Wrangling over Menstruation

Pic source: http://www.economictimes.indiatimes.com

Every women on this earth goes through the same biological process called Menstruation which was hardly debated or talked about in public earlier. Today, thanks to the active media, social activists and young entrepreneurs that women have the liberty to talk about periods in public. The natural process of menstruation cycle is accepted by the people  today, which was once a reason for many restrictions and superstitions in the country. The recent movie releases like Phullu and Padman take up the serious issue of menstrual hygiene.There is so much information available to every woman today related to menstrual hygiene and many activists are working towards spreading more awareness on periods.

While there are many sources of information available today, there are many companies with different products to deal with periods. The question is, are we getting the right information or do we know everything about periods or menstrual hygiene? Different sources give us various information to deal with it but which one to believe and which one is true still remains a question.

When the first pad came to the market, they were plain and thick white pads by the name of carefree which was to be attached to the belt to be used. Although I never used it, my aunt keeps telling me that she felt really uncomfortable with those. Slowly we had new pads by the name of Stayfree and Kotex entering the market which made the lives of women much easier than before. Today we have a umpteen number of products including tampons, menstrual cups and different pads that help us deal with our periods in an easy way.

As we all know, nothing is constant in the market. The latest trend in the market is the organic pads which claims using all natural materials and the cloth pads on the other hand which can be washed and reused. With so many products available in the market, we often get confused which one is the correct option in terms of safety and hygiene. I recently ordered a an organic pad for myself which was supposed to be made from hygienic cotton and different from the other commercial pads. Although, there was not much of a difference between the both, all the pads seemed equally efficient. I do not understand the reason for labeling the pads as commercial and filled with chemicals.

The makers of organic pad claim that the cotton used to make the pads are usually processed cotton which is passed through chlorine for bleaching and making it infection free. On the other hand, the thin pads are supposed to have silicone gel which acts as an absorbent and is unhealthy for the body. There are many such unknown information that can be found if any girl would google on the harmful effects of using pads even though the basis of such claims remain unknown.

Pic source: http://www.autostraddle.com


Let me just tell you that as a woman we go through this natural process every month and the more we move away from natural things, the more negative are its effects. I have grown up using these normal pads, which is why I cannot accept any other alternative as I would never feel comfortable with it. The recent claims of pads been a reason for many uterus related problems and PCOD’s is a fad. PCOD is a lifestyle problem, not something that happens because we wear pads that are made from chemicals. Although, I do agree that pads should not be worn for long hours as that may definitely lead to serious problems in future. Have you ever seen a toddler wearing nappies for long hours? In that case, how can we be an exception? The fad created by the market for long hours holding pads is taking menstrual hygiene in the wrong direction.

Even if the cotton is processed to make the pads, chlorine is used to disinfect the cotton which is not in direct contact with your body. As far as the use of silicon gel goes, even if you replace it with any other different sort of gel like gelatin, it is still going to perform the same function of an absorbent. The key to maintaining a good hygiene during your periods is to change pads every six hours rather than switching to so called ‘organic pads’ or going for longer holding pads. Tampons and cups are the last option in terms of hygiene as it can be a source of direct insertion of chemicals in your body.

There is an upcoming trend of cloth pads which can be washed and reused. The very idea of it personally seems a bit weird to me as I have never used one. Even if you are planning to switch to one of those, it is the best thing. Even today, many in the rural areas stick to cloth pieces to deal with periods. Washing and maintaining hygiene has to be done with utmost care in this case but it is the best option if you want to go chemical free.  Do not get blinded by the fancy commercials telling you why the other products are worst.

My purpose of writing this article was to let all my fellow readers and lovely girls out there to know that menstrual hygiene can only be ensured if you take care of your body and ensure regular change along with proper wash. Don’t be scared to use the normal pads that have been in the market for so long. Be safe and ensure that you make the correct decision for yourself to ensure a healthy body and a great life. Cheers!

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