Did you know that on average, we women spend around 40 years of our lives with periods? But even with that fact, the reality is, we still have a long way to go when it comes to having free and open conversations about menstrual health and hygiene. We learn about the basic processes our bodies go through while we're in school, while the rest of what we know about bleeding, we most likely learn from sheer experience, and maybe a few close friends.
To celebrate Menstrual Hygiene Month in May, we teamed up with GynePro and held #RedTalks: Let's Talk About Overcoming Period Pain, Irregular Cycles, And Menstrual Hygiene and invited over some guests: Angel Dei, Nina Dizon, and Dr. Marie Michelle Dado, M.D. Here are seven very important things we learned during the discussion:
1. Start counting your cycle on the day you start to fully bleed, and not when you spot.
Yup, you read that right! Your period actually starts when blood starts flowing and fills up at least 1/3 of your pads or tampons. This is important information, especially if you're trying to conceive.
2. You *don't* need to get your period on the same day every month.
According to Dr. Mich: "You don't need to get your period on the exact same day each month. You are still regular if you're within a 21-35 day cycle." She also adds: "However, if you're experiencing particularly heavy bleeding, using up more than 5-6 fully-soaked pads a day, then you need to consult your OB-GYN."
3. Some women actually skip a few periods each year.
Dr. Mich shares that skipped periods are usually not alarming, but if the irregularity becomes regular, then it's time to seek professional help. Also, watch out for prolong periods.
4. Feel "off" during your period? Here are some red flags you should watch out for.
"Seriously heavy bleeding, like the type that makes you feel faint—you might suffer from additional problems like anemia, or further complications. Severe pain, anything that doesn't make you feel right or function normally...you can do teleconsult and talk about it on the phone [with your OBGYN]," she shares.
5. It's important to pay special attention to your feminine hygiene routine when you're on your period.
Yup, by now, we should all have "special" routines when we're on our periods. For one, choose the right products to use. GynePro is known as "the feminine wash for red days" and that's because it contains Chlorhexidine digluconate, a powerful ingredient that kills bacteria that causes unpleasant odors and itchiness. Literally everything you don't want to experience when it's that time of the month. When you're not on your period, you can use this feminine wash once or twice a week.
6. There is such a thing as "over-cleaning."
Many Filipinos are guilty of doing this because we feel the need to keep washing throughout the day. However, it's best to do it twice a day: Once in the morning and in the evening. When you're on your period, however, wash every time you change your pad.
7. In case you aren't doing it yet, make sure to wipe from front to back.
And not the other way around! "Because there are more bacteria at the back, and you don't want to bring it to the front," shares Doc Mich. She also brings up a point to use tissue that's meant to be used for that sensitive area. When it comes to underwear, cotton is still the best choice, because the material is breathable. Other materials might be sexy and cute, but they're actually not breathable and can increase your risk of getting infections.
Watch the full video here: