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Menstrual Hygiene

Gender inequality, cultural taboos and poverty can cause menstrual health needs to go unmet

Every month, 1.8 billion people across the world menstruate. Millions of these girls, women, transgender men and non-binary persons are unable to manage their menstrual cycle in a dignified, healthy way.

The onset of menstruation means a new phase – and new vulnerabilities – in the lives of adolescents. Yet, many adolescent girls face stigma, harassment and social exclusion during menstruation. Transgender men and non-binary persons also face discrimination due to their gender identity, depriving them of access to the materials and facilities they need.

Gender inequality, discriminatory social norms, cultural taboos, poverty and lack of basic services like toilets and sanitary products can all cause menstrual health and hygiene needs to go unmet.

Cultural Beliefs and Restrictions during Menstruation

Menstrual hygiene practices were affected by cultural norms, parental influence, personal preferences, economic status, and socioeconomic pressures. Menstrual beliefs refer to misconceptions and attitudes towards menstruation within a given culture or religion. Menstrual beliefs, knowledge, and practices were all interrelated to the menstrual hygiene management . By reviewing literature and articles published in journals and reports available on the Internet we found many cultural and religious beliefs followed by people regarding menstruation. These norms were the barriers in the path of good menstrual hygiene practices. Many women experiencing restrictions on cooking, work activities, sexual intercourse, bathing, worshipping, and eating certain foods . These restrictions were due to the overall perception of the people regarding menstruation as they consider it dirty and polluting

Types of Absorbents Used during Menstruation

The preference of sanitary protection material is based on personal choice, cultural acceptability, economic status, and availability in local market. Along with basic sanitation facilities, one should be also provided with soap and menstrual absorbents to manage menstruation hygiene. The choice of absorbents varies among rural and urban women and girls. In rural areas, the most preferred absorbents are reusable cloth pads and in urban areas women prefer to use commercial sanitary pads.

sanitary pads

Some girls prefer pads because they're easy to use and it's easier to remember when to change them because you can see them getting soaked with blood. And some girls with heavy periods use tampons together with pads or pantiliners for added protection against leaking.their. menstrual flow

re-usable sanitary pads

reusable pads are safe for your health. A standard plastic sanitary pad comes with artificial fragrances, adhesive and bleaching chemicals which can cause rashes. This means that the disposable sanitary pads may not be as sanitary as you might have thought them to be.


There is almost no risk of developing TTS when using menstrual pads. Studies show that the risk of developing TSS is lower in women who use menstrual pads, than in women who use tampons.

pads made from banana fibre

Archit Agarwal and Harry Sehrawat of IIT Delhi, the founders of female hygiene brand Sanfe, created an affordable and biodegradable sanitary napkin made of banana fibre that can be washed and reused for two years.

reusable tampons

Typically, reusable tampons are made of 100 percent organic cotton, making them free from chemicals. They are often OEKO-TEX certified, meaning they have been certified to be chemical-free.