· By Annette Osmeña
Menstrual Health in the Midst of COVID-19 Pandemic
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, menstrual health issues get overshadowed. You might think that it is not an immediate health concern, but this is often the reason why conditions get worse even before they are detected. It is easy to be afraid of going near hospitals in the fear of contracting COVID-19. There are some home remedies to help you get through some common menstrual health problems. Let’s find out about Menstrual Health in the Midst of COVID-19 Pandemic.
Why is menstrual health important?
By taking care of our menstrual health, and paying attention to what goes on in our bodies, us women can better connect with our inner selves. Changes in your regular menstrual cycle can often indicate pregnancy, stress, or an underlying health problem. Going to the doctor is your best bet to know what is causing it. Enough knowledge about menstrual health can help you understand menstrual disorders better and some ways to alleviate the discomfort.
Ideal products for your red days amid this COVID-19 pandemic
In this stressful time of the pandemic, using the right feminine products can benefit your overall menstrual health and it can help you go through your red days comfortably. It may also help prevent certain menstrual health problems such as toxic shock syndrome and napkin allergy. Tampons and pads from natural and organic sources are hypoallergenic and comfortable to use. But, during this time of the pandemic with limited time to purchase essential products and delayed deliveries, you may want to stock up on natural and high-quality single-use pantyliners, napkins or tampons.
Amid the pandemic, stores are running out of supplies due to panic buying and delivery delays. This means that even the most essential feminine products can run out of supply in some areas. Reusable menstrual products can be really convenient in this pandemic since it will not require you to step out of your home when you need products for your red days. Just make sure to sanitize your reusable feminine products properly before use.
Menstrual health in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic is very demanding on our healthcare system. Most wards are converted to isolation rooms for COVID-19 patients, some hospitals close down because of the lack of manpower, and many healthcare workers are infected or killed by the virus. For me, this is not the right time to get my menstrual health checked by a doctor. The risk of COVID-19 exposure in a hospital is very high. Pur health systems are already overwhelmed with seriously ill COVID-19 patients, and understandably therefore access to medical health professionals is scarce.
During this time of great stress, the COVID-19 pandemic can make you forget about your menstrual health as you focus on protecting yourself and others from the virus, but tracking and understanding our menstrual health makes it easier to understand what is going on in our bodies.
Common menstrual issues
Menstrual health problems are rarely emergency cases and are easily triggered by stress. But, it can really be painful or uncomfortable for any woman. During this COVID-19 pandemic, most OB-GYN clinics are closed because some can’t provide isolation, protection, or physical distancing to their patients. Luckily, you don’t always need a doctor to go through these menstrual health problems.
Here are some common and less serious menstrual disorders that women may experience:
If you think that you might be experiencing any of the serious menstrual health disorders, you may get in touch with real doctors through DOH Telemedicine hotlines for free (within NCR) or you may also get in touch with a private primary care physician through My Health Clinic online consultation (available nationwide).
First aid for menstrual health problems
You may want to consider trying some first aid or traditional relief to ease your menstrual problem. If you know it is not serious or it is something that you usually experience during your red days. You’ll know that a menstrual problem is serious if symptoms persist after various first aid measures and traditional relief practices. If discomfort doesn’t go away and new symptoms emerge, it is time to get in touch with a doctor. You may consult doctors via phone or online in the comfort of your home, but without performing further tests there is no way to find out the cause of your menstrual problem, though some may be stress-related or an allergic response. If you are having second thoughts on whether to go to a hospital or not, you may try some alternative remedies to ease the discomfort at home.
You might be having menstrual problems due to stress, nutrition, or other health problems. However, you can’t tell for sure if you won’t get checked. Have you ever heard of traditional relief? This is a form of traditional treatment or folk medicine that has been passed on for many generations. Your grandmother may know a thing or two about these.
Warm compress is a common remedy for dysmenorrhea. This is quick and easy to do in the comfort of your home. You just have to apply a warm compress on your lower abdomen to ease menstrual cramps without over-the-counter drugs.
Some natural compounds are known to support menstrual health. They are easy to find in your kitchen or nearby supermarkets. Cinnamon, ginger, chamomile, and evening primrose oil are common herbal remedies for menstrual problems. Aside from being known for many generations, these natural compounds have demonstrated their benefits on human health in many kinds of research.
Proper nutrition for healthy menstruation
Eating healthy and supplementing your nutritional needs can support healthy menstruation. We don’t usually get enough of some nutrients no matter how hard we try. This pandemic just made eating healthy a lot more difficult than we ever imagined. Unknowingly, this might be the reason why your health is not at its best, but this is not your fault so don’t blame yourself.
This COVID-19 pandemic makes it difficult to gain access to fresh and healthy food every day with limited access outdoors and limited time to buy essential goods. Relief goods and food packs may not always contain the essential nutrients that your body needs. In this crisis we are taught to eat what is available, just to survive. But, let’s be honest these aren’t healthy food choices and we know it.
Some foods and beverages are known to interfere with the absorption of some nutrients that are essential for your menstrual health. As a woman, our bodies need more nutrients during certain days of the month for healthy menstruation. Before and during your period, you should avoid caffeine and carbonated drinks as much as possible. Alcoholic drinks should also be avoided for healthy menstruation, but since there is an active liquor ban in most places, you should really avoid it for now.
Nutrients for healthy menstruation
All essential nutrients need to be consumed regularly to maintain overall health. But, for women, our demands for certain nutrients drastically increase as we approach the red days. Despite the pandemic and limited resources, it is important to get these nutrients from food or dietary supplements to support your menstrual cycle. In addition, these nutrients may also support your immune system to help combat the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
The following nutrients may help relieve or prevent common menstrual health problems while supporting your overall health:
Omega 3-fatty acids
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our lives in a snap. This can be stressful for some women which can affect menstrual health. Menstrual health in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic is not given much attention as the healthcare system struggles to keep up with the rising number of COVID-19 patients. For some women, home remedies, the right feminine products, and traditional reliefs are all that they can do for their menstrual health. If you are experiencing menstrual problems, the culprit could be high stress and lack of proper nutrition brought about by this pandemic. There are many natural alternatives to take care of your overall wellness, and communities like Nala are helping women learn more about that. Just starting to learn more is a good step towards better menstrual health.