How to Choose a Sanitary Pad

The human body is a delicate and complex system. The menstrual cycle is a special characteristic of female maturity that brings both blessings and possible problems for women. The menstrual cycle will go on for about half the life of a woman, i.e. at least 2,000 to 3,000 days. According to theories in Chinese medicine, a woman’s body is at its weakest during menstruation and if there are no proper measures of protection taken during this time, the woman’s health could be affected. As such, it is important to correct some misconceptions and wrong practices during menstruation.

Common mistakes in the use of sanitary napkins

1.   Not washing your hands clean before handling a new sanitary napkin: In the process of opening, flattening and putting on a sanitary napkin, the hands may bring many bacteria onto the sanitary napkin.

2.   Not paying attention to the expiry date: In fact, the requirements for hygienic standard of sanitary napkin are very strict and the sanitary napkin is of poorer quality if it is closer to the expiry date.

3.   Using sanitary napkins with medication or fragrance: Most doctors would not recommend such products because the medication and fragrance may have undesirable effects on the body.

4.   Preferring to have high absorption: It is wrong to look for sanitary napkins with high absorption in the hope that sanitary napkins need not be changed frequently. This would lead to growth of more bacteria.

Total protection for women on menstruation:

When healthy women come to the maturity age, the ovaries will undergo periodic changes as the ovules develop, mature and get discharged out of the body. At the same time, there is secretion of sex hormones. The endometrium in the uterus, which is controlled by the sex hormones, will then undergo changes of thickening, shedding and repair. When the endometrium is discharged through the vagina together with some blood, it is known as menstruation. The menstrual cycle is normally for 28 to 30 days and for each menstruation, the blood loss is about 50ml. Each menstruation may last for 3 to 7 days. Periodic menstruation is an essential condition for reproduction and it indicates that the reproductive system is normal . This is an important indication of the women’s physical health.

How to choose suitable sanitary napkins:

During menstruation, the skin of the women’s sensitive part is most vulnerable.

Surveys have shown that 73% of the women would feel itchiness and pain on some parts of the skin during menstruation. These are mostly caused by the use of sanitary napkins which are not air permeable. As such, it is of critical importance to choose suitable sanitary napkins to ensure safety during menstruation. Sanitary napkins are normally made up of three layers: surface layer, absorbent layer and underlying layer. The choice of sanitary napkins should be based on considerations relating to the materials and functions of these three layers.

Firstly, the surface layer should preferably have a cotton net surface with rapid absorption to avoid wet skin surface. The funnel type of design is better than the bucket type of design as the discharge absorbed would not backflow easily.

Secondly, the middle layer should have effective absorption agents that can turn the absorbed liquid discharge into a jelly-like state so that it would not backflow when pressed and would not cause the sticky feeling.

Thirdly, the underlying layer should be made of air permeable materials to allow diffusion of water molecules in the gaseous state. This would keep away the moist air to effectively reduce the moisture and heat between the sanitary napkins and the body so that there is a dry and refreshed feeling.

Changing sanitary napkins to avoid troubles

Due to the special physical characteristics of women, the sanitary napkin is the women’s indispensable ‘friend’ but this friend may bring considerable troubles when it is not treated well. For ordinary sanitary napkin used continuously for two hours, its surface may have bacteria numbering up to 107 per square centimeter and this contamination may seriously affect the health of the women.

Symptoms of infection during menstruation include mild fever, external genital infection, skin itch, ascending infections (such as vaginitis, cervicitis, pelvic inflammatory disease, endometritis etc), leukorrhagia, localized burning sensation or lower abdominal pain, or with fever, nausea; infections of urinary system including urinary tract infection, bladder infection, pyelonephritis, frequent micturition, urgent micturition, dysuria, waist sore and waist pain with fatigue or fever. These may lead to other more serious female genital diseases.

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