Hard-hitting photographs by lensman Niraj Gera on menstrual hygiene and the associated social stigma are on view at the Lalit Kala Akademi here.
Gera, who had previously done a photographic series called “Sacred Transformations” on acid attack survivors, is now exhibiting another 35-photo series ‘Sacred Stains’ that touches upon various aspects of menstruation.
The photographs showcase the sorrows, problems,and joys related to periods and are a voice of women who lack privacy, safety and dignity they deserve during their periods.
Highlights of the exhibition include photographs showing unsafe methods of absorbing menstrual blood — ash, sawdust, leaves and even sand, and how women juggle an often painful biological process along with battling shame around blood stains and buying sanitary products.
Use menstrual cups, biodegradable sanitary napkins or organic tampons to ensure you are environment-friendly during menstruation, suggest experts.
Anupriya Kapur, Founder, Imbue and Deep Bajaj, Founder of PeeBuddy and Sirona, have shared some tips that can help you remain hygienic during periods.
* Biodegradable sanitary napkins: Use biodegradable or cotton sanitary napkins or tampons during menstruation. They are good for your skin and lessen the itchy feeling and rashes.
* Switch to a sustainable eco-friendly menstrual hygiene products like a menstrual cup or organic tampons. If not comfortable with inserting the product up your vagina, try reusable panties/cloth pads.
* Don’t dispose your sanitary waste in plastic bags. Instead, wrap it in bio-degradable paper or use Oxo-degradable sanitary disposal bags.
For your own hygiene:
* Switch to cotton underwear: Cotton is a breathable material and absorbs moisture. Try to restrict the number of hours spent in a lacey or satin underwear.
* Get out of sweaty clothes: Wet or damp clothes multiply the risk of bacterial infection in the intimate area. Take a shower and change into fresh and dry clothing post gym/working out or post any form of physical activity. If you can’t shower after swimming or working out, at least change out of your bathing suit or sweaty clothes.
* Don’t forget to change your pad and tampon: With the invention of high-absorbency pads and tampons, it’s easy to forget how important it is to change them regularly. But it’s important to change pad or tampons every three-four hours.
* No scented products: Douching is a practice of cleaning the vagina from inside which is unnecessary. You don’t need to spray water or any chemicals inside to clean it. However, the external genital area/vulva requires gentle care. Use natural, scent free products, and stay away from anything which promises to make your vagina smell like a bed of roses.
* Never use two pads simultaneously: Some women who experience heavy flow, tend to use two sanitary pads at one go to control the flow and prevent staining of clothes. This, however, is a bad idea as it can cause infections in the vaginal region. Stick to one and keep changing it often if the flow is more. (IANS)