There are many difficulties that girls and women will come across during their periods, expressly when they aren’t taught how to and where to dispose of their menstrual hygiene products or how to use them. That is all because in some cultures, periods are still a big taboo and no one talks about it. Unfortunately, there are a lot of studies that have shown that a lot of the female population still doesn’t know how to properly dispose of used menstrual absorbents. Studies have shown that they throw them out in the open, bury them and even burn them, which is all unsafe and very unhygienic. In some areas of India, throwing used menstrual products in open spaces is very common in rural areas. The situation is very similar amongst school girls in Ethiopia where they dispose of them in toilets or outhouses. But even in urban areas, there are women who aren’t educated about it and they dispose of used products down the toilets or throw them into the open. There are effective, safe, and sanitary ways you can dispose of your menstrual waste properly and keep yourself as well as your surroundings clean and sterile.
As every human is unique and has different needs, the preferences of sanitary products are very vast. They are based on things such as economic status, personal preferences, cultural acceptability, and availability in the market. In rural areas, they often prefer reusable cloth pads while in urban areas it is preferred to use commercial sanitary pads and tampons. They are all made differently, to produce disposable sanitary products sulfate pulp is used to make the absorbent. There are also deodorized and non-deodorized sanitary products on the market which are all made out of synthetic fiber. Therefore, when you bury or do not dispose of the used absorbents correctly you are killing soil microflora as well as delaying the process of its decomposition. That is why there need to be sanitary bins everywhere to ensure that safe disposal is possible.
Different Types of Sanitary Products
Because people are realizing how badly we are treating the world, there are so many different options that are better not only for your health but also more sustainable. There are options that are more cost-effective, eco-friendly as well as much easier to use. Here are some of the most popular options for women and girls.
Commercial Sanitary Pads
Commercial sanitary pads are something that most women use because you can get them everywhere and they are easy to use. They are more expensive than reusable cloth pads, as they are for one-time use only and they are not environment-friendly. What people don’t realize is that the cotton that is used is not 100% cotton and it contains pesticides.
If you are looking for internal protection tampons are the most popular way of proving that. They are a soft cotton material that is inserted into your vagina and will absorb the blood before it leaves your body. They are pretty expensive, not reusable nor safe and very much not environmentally friendly.
As people are realizing how bad tampons are, there are washable tampons that are made out of things like wool, hemp, wool, and bamboo. They are the same as normal tampons but you can wash them instead of throwing them away after one use.
As technology is evolving, there are many alternatives for girls and women who don’t have a budget to afford to buy tampons and pads every month. Menstrual cups are made out of medical-grade silicone rubber that makes it comfortable to wear. They can be worn up to 6–12 hours, therefore you can wear it longer than tampons. As you remove it and wash it, they are reusable and very environmentally friendly.
Bamboo Fibre Pads
If you are someone who is not comfortable with putting things in yourself, there are environmentally friendly sanitary pads. They also have a more absorbing capacity and they are much safer to use. Not only that, but they are also more affordable, they possess antibacterial properties, they are easily composed which makes them environmentally friendly. These pads are made out of bamboo and charcoal and they are available in most markets.
Ways to Dispose of Your Menstrual Waste Effectively
For rural households, clay pots also known as Matka are one of the best ways to dispose of menstrual waste effectively. It is a very low cost as well as easy to use. Another very handy thing is bins that have special covers that should be installed in places such as schools, hospitals, and other public places.
Disposal bags should be provided in every bathroom in order for safe disposal to be possible. Never dispose of menstrual waste along with domestic waste. Used sanitary pads need to be wrapped in newspaper or anything of that sort and then be thrown away into a bin.
Luckily, people have started realizing how many uneducated people there are that need help learning about this topic. If you see someone struggling, don’t ignore it, share your knowledge, and make their life safer and easier.