We all may know that menstruation is a natural part of the reproductive cycle, but what some may not realize is that in many developing countries, the lack of information about menstrual hygiene, as well as materials themselves, creates a culture of taboos and misinformation about menstruation and potential health risks such as vaginal infections.
Let's create more awareness by sharing this 10 reasons Menstrual Hygiene Management important.
1. Learning about menstruation empowers girls to take care of themselves in brand new ways.
Knowing that their period is coming about every month gives girls a newfound and empowering sense of responsibility for their taking care of their bodies.
2. It gives girls and women confidence to live their lives normally.
When they know that they have reliable and hygienic solutions to absorb or collect their menstrual flow, women and girls can do anything they normally would when they are not menstruating.
3. Proper menstrual hygiene keeps girls in school.
At least one in five girls drop out when periods begin. Those who persist typically miss five days of school each month due to inadequate menstrual protection.
4. Access to menstrual hygiene products keeps girls on the same track as their male peers.
Lack of modern sanitary products often leads to lower school attendance rates, failure and/or dropping out. When girls miss school they lose educational pace with boys, making them more vulnerable inside and outside of the classroom.
5. It helps confront myths and cultural superstitions.
Educating girls and women about feminine hygiene and biology helps to bust myths and cultural superstitions. Access to correct information about hygiene and adequate sanitary materials enables women to feel more confident and comfortable with their bodies.
6. It helps women realize that they are not impure.
In many traditional Hindu homes, menstruating women can’t perform religious rituals, touch idols, pray, visit temples, cook, serve food or touch drinking water because they are considered impure.
7. Correct information about menstrual hygiene fills in boys’ and men’s knowledge gaps, clearing up misconceptions they may have about menstrual blood.
Desensitizing men and boys about menstruation leads to more open conversations and empathy. Since fathers are often the breadwinners, it is important to inform them about menstruation because they determine if funds are available to buy menstrual products.
8. Learning about menstrual hygiene management helps ensure cleanliness.
Knowing what product or material to use, how often to change it, and having access to WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) facilities helps girls and women maintain good hygiene while menstruating.
9. It helps reduce the likelihood of getting cervical cancer.
According to the World Health Organization, India accounts for 27 percent of the world’s cervical cancer deaths. The incidence rate there is almost twice the global average and doctors studying the disease believe poor menstrual hygiene is partly to blame. The homespun solutions raise the risk of vaginal infections that suppress the reproductive tract’s natural defenses. A weaker immune response can compromise the body’s ability to fight the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus, the microbial cause of most cervical cancers.
10. Did we mention that reusable menstrual hygiene products can help reduce waste?
The average woman throws away 250 to 300 pounds of pads, plugs, and applicators in her lifetime. That sounds like a lot. But how much is 300 pounds in the grand scheme of things? Consider that the average American woman menstruates for 38 years—a period during which she can be expected to produce a grand total of 62,415 pounds of garbage.