Exploring the salient factors influencing menstrual health and hygiene: a review
Keywords:Menstruation, Menstrual hygiene, Menstrual health, Women, Taboo, Dysmenorrhoea
Menstruation is a process that induces a series of hormonal and structural changes in the female reproductive system to foster pregnancy. Pre-menstrual syndromes usually occur 5-7 days before a menstrual period with altered levels of estrogen, progesterone, and serotonin at the beginning of the cycle as well as ovarian steroids that modulate cognitive activity. Around 150 known symptoms of PMS may be experienced in women during menstruation varying from cramps, mood swings, breast soreness, bloating, acne, food cravings, excessive thirst and fatigue, influencing the quotidian routine of women. About 3–8% of women experience more drastic problems like premenstrual dysphoric disorder. Even though half of the global female population is of reproductive age, menstruation is still one of the most stigmatized topics from a societal perspective. Lack of proper awareness about menstruation and the factors affecting it may precipitate misconceptions or discrimination, leading to physical health risks, hence preventing the development of public health habits. This article aims to explore the probable complementary or contrary factors influencing the cycle of a woman that may help to safeguard her health without any stress, menstrual shame or barriers to information during menstruation which is a fundamental issue of human rights, dignity and public health.
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