Let’s shake the myths!

Well, first topic I would like to share on this blog is about “menstrual hygiene”. Presently working in a government setup I am astonished by the fact that a lot of women in our country especially in the reproductive age group are following  horrible practices regarding menstrual hygiene. Most of the times these are uneducated and low socioeconomic groups but recently I visited a private school to address adolescent health, and to my surprise young girls were so misled by their mothers at home that I literally had to prove my point of view by logic and medical science to them. Well this is a common problem and definitely has an impact on health and hygiene of females.

 

So , I would like to document here about various myths related to menstruation which I have come across in our society.

1. One should not take bath during menstruation.

2. Head bath is allowed only after your periods are over.

3. One should not eat sour during periods.

4. Should not use pads available in markets, they transmit diseases rather use discarded cloths available at Home.

5. One should not touch books or write during menstruation ( prevalent in muslim girls).

NONE OF THESE ARE TRUE AND ARE PURE MYTHS AND SHOULD BE ABANDONED BY ALL.

 

Healthy practices during menstruation.
1.Take bath daily but Donot overwash the area.

2.Treat skin in the genital area very gently. Do not use bubble bath, feminine hygiene products or perfumed soaps or creams.

3. Do not use douches (i.e. internal washes).

4. Urinate (pee) before the bladder is full, avoid ‘hanging on’ and rinse the vulva with water after urinating.

5. Use 100% cotton menstrual pads and tampons – Avoid panty liners.
Many different kinds, depending on heaviness of period and body size
Wings provide extra protection.

6. Change frequently to keep fresh and dry .

7. Common problems include

Abdominal bloating mood swings
Digestive upsets – i.e. constipation, diarrhea
Breast tenderness & swelling
Headaches
Back pain
Fluid retention
Acne
Clumsiness
Painful cramps in 2/3 girls.

 

I have listed these because I want that whoever is reading this blog you are among the privileged group of our society and I request you all to spread awareness about this issue and help yourself ,your daughter ,your housemaid and any girl or women you know. Being a gynaecologist  I come in contact of a lot of females but with you all I can touch them largly. Help me to spread awareness together and make this world a better place for everyone. Thank you from the core of my heart.

Take Care!

 

 

 

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Are you building your bank??

Just imagine you wake up one morning in pain and realise that you are not able to step out of your bed due to severe backache. And some how you manage to see your doctor. She gets some tests done and taking a glance at the reports, answers you back in sarcasm.

“ Lady, your bank is all depleted! ”

Well this is how I address my patients suffering from osteoporosis. And this brings me to a very common but much neglected and health issue in women —BONE HEALTH.

First let me tell you some very simple facts about bone:(Don’t worry, I will keep it as simple as I can.

  • Your bones are continuously changing. New is made and old is broken down.
  • When you are young, your body makes new bones faster than it breaks down old bone and your bone mass increases.
  • Most people reach their bone mass around 30 years.
  • After that, bone remodeling continues , but you lose slightly more bone mass than you gain.
  • Osteopenia and osteoporosis are the diseases of bone that causes bones to become weak and brittle making them prone to fractures.

And my dear people this depends on how much bone mass you attain by the time you reach age 30 and how rapidly you lose after that. The higher your peak bone mass , the more you have  “IN YOUR BANK”  in the beginning.

Now, what affects your bone health?

  • The amount of calcium in your diet- Low calcium intake leads to low bone density causing early bone loss and early osteoporosis.
  • Physical activity- Physically inactive people have higher risk of osteoporosis.
  • Gender- Women are at higher risk of osteoporosis due to less bone mass.
  • Age- Your bones become thinner and weaker as you age.
  • Race- Whites and Asian have greater risk of osteoporosis.
  • Hormone levels- In women bone loss increases dramatically at menopause due to dropping estrogen level.
  • Drugs- taking steroid for long can cause damage to your bones.

Simple steps to keep your bones healthy:

  • Include plenty of calcium in your diet-  Daily requirements is— 1000mg before menopause and 1200mg after menopause. Good sources are dairy products ,almonds,broccoli, soy products etc.
  • Pay attention to VIT D- Body needs vitamin D to absorb calcium. Daily requirement 600IU before 70yrs and 800IU after it. Good sources are oily fish, egg yolk, milk etc. Moreover importance of sun exposure cannot be over stressed.
  • Excercise—Weight bearing exercise such as walking, jogging, tennis and climbing stairs build strong bones and slows bone loss.
  • Substance abuse—Don’t smoke. Avoid drinking more than two alcohol drinks a day.

A very common query is “which is better ,diet or supplements?” And the answer is diet beyond doubt . But if you find it difficult to get enough calcium and vit D from your diet, ask your doctor about supplements. By the way just to enlighten you, a glass of cow’s milk has 300mg of calcium. Now go calculate people…..is your calcium intake up to mark??

No wonder worldwide osteoporosis causes 9 million fractures annually resulting in osteoporotic fracture every 3 seconds. 30% of all menopausal women in US and Europe are osteoporotic. Similarly Indian statistics won’t fail to amaze you. 52% of Indian women have osteopenia 30% are osteoporotic. Just imagine the current burden of this silent disease. And PREVENTION IS WAY BETTER THAN CURE 🙂

I just hope I was able to connect to you through this content. So start building your bone bank and maintain it. Also please share this piece of information with every women you care.

Love. Takecare.