Woman and Hygiene

"By Wanderers India"

If you are an Adventure-seeking and Nature-loving lady, then you are on the right track with your walk towards the pleasant Himalayas! There is nothing that is going to stop you from that.
Yes! not even your Menstrual Cycles.

Being a gynaecologist, let me give you some guidance tips on this matter. Believe me you don’t have to spoil your trip only because you are a woman and you may have your menses in those travel days. Don’t even ask your tour guide to change the dates of the tour because of this.

Why to feel so awkward about it ? Why to feel so uncomfortable about it?

Trust me, trekking during those 5 days of your routine menstruation is not at all a bad idea. You just have to be better prepared. To practice proper hygiene.

— Carry enough sanitary pads with you. You must change them at regular intervals (every 4 hours) to prevent proliferation of germs and itches. Your campsite has a toilet tent for enough privacy and cleanliness. Use it.

— Carry hand sanitizers, tissues and extra clothes in case of emergencies.

— Wrap the used pads in tissues well & dispose them off properly. Carry a ziplock bag. You will fold the used pads properly, put them in that ziplock bag and carry them with you, till you reach the nearest town. There you will dispose them off well. Do remember — ‘Sanitary pads are Non-biodegradable ‘and remember the principle of ‘Leave no traces ‘

— Carry your menstrual cup in addition; it is highly recommended. It is easy to carry and very much useful in emergencies.

I know you might suffer from stomach cramps, giddiness, weakness, nausea, vomiting or even headaches, anxiety or mood swings each month before, during or after your periods. But to keep yourself fit, even during those days, I would suggest you to follow some rules:

— Drink at least 3 litres of water
— Keep yourself hydrated well with oral rehydration solution, ORS powder Enerzal,Eletral powders or at least Glucovita bullets.
— Eat well. Easily digestible food, preferably fruits.
— Use dusting powder or lubricating gels or moisturising skin creams to avoid sores and rashes
— Raise concerns for pukes or aches, stains or pains. Speak it out. Tell about whatever you suffer from to your trek leader,even if he is a man. Believe me, they are well informed and properly trained and motherly enough too to handle such situations.

I know, you know your body well. If you feel, even after you follow all the suggestions mentioned above, it is going to be equally tricky because of some Pre-diagnosed pathological conditions like uterine fibroids, ovarian cysts, endometriosis or menorrhagia etc, make sure to seek proper medical advice from your gynaecologist. After a relevant and thorough examination, she may prescribe you:

— Pills to postpone the periods
— Pills to minimise your bleeding or pain
— Pills to handle your headaches and vomitings etc

So trekking during periods is very much doable. Rather, it might even be more refreshing because you are in fresh air, doing great physical activity with a free spirit.

“Sometimes your mind can’t believe what your body just did that easily!”.

Hey, you lovely lady, It is all magical in Himalayas! With the right mental preparedness and well equipped backpack, you will be confident and strong to be on that trail happil, even in those days!

—Dr Ashwini
Gynaecologist and a Trekker, Pune

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