Dread those monthly periods?
Dread that wet feeling?
Dread the itch?
Not to forget... dread the burning?
For years I too dreaded! I kept reading blogs and sites and newspaper articles. My mom felt my angst and tried to console me. I asked friends and they giggled. I asked the elderly Bua’s and Kaki’s and Mami’s and they said: 4 din ki to baat hai!
And then I became a dermatologist. Oh, don’t misconstrue that my need to become a dermatologist stemmed from my piteous period problem! I had other reasons to become a dermatologist but studying the science of the Skin made me realise that I was ‘period’ically suffering for no reason!
Here is what to do in those ‘4 days of your life ’:
1. Under the garment?
- Wear only cotton! This absorbs the sweat efficiently and helps you keep dry.
- Change them 2 times a day. Carry one to the office for all it’s worth! Trust me... it sounds fussy but the relief that it brings is sheer bliss.
2. To wash or not to wash?
- Do not wash your groins or private area every time you use the loo. Your Mom and Bua’s and Mami’s and Kaki’s must have relentlessly stressed the ‘importance’ of washing your private parts every time you use the loo to maintain hygiene right? DO NOT! Every time water hits the area it becomes moist. Moisture predisposes to fungal growth which in turn will lead to that dreaded itch! So washing the area constantly does not improve hygiene... it worsens it. What you could do is use a tissue a paper and dab the area gently. Sprinkle some dusting powder before stepping out the loo. It works wonders.
- You could wash the area once at night before your beddy bye time! But remember to pat it dry with a tissue paper and sprinkle some dusting powder.
- While washing, you need not use special either antibacterial solutions or vaginal washes. Using a normal soap bar (again not antiseptic) helps. The lathering action kills the organisms as effectively as any antibacterial soap. When you use an antibacterial soap you kill the ‘good’ bacteria as well as the bad bacteria. In the long run, the loss of ‘good’ bacteria will eventually lead to an increase in infections in the groins. Antibacterial solutions are supposed to be used under the guidance of a doctor under very specific circumstances! Yes! I have shocked you, haven’t I? But I only speak with experience.
3. Pads versus Tampons?
- Tampons! Any day! Pads tend to rub against the thighs and especially on the heavy flow days, the wetness aggravates the damage due to the friction. Tampons are inserted into the vagina and thus keep the area very very dry! What you do need to remember about the tampon is that on heavy flow days change the tampon every 3 to 4 hours because it usually fills up by then and you might get a leak.
Sounds fussy changing tampons so soon?
It’s really not that cumbersome. Why?
One, you will have to change them at 3 to 4 hours only on your heavy flow days... on light flow days 6 to 8 hours is the time limit.
Two, the comfort that you will experience will make you forget the fuss of changing!
- On a more serious note, tampons should not be kept inserted in the vagina for more than 8 hours at a stretch. This can lead to bacterial infections. So change them within 8 hours. PERIOD (pun intended)!
These seemingly simple solutions worked simply superb for not only me but for my patients as well!
Piteous period problems were no more pitifully present!
So all my Bua’s and Mami’s and Kaki’s: ab sahi mayne mein... 4 din ki hi baat hai!