Menstruation has been a stigma in our country for years, leading women to often feel embarrassed when talking or asking about it. A healthy period reveals a woman has a healthy body and mind.

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International Business Times, India edition, interviewed Dr Mamatha Shriyan, gynaecologist and obstetrician at SRV Hospital, Mumbai, and found some interesting facts and tips about menstruation.

Q. What basic hygiene rules should women follow during menstruation?

Ans. Ideally, one should always change napkins and tampons at regular intervals. Napkins can be used for 6-8 hours whereas tampons must be changed within a 6-hour duration.

Ensure that you wash your private parts every time you change the napkin. It is also preferable to wear cotton underwear during your menses.

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Q. Are tampons or pads capable of causing any infections or diseases?

Ans. Napkins and tampons, if changed regularly, will not cause any infection, but they can cause allergic reactions like contact dermatitis. Tampons, if left in for a longer duration, may cause toxic shock syndrome.

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Q. How many women do you deal with on a regular basis who suffer from severe conditions related to pads and tampons?

Ans. We regularly see women suffering from allergic reactions relating to napkin use, but they are usually mild and can be treated.

Q. What are the major problems they suffer from, if any?

Ans. Most women who come to me usually suffer from allergies.

Q. If not pads and tampons, then what can be used by women during menstruation?

Ans. Menstrual cups can be used by women. These are silicone cups which are inserted into the vagina. During menses the blood gets collected in the cup. The cup can be reused after washing off the blood.

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Q. Are menstrual cups safe to use?

Ans. Yes, menstrual cups are safe to use unless one is allergic to latex.

Q.7 Any tips regarding what diet to follow or any natural remedy to get rid of spas pain and cramps?

Ans. Hot water bags can be used for pain relief. You can also consume Jeera water to help relieve cramps.