Know about Menstrual Hygiene Management

MHM is not as simple as just wearing a pad

Do you ever sit and ponder upon the little luxuries you enjoy when managing your period every month; access to clean water, soap, toilet paper, even pads? Because, according to research conducted by World Bank Group (WBG), at least 500 million women and girls around the world don’t. In fact, they lack some of the most basic facilities required for menstrual hygiene management (MHM). 

What is MHM?

Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) is defined as “women and adolescent girls using a clean menstrual management material to absorb or collect blood that can be changed in privacy as often as necessary for the duration of the menstruation period, using soap and water for washing the body as required, and having access to facilities to dispose of used menstrual management materials’ (UNICEF and WHO, 2014)”. It is a critical part of hygiene for women and adolescent girls between menarche and menopause.

Why should we care?

An inability to hygienically manage their period, leads majority of the female rural population of developing countries to skip school during their period and eventually drop out. This results in severe economic costs on their lives and on the country’s economy as a whole. 

As a result, majority of the female rural population in developing countries eventually drop out of school after constantly skipping classes during their period. 

What problems can lack of MHM cause for women?

In addition to facing difficulties when it comes to coping with everyday life, women with poor MHM are also prone to a higher number of health risks. These include:

  • Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
  • Uterine Infection
  • Irritation 
  • Leucorrhea
  • Discharge
  • Pelvic Inflammatory Diseases 

Not to mention, the psychological problems this can cause:

  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Embarrassment
What can we do?

The first and most effective thing you can do is talk about it. The more women break out of their silence and point out their problems among their communities, the better. So start small. Go up to someone and simply say ‘let’s talk’ and then see where it goes from there.