Menstrual cycle is one major problem that women have to deal with on a monthly basis. We can’t stress enough on this topic of female health which is a major taboo to talk about in our society. For lack of money and other orthodox thinking, we neglect this issue and then have to pay a hefty price for it. But no more. One of the main hurdles in buying sanitary pads is overcome by the government- ‘MONEY’. Good news for Indian women; especially the ones who live in rural areas and can’t afford expensive sanitary napkins. Suvidha: Biodegradable pads at cost of 1 rupee will be available at your nearest Aushadhi Kendra.
On 26th August 2019, Modi-government fulfilled a promise made in 2019 Lok Sabah election manifesto. The price of ‘Jan Aushadhi Suvidha Oxo-Biodegradable Sanitary Napkin’ was reduced from 2.50 to 1 rupee per pad. The sanitary napkins named ‘Suvidha’ are currently being sold at government Kendra under PMBJP- Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana. The service was launched by Ananth kumar Union Minister of Chemical and Fertilizers and Parliamentary Affairs on 8th March 2018 (International Woman’s Day).
Menstruation: A Social Taboo
We can discuss a lot of things on social media can preach about the unsanitary health conditions for hours; yet when one is asked, if they know what menstrual cycle is or about healthy menstrual practices are, they keep mum. Some do not know about the said issue while a lot of people prefer not to talk about it. Women do not speak directly or at all if they are having any problem with their menstrual cycle. It is not wrong to speak up if you do not know about it. No harm would come if you ask or state your issues with menstrual cycle with your mom or a friend or a doctor.
Diseases caused by unhealthy menstrual practices
- Rashes (accompanied by irritation or swelling)
- Vaginal tract infections
- Urinary tract infections
“Some women may suffer from genital infections due to poor menstrual hygiene or pelvic pain, which could lead to infertility. Pelvic infections can also cause heavy periods which may cause anaemia.” Dr Anjali Kumar, Senior consultant and HOD, Gynecology & Obstetrics, Artemis Hospitals, Gurugram.
Some to dos for hygienic menstrual cycle
- Long hours: change your pad periodically. Doctor’s advice to change sanitary napkins once every 4 hours and tampons must be changed every 2 hours regardless if your flow is high or low.
“Bad odor is a common result of unhygienic menstrual habits. Change your pad three to four times a day. Even accumulated body secretions can cause discomfort.” Dr Tripti Sharan, senior consultant, gynecology & obstetrics, BLK Super Specialty Hospital, Delhi.
- Adequate disposal: The used pads carry germs and infection strains which must be dealt with high care. (Blood, being the best medium for bacterias to grow)
- Cleaning: you must wash your vagina and labia every time before you change into a new pad or use washroom.
- Using different brands: While it is necessary to look for a brand you would be comfortable in; unnecessary switching is not good. Jumping from one brand to another may make you uncomfortable and cause irritation and rashes.
- Medicines: women often take medicine to reduce cramps or to regulate blood flow. It can lead to many problems. Using vaginal wash too sometimes leads to problems. The chemicals present in them can cause removal or die out of healthy bacterias present the vaginal tract.
Suvidha: Biodegradable pads at cost of 1 rupee
This scheme (Suvidha: Biodegradable pads at cost of 1 rupee) started by the government will help numerous women. Its biodegradable nature makes it eco-friendly. There are more than 5,500 Kendra’s that sell this product. Now the cost has also reduced making it more accessible to rural women. A great initiative was taken by the government to increase awareness among women about reproductive and menstrual health.
“WomenEmpowerment isn’t about just featuring successful women, it is about focusing on health, hygiene & comfort of women across the country. Proud to launch ‘Suvidha’ now at just Rs 1/pad. This will ensure hygienic periods to crores of my sisters and mothers.”
Mansukh L. Mandaviya, Minister of State for Chemicals & fertilizers.
Do watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BYeyfwkCKYw