So you’ve got your period, it’s uncomfortable, messy, everything hurts, yadda yadda yadda. Yes, we have all been there, felt that pain and discomfort. It’s quite common to hear us women talk to each other about our menacing menses. But if there’s something that’s not so common, it’s sanitary napkin etiquette. Just regular period-hygiene if I may say, is not common knowledge as you and I may assume. It will surprise you that even in an office full of women, we still don’t have the required social etiquette that should be as common as common sense.
We all get our periods, yes but do we all follow the required social etiquette when we are on our period? How do you dispose of the sanitary napkin or the tampon, what do you do with the toilet paper - these are all burning questions that need a solution. I don’t know about you but I’m tired of going into washrooms and finding period blood on the seat, leftover blood in the pot and bloody toilet paper popping out of the trash can. So we thought we should address this issue once and for all. Here are 6 things that you should be doing when you’re on your period.
It’s only polite to ensure that the washroom is clean after you have used it. Small things like making sure there are no droplets of blood on the toilet seat is just common courtesy to the person using the toilet after you. Double-check the pot to ensure that there is no unsightly blood in the pot that hasn’t been flushed properly. And last, but certainly just as important - the toilet paper that you use to wipe yourself, please ensure that it isn’t spilling out of the trash can. While we ALL get our periods, we don’t want to see each others blood, right?
It will clog up your drain pipes. In the long run, this will be an expensive plumbing affair. Sanitary pads are not biodegradable, they are going to end up in an ocean somewhere suffocating and contaminating our waters. Think twice before you simply toss that pad or tampon into the pot.
Depending on the nature of your flow, you should change your pad or tampon every 4 hours if you have a heavy flow and every 6 hours if you have a light flow. Never leave a pad or a tampon on for too long, it can give you a UTI, a rash or in worse case scenarios cause toxic shock syndrome.
When you are on your period, your vagina naturally eliminates all the bacteria so it’s important that you clean up after yourself. There’s no need to use soap though, as soap can disrupt the healthy bacteria present. Wash the area well with plain water to get rid of any blood stuck onto your skin. Always wash from the front to the back - this will prevent UTI’s and bacterial infections.
Most malls and hotels have separate disposal bins for sanitary waste and regular waste. Whether or not there are separate disposal bins, it is just polite to wrap up your waste so that somebody else doesn’t have to look at it when they open the bin. If you are using sanitary pads, keep the wrapper handy so you can use it to throw away a used pad. When you remove your pad, wrap it up in a roll and then wrap the cover around it. This will ensure that the used pad stays rolled up. If you don’t have the outer packaging wrapper handy, use tissue paper or even toilet paper. If you need to dispose of a tampon, wrap it into some tissue paper and toss it into the bin. Never flush sanitary waste.
Cribbing about cramps and comparing notes about your flow is pretty much the monthly norm when it comes to conversations with your gal pals, but not everyone needs to know about your lady blood. There’s nothing shameful about your period but the gory details should be on a need-to-know-basis, there’s a time and a place for it. Discussing it with someone you’ve just met, during a job interview or with the person sitting next to you on the metro is a huge no-no. Don’t be blabbing about it to the table at a formal occasion. Your bodily fluids should be kept the way they are - personal!
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