Menstrual Hygiene
  • It is important you don’t miss school or work simply because of your natural period
  • There is nothing to be ashamed of by having a period. It means that your body is functioning and healthy.
  • So as not to stain your clothing during this time, you will need hygiene products to catch the menstrual blood.
  • If you have access to or can afford menstrual pads, cotton wool or tampons from a store, you will need to purchase them each month for your period and use as the package directs.
  • If you are unable to purchase menstrual products, you could also make your own.
    • You can use materials from home such as cotton chitenje or towels.
    • Or you could purchase materials from a store – (one each of cotton, flannel and waterproof cloth such as umbrella cloth)
    • You can cut the cloth, then simply fold over several times to make your own pad
      • Optional: sew layers of material with the flannel on top, then thick layers of cotton, and finally, waterproof material on bottom layer.
    • It would be good to keep extra supplies (more pieces of cloth or pads) with you in a bag or purse to change as needed.
    • If you are away from home, you could put the soiled cloth in a plastic bag to later rinse, wash with cold water, and hang to dry at home.
  • It is also a good idea to choose dark clothing to wear during this time to decrease the amount of staining.
    • If the clothing becomes stained, soak in cold water with soap before washing as usual.
  • Bathe the same as you normally would, understanding that there may be blood on the genitals and between your legs that is not harmful.
    • No special soaps are needed, just water and use a mild soap on the outside as desired, but never put soaps or any other cleaning products inside of your vagina.

For menstrual cramp or pain:

  • Use a hot water bottle on your lower abdomen to relax the muscles.
  • Recommend Ibuprofen 400mg as needed for pain for up to 3 times a day.

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