Did you know that the world celebrates Menstrual Hygiene Day on 28th May? Menstrual Hygiene Day was first celebrated in 2014 and has been creating awareness on good menstrual hygiene management annually ever since. The global platform is used by NGOs, government organizations, individuals, the press and the private sector to educate women and girls and, more importantly, break the silence and the myths surrounding menstruation. But what is menstruation hygiene management?
According to UNICEF, Menstruation Hygiene Management (MHM) encompasses health management and broader factors linked with menstruation health such as gender equality, right to education, female empowerment and fundamental rights. Hence, MHM focuses on 4 major components-
- Access to menstrual products
- Access to basic hygiene products
- Access to safe menstrual disposal
- Availability of period and reproductive health education
Why is MH Day important?
Menstruation health is no joke. A study conducted in 2016 on MHM among adolescent girls in India involving 100,000 girls revealed nearly 50,000 of them were not aware of menstruation until their first periods. Hence, MH Day focuses on following initiatives to educate women about their health rights in order to have safe menses.
- Starting the conversation about menstruation is extremely important. It is often accompanied by a feeling of embarrassment that can cause mental pressure and trauma in young women and girls. This can lead to mental health issues that make their daily lives challenging.
- Young women and girls often drop out of school when they start to get their period. Their alternative to this is to miss school for one week every month. MH Day focuses on increasing the accessibility to menstrual products for women and girls.
- Access to safe menstrual disposal is crucial since improper disposal may lead to the spread of infectious diseases such as covid-19, hepatitis, salmonella that lasts for up to 3 days on steel and metal surfaces. MHM promotes environment-friendly and safe ways to dispose of menstrual products that also feel comfortable to women.
- Educating young girls, women about menstrual hygiene is equally important. Menstrual Health Day opens dialogue on the symptoms that accompany menstrual cycles, such as swelling of breasts, stomach pain, rashes, nausea and body ache. It is essential to reassure them that it is normal to have these symptoms and teach them how to take care of themselves while going through their menses.
- Another vital aspect of MHM is educating the girls about sexual maturity. This helps in preventing unwanted pregnancies by promoting the use of modern contraception. In India, around 45% of total pregnancies are unwanted pregnancies. This can be largely attributed to a study that shows men are reluctant to use condoms. Thus, it is essential to work towards preventing these pregnancies by promoting the use of modern contraception. Unwanted 21 Days, Regular Oral Contraceptive Tablet is a modern contraception method that helps women control their pregnancy better.
So, Menstrual Hygiene Day helps raise awareness on how to equip girls and young women with knowledge on menstruation health management and promote healthy and safe menses. This MH day, do your part in educating other women and yourself about the advantages of menstrual hygiene. You can connect to NGOs or government organizations working to help women climb out of the dark about menstruation, contraceptive, education and family planning.
Disclaimer: This blog solely intended for educational/informational/awareness purposes and is not a substitute for any professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult your doctor/healthcare professional before acting on the information provided on the blog. Reliance on any or all information provided in the blog, is solely at your own risk and responsibility. Mankind Pharma Limited shall not be held liable, in any circumstance whatsoever.