Knowledge of the menstrual cycle and hygiene is an important topic for any female. Menstruation, which begins at puberty (menarche) is a normal physiological change in a growing girl. Menstruation is periodically repeated at an average interval of about 28/29 days. Menstrual cycles cease at around 50 years of age i.e. menopause. The normal reproductive life of a woman extends between the menarche and the menopause.

A single ovum is released during the middle of each menstrual cycle (ovulation). Each menstrual cycle starts with the menstrual flow which lasts for 3-5 days. It happens due to the breakdown of the endometrial lining of the uterus and its blood vessels. Menstruation stops when the released ovum gets fertilized- an indication of pregnancy. Scant or absent menstrual flow may also be caused due to some other underlying causes such as stress, and poor health.

The menstrual phase is followed by the follicular phase when the primary follicles in the ovary grow to become fully mature Graafian follicles; simultaneously the endometrium of the uterus regenerates through proliferation. These changes in the ovary and the uterus are governed by changes in the levels of pituitary and ovarian hormones (Gonadotropins- Luteinizing Hormone, LH and Follicle Stimulating Hormone, FSH). Both LH and FSH attain a peak level in the middle of the cycle (about 14 days). LH surge (i.e. rapid secretion of LH) during the mid-cycle of menstruation causes rupture of Graafian follicle resulting in the release of an ovum (ovulation). Ovulation is followed by the luteal phase during which the remaining parts of the Graafian follicle transform into the corpus luteum. The corpus luteum secretes large amounts of progesterone essential for implantation of the fertilized ovum and another event of pregnancy. The corpus luteum degenerates in the absence of fertilization.

Menstrual Hygiene

Maintenance of hygiene and sanitation during menstruation is very important. Some of the important measures include the following:

  • Regular bath and cleaning
  • Use of sanitary napkins or clean homemade pads
  • Change of pads after 4-5 hours as per the requirement
  • Proper disposal of the used sanitary napkins wrapped in a used paper; do not throw the used napkins in the drainpipe of toilets or the open area.

Potential risks to the health of poor menstrual hygiene

  • Unclean sanitary pad/materials may cause local infections
  • Infrequent change of wet pads can cause skin irritation and infection
  • Insertion of unclean material into vagina provides easier access to the cervix and uterine cavity.

Menstruation Hygiene requires an easier access to:

  • Accurate and pragmatic information – contact the best gynecology and obstetrics center of your city
  • Menstrual hygiene materials
  • Facilities that provide privacy
    Water and soap in a place that provides an adequate level of privacy
  • Disposal facilities for used menstrual materials
  • Menstrual Cycle and Hygiene Tips