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Parent Quiz

 

WHAT CAN BE USED DURING MENSTRUATION?

Today you can choose from a wide variety of menstrual protection products to suit your daughter's needs. The commonly used options are :

1. Sanitary pads that are worn externally, outside the body.
2. Tampons, which are worn internally, in the vagina.

Sanitary Pads : (also known as Sanitary Napkins)
These are flat pieces of absorbent material usually with a plastic lining underneath to prevent leakage. There are basically two types of napkins belted and belt-less. The belted napkins are secured around the waist with the help of an elastic belt. Nowadays, the belt-less pads, with self adhesive strips that can be stuck inside underpants are popular.

Types of Sanitary pads : Many brands and varieties of pads are available. Each make comes in different sizes and thickness. There are pads:

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With wings and without wings - Wings help hold the pad in place and offer extra side leakage protection.
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Thin and ultra thin.
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With cottony feel covers or the more synthetic, dry feel covers
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Depending on their absorbency, they are called - mini, light, regular, maxi and super maxi, classic, super long maxi, extra heavy weight, and heavy, moderate and light use ones.

More and more companies are offering ultra thin sanitary pads, for greater comfort, or with extra features like odour control that prevent period smell from forming. A good sanitary napkin will provide your daughter the right protection, freeing her from worries of pad disintegration and staining. As there is a range of products, girls can choose one that best fits her sense of comfort and lifestyle. Using a particular brand, the type and the thickness, is a matter of trial and error and personal preference. It is also possible to buy her panty liners, which are very thin and protect the pants from staining. These can be used on very light flow days or on non-menstruation days to absorb white discharge. Sanitary pads are available in varying pack sizes from 8 - 20 napkins at any chemist or general store.

Advantages of Sanitary pads :

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Easier to use.
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They can be used by a woman of any age and are a common choice for girls, who have just begun their periods.
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Many varieties available to suit different needs.

Queries about Sanitary Pads

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As the sanitary pad is outside the body, can the blood get contact with air and develop an unpleasant odour?
A frequent change every 3-4 hours will help maintain proper menstrual hygiene with less chances of an unpleasant odour. You can also choose napkins with odour control which prevent period smell.
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Is there a possibility of leakage off the sides, especially at night?
Using a variety with wings and super maxi ones decreases the chances of leakage. Moreover, on days of heavy flow, one can use a panty, about ½ size too small, so that the pad does not move.
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Is it true that sanitary pads cannot be used while swimming?
Yes, however almost all other activities can be done while wearing a pad, and this advantage outweighs the single disadvantage.
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Can sanitary pads cause irritation on inner thighs?
It is a possibility, but this is overcome by keeping the genital area clean and dry and dusting slightly with powder. Using a different brand or changing to another type may solve the problem.


Tampons
Tampons are pieces of highly absorbent fibres inserted into the vagina to soak up the blood flow. They have strings for removal and some brands have cardboard or plastic applicators for insertion. As with pads there are different brands of tampons with varying absorbencies for different phases of the period. Great care must be taken to wash the hands before introducing the tampon, otherwise there are chances of infection. It needs good practice to put the tampon in the vagina, accurately, easily and comfortably without any pain. If there is pain, don't force it in. It is actually best to first try it on a heavy flow day when there is maximum lubrication.

Advantages of Tampons :

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If it is the right size, and properly inserted, one does not feel the tampon at all.
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As they are within the body, they tend to be less smelly.
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They cannot be seen through tight clothing.
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One can even swim while wearing a tampon.
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There is no irritation between the thighs.

Queries about Tampons

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What is Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS)?
TSS is an extremely rare, but serious illness. TSS has been associated with tampon usage, though it can also occur without tampons. Since TSS is quite serious, it is important to recognize the symptoms. The person may start vomiting, develop high fever, diarrhoea and a rash resembling sun-burn. In case you notice these symptoms, you should immediately remove the tampon as a precaution and contact your doctor.
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How do we know when to change?
By lightly tugging the cord, you can tell when it's time to change. If the tampon doesn't move, it means it's not yet saturated. Tampons must be changed every 6-8 hours or more often depending on the flow.

Using Cloth
Though this is the oldest, cheapest method, it is not recommended. Why?

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The cloth or rag used may not be really clean. Therefore, there are greater chances of infection.
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There are more chances of staining since cloth does not absorb well.
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There is an enhanced risk of skin irritation of the thighs, as the cloth pad has to be thick to provide any degree of effectiveness.
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It is cumbersome to wash the rags. One has to soak it in cool, mildly salty water and dry out in the sun, which may not always be possible.


Personal hygiene during menstruation

It is critical that you ensure your daughter understands what constitutes good hygiene during menstruation, and that she practices them.

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Bathing daily with warm water is an essential start. Menstrual blood gives off a distinctive odour, when it comes in contact with air, so washing one's genitals twice a day with mild soap and warm water is essential. One should avoid the use of deodorants or perfumes in the vaginal area as they may cause irritation and possible infection.
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Sanitary napkins or tampons need to be changed at least twice a day depending on the menstrual flow, and on the level of body perspiration between thighs.
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The bloodstained pads sometimes rub against the skin of the thigh, which gets sore and causes discomfort while walking. Hence, the thigh region should be kept dry or dusted with powder.
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Hands should be washed before and after use of sanitary pads.