow the instructions carefully and clean it properly to prevent infections.
Ultimately, the choice of menstrual product is a personal one. It is important to choose a product that is comfortable and fits your lifestyle. Experiment with different options to find the one that works best for you.
Period underwear is a great, easy-to-use option. It feels very natural but also has the added benefit of being sustainable. There are different levels of menstrual flow that you can choose from so that you choose an absorbency that's best for you. It is important to try period underwear out at home so you know how often you need to change it.
Maintaining Good Hygiene
Although the inside of your vagina does not need to be cleaned, it is important to use period products correctly and change them appropriately. Especially during heavy periods of blood flow, change your pad or tampon about every 4 hours if you can. This will help prevent leaks and reduce the risk of infections. Tampons that are left in for too long can lead to a very serious medical condition called Toxic Shock Syndrome.
Frequent changes can also help to reduce any odor coming from your sanitary napkin. It's also important to keep the vulvar area clean, but avoid using harsh soaps or douches that can disrupt the natural balance of bacteria in the vaginal area. For some women, shaving pubic hair can be helpful in feeling clean as the period blood will not stick to the hair. Period blood that is adhered to pubic hair can be more challenging to clean.
Related: Is My Vagina Normal? Plus A Female Anatomy Chart
Sometimes getting out of bed on your period will be hard due to mood changes and menstrual cramps. However, a nice warm shower can help you feel refreshed. This will help keep your body clean and reduce the risk of odor. Aim to shower at least once a day, and if you feel particularly sweaty or uncomfortable, consider taking an additional shower.
Change Your Products Frequently
It's important to change your menstrual products frequently during your period. This will help prevent leaks and reduce the risk of infection. If you use pads, change them every 4-6 hours on light flow days and every 2-4 hours on heavy flow days. If you use tampons, change them every 4-8 hours, depending on your flow. Consider using menstrual cups, which can be worn for up to 12 hours at a time.
Wear Breathable Clothing
Wearing breathable clothing during your period can help reduce sweating and odor. Avoid tight-fitting clothing that can trap moisture and bacteria. Instead, opt for loose, comfortable clothing made from breathable fabrics such as cotton. If you're worried about leaks, wear dark-colored pants and always carry a change of clothes.
Odor can be a common concern during menstruation. If it is a concern for you, there are ways to manage it and keep yourself feeling fresh and confident. Deodorizing products can help mask any odor and keep you feeling fresh. It is important to use products that are specifically designed for the vulvar or vaginal area, as regular deodorants and perfumes can disrupt the natural pH balance and cause irritation. Some popular deodorizing products include vaginal wipes, feminine sprays, topical creams and some panty liners with odor-neutralizing technology. You do not need these products, but you can choose to use them if they help you have a better experience.
Avoid Certain Foods
Some foods can cause gas and stomach pain. Avoiding these during your period can be helpful in making you feel like your best self. These foods include garlic, onions, and very spicy foods. Additionally, foods that are high in sugar and refined carbohydrates can make you feel sluggish and overly tired.
Drinking plenty of water can help flush out toxins and bacteria from your body, which can help reduce odor. Aim to drink at least 8 glasses of water per day, and avoid sugary or caffeinated drinks, which can dehydrate you and make odor worse.
Avoid High Sugar Foods
During your period, it's important to avoid high sugar foods. These foods can cause your blood sugar levels to spike, which can lead to mood swings and fatigue. Instead, opt for low-glycemic options such as berries, sweet potatoes, and carrots. These foods are high in fiber and can help keep you feeling full and satisfied.
Eat Protein To Stay Energized
Eating protein during your period can help keep you energized throughout the day. Lean protein sources such as salmon, chicken, and beans can help promote muscle mass and healthy bones. Additionally, protein can help regulate your blood sugar levels and prevent energy crashes.
Eat Foods That Are Natural Mood Elevators
During your period, premenstrual syndrome can cause many women to have mood swings and feel irritable. However, certain foods can help elevate your mood and make you feel better. Foods high in magnesium, such as spinach and almonds, can help reduce anxiety and promote relaxation. Additionally, foods high in vitamin B6, such as bananas and avocados, can help boost your mood and reduce symptoms of depression.
Seek Medical Advice When Appropriate
One of the top tips we will recommend is to never hesitate to seek medical care. If you think something is not normal, it is always a good idea to talk to your doctor. An unpleasant odor could be a sign of another medical problem like bacterial vaginosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, or a sexually transmitted infection. Some period symptoms may be more concerning than others and if you have excessive period pain, debilitating menstrual cramps, or unusual vaginal discharge, this could be a reason to talk to one of your health care providers who can help you determine what is wrong. If you are unable to get in touch with a doctor, a school nurse or other licensed medical professional could also be a good resource.
How To Stay Fresh During Your Period: Summary
During your period, it can be hard to have that fresh and clean feeling. There are some menstrual hygiene tips that can help. Change your pad or tampon every 4-6 hours to prevent odor and infection. Wash your hands before and after changing your pad or tampon to prevent the spread of bacteria. Use a gentle, pH-balanced cleanser to clean your external genital area during your period. You do not need to clean inside your vagina. Wear clothing that helps you feel comfortable. Finally, it is of utmost importance that you ask your doctor if you have any questions since some bacterial infections can also cause a vaginal odor and discomfort. It is important to rule out any serious medical conditions. By following these simple tips, you can feel confident during your period. Remember, good menstrual hygiene is essential for your overall health and well-being.