The menstrual cycle is a term used to describe the sequence of events that occur within a woman’s body as it prepares for the possibility of pregnancy each month. A menstrual cycle is considered to begin on the first day of a period. The average cycle is 28 days long; however, a cycle can range in length from 21 days to about 35 days.The steps in the menstrual cycle are triggered by the rise and fall of chemicals in the body called hormones. The pituitary gland in the brain and the ovaries in the female reproductive tract manufacture and release certain hormones at certain times during the menstrual cycle that cause the organs of the reproductive tract to respond in certain ways. The specific events that occur during the menstrual cycle can be described as follows:
The pad should be changed every 4-5 hours as longer keep pads can cause bacterial growth and infection in the very delicate genitalia. When changing the pad should be thoroughly rinsed and soaked in warm soaped water with bleach solution added. It is then scrubbed ad thoroughly washed. This is then dried thoroughly and stored in a closed ventilated space for further use. The cloth can eventually be discarded if torn or tattered by burning.
There are commercially available synthetic pads which are convenient to use but are not amenable to biodegradation.
Currently menstrual cups are proposed for this use and are being used. However, they can be expensive for some and unacceptable too as it has to inserted inside the vagina which an unmarried woman or an adolescent may find difficult to use.
In any case utmost hygiene is necessary. One must wash hands every four hours and keep them clean. Touch your own body parts only with clean hands. Change the pad every 4-5 hours and also the menstrual cup should be emptied every 4-6 hours to avoid bacterial growth and infection.