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A sterile genital area avoids irritation during menstruation

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Menstrual Hygiene Day 2024

Jakarta, IO – Menstrual Hygiene Day is celebrated every May 28, to raise awareness of the importance of the habit of maintaining cleanliness in the genital area, especially during menstruation. In fact, 7 out of 10 women worldwide have suffered vaginitis at least once in their lives. In Indonesia, it is reported that 2 out of 3 women complain of itching, 3 out of 5 experience vaginal discharge, and half of all complain of an unpleasant odor in the genital area. These symptoms should not be ignored, since they can be an early sign of irritation which, if left unchecked, can develop into an infection. 

“A healthy vagina has a pH of 3.5- 4.5, while menstrual blood is alkaline, up to 7.4. A higher pH supports the growth of pathogenic bacteria and disrupts normal flora. However, do not let the vaginal condition become too acidic, because that can trigger irritation of the skin around the vaginal area. From clinical experience at my practice, the imbalance of normal fora and changes in pH that are too alkaline in the genital area suffered by 72% of women can cause health problems such as itching, unpleasant odors or vaginal discharge,” said dr. Ardiansjah Dara Sjahruddin, Sp.OG, FICS, M.Kes, in a media meeting with the theme “Education of Indonesian Women regarding Feminine Hygiene” which was held by Betadine, on Tuesday (28/5/2023). 

dr. Ardiansjah Dara Sjahruddin, Sp.OG, FICS, M.Kes
dr. Ardiansjah Dara Sjahruddin, Sp.OG, FICS, M.Kes (IO/Esti)

According to an obstetrics and gynecology specialist from MRCCC Siloam Hospitals Semanggi, Jakarta, maintaining the cleanliness of the genital area during menstruation can prevent irritation. “Also avoid shaving pubic hair, that might trigger irritation. As a first step, we can use an antiseptic containing povidone-iodine that has a broad spectrum, can restore pH balance, and quickly restores normal fora, effective in treating infections. However, if the complaint continues or the itching is not on the skin, but in the vagina itself, you should immediately see a doctor. Itching in the vagina is generally caused by a fungus and that requires medical treatment,” he warned. 

Menstruation Is Not an Obstacle 

On the same occasion, Head of Marketing PT Mundipharma Healthcare Indonesia, Anastasia Damayanti, said that Betadine Feminine Hygiene contains 10% povidone-iodine which is effective in relieving symptoms of infection during menstruation. “We are committed to ensuring that Indonesian women remain comfortable, active, and healthy during menstruation, due for us, menstruation is not an obstacle. We want to educate Indonesian women on how to choose good feminine hygiene products: those specifcally designed for the genital area, which can help maintain the balance of the microbiome, maintain the acidity of the vaginal pH, prevent infection, and treat early symptoms of genital irritation,” Anastasia explained. 

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At the end, dr. Ardiansjah emphasized how recommended hygiene practices for the genital area during the menstrual period are as follows: first, regular cleaning by showering at least once a day, cleaning the vulva area with water, and avoiding products with strong aromas. Second, regularly change sanitary napkins. Third, wear cotton underwear and change them 3 times a day. (est)

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