Repeat after me: Menstruation is ~*normal*~.
Sure, it might be hard to remember when you’re suffering from extreme levels of discomfort and pain as your red days kick in—but it’s important to know that what you’re going through is entirely natural and a sign that your body’s reproductive system is working the way it should be.
Even though literally *billions* of girls around the world have their period, the societal stigma surrounding it is still rampant, evidenced by how women are programmed to feel ashamed of their menstrual cycles.
Aiming to challenge the status quo, Gynepro, in partnership with Cosmopolitan Philippines, hosted Red Talks, a no-holds-barred conversation about menstruation and menstrual health. In attendance were Filipina beauty queens Bea Gomez and Patch Magtanong, as well as licensed OB-GYN Dr. Aubrey Seneris, who all gave expert advice on how to help women make the most out of their monthly cycles.
Read below for some helpful tips we picked up from the discussion!
1. Practice good menstrual hygiene.
While some brands claim that pads can be worn for as long as twelve hours, Dr. Aubrey stresses the importance of regularly changing it, specifically sticking to the so-called six hour-rule. It’s for the reason that no matter how light your flow is, bacteria can still build up. “Yeast odor is very common and can be accumulated from blood-soaked pads or tampons.” Additionally, she also advises wearing cotton panties for extra comfort and debunks a longstanding myth: One shouldn't shower while on her period. “Don’t forget to shower! Hindi kayo malalamigan or something.”
2. Eat healthily and exercise.
While some food can lessen the symptoms of period discomfort, others worsen it! Case in point: salty food, which according to Dr. Aubrey, increases inflammation. Of course, staying hydrated is imperative to avoid bloatedness, as well as munching on probiotic-rich yogurt and gluten-free food. Getting your dopamines going through your exercise routine is also foolproof in elevating your mood.
3. Seek professional help when necessary.
Other women experiencing irregularities in their period might be experiencing menstrual disorders such as PCOS, which is a common occurrence. For telltale symptoms of the disorder, Dr. Aubrey advises seeking professional help. This way, proper medication will be applied and other health problems might be avoided in the long run.
4. Normalize having conversations about menstrual periods.
“The more we raise awareness about the issue, the more we stop being ashamed about having our periods,” Patch said. Echoing her message, Bea herself emphasized the need for older women to be "role models" to the younger generation, normalizing period discussions so the stigma surrounding it will be discontinued. So go ahead, go out there and share your insights when you can, especially with girls going through the same experiences as you during your teenage days.
5. Invest in a great feminine wash.
For Bea and Patch, there’s nothing quite like finding the right product that works for you, one that helps you conquer your red days without fuss. The ladies are proud users of GynePro, a feminine wash formulated with Chlorhexidine digluconate, an ingredient that comes with disinfectant and antiseptic that stop bacterial growth without feeling too harsh down there.
Learn more helpful ~period~ tips from the rest of the talk here:
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