According to a World Bank report, "On any given day, more than 300 million women worldwide are menstruating". These staggering numbers raise numerous questions and discussions about women's menstrual health and hygiene accessibility. Are our women safe from menstrual health issues? Are they able to access menstrual hygiene products effortlessly? How prominent is period poverty? Or if women are aware of what goes into their period products. Every day various news publications, researchers, and individuals share ordeals of menstrual health issues and their life-threatening outcomes via multiple platforms which discuss and debate the seriousness of menstrual health and its management.
Of course, the scenarios of menstrual health differ between communities, states, and even regions. Many say, while urban regions are less susceptible to menstrual issues, rural communities face tremendous challenges, sometimes at the expense of their lives. Over the years, different establishments have identified these 'urgent' issues and raised alarms. Aside the government bodies or NGOs, individuals dedicated to social causes or wishing to solve an ongoing problem have come to the forefront to deal with menstrual health issues upfront.
Poor Menstrual Health Repercussions
The scarcity of healthy period products is still prevalent in India and many other developing countries. Some say this problem is a neglected area that establishments or leaders fail to focus on. Unfortunately, this adversely affects women's vaginal health, leading to lifelong discomfort. It is evident that women will likely develop greater challenges if they cannot follow menstrual hygiene methods and do not manage them well. Some of the health conditions that they may suffer from include:
- Vaginal Infection
- Vaginal Yeast Infection
- Urinary Infections
- Reproductive Issues
- Cervical Cancer
- Bacterial or Fungal Infections
- Birth Complications
These are pressing health concerns that women face in the absence of proper menstrual hygiene products and ways to manage them efficiently.
Menstrual Health Impacts Income & Profession
Besides the health issues, a woman's life decisions depend on it. It affects a woman's ability to earn income and makes them dependent on the other members of their family. Secondly, women who skip work for lack of access to cost-effective and suitable period products lose employers' faith, directly affecting their growth opportunities—factors like financial constraints and minimal income limit women to opt for reliable and safe period products.
Identifying what affects women from the menstrual health aspect is essential — social, personal, financial, gender, economic, and environmental. If menstrual health is improved and women can access affordable period products, it will positively influence girls' and women's education and personal growth. Not only will it benefit their menstrual health, but it will also impact career growth overall. For instance, women can opt for more jobs, promotions, and entrepreneurship, but menstruation limits their opportunities.
Understanding Period Product Safety
Many factors define the choice of period products for the urban woman, from disposal options, affordability, absorbing capacity, and the size of the products to their environmental and health impact. Despite many women menstruating regularly, the costs of the menstrual cup, pads, and other period products are touching the skies. Though many prefer to use single-use, disposable period products from puberty to menopause, the demand for reusable sanitary pads is gradually rising.
Over the years, many studies, news reports, and studies have surfaced about the ill effects of using plastic period products. Since these products are directly in contact with the crotch or genital area, they are highly likely to affect women's bodies. Research says that the toxins from the products enter the body easily through the vagina. This makes the body prone to many hormonal changes. A report on TOI says that continuous exposure to such products may increase the risk of breast or ovarian cancer. Further, these toxins can affect the regularity of period cycles as well.
The above reasons explain how menstrual health impacts a woman's entire lifespan. This calls for additional responsibility for brands and those responsible for ensuring that every product women use is healthy and responsibly produced. Repad as a brand focuses on reaching out to a world audience who want to feel safe and protected. With this idea at the core, Repad provides sustainable hygiene solutions focusing on Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM). We are addressing women's issues due to societal and personal reasons. We have actively created women's health awareness in various parts of India. Our offerings are toxin-free, affordable, and easy to use.
Women must be aware of alternative alternatives besides plastic and single-use sanitary pads. Repad's period products address these problems and help women avoid developing inflammatory diseases. Our products are toxin-free, made with antimicrobial-treated fabric that keeps women safe from developing any additional health conditions. They have high absorbency and better quality, alongside travel-friendly and environmental-friendly features due to their comfortable design and form.