Research carried out by Winalite International between 2009 and 2013 shows that 62 per cent of women get infections because of poor-quality menstrual pads.
However, this is attributed to the fact that in an ordinary sanitary pad, 107 infection-causing bacteria can grow and multiply within 1mm square after only two hours of continuous wetness. Menstrual pads can be reusable or disposable; so, whatever your preference, a woman should consider general health and hygiene maintenance, to avoid likely infections.
According to the health study by Winalite, who make Win Care sanitary pads, most women suffer during their periods from infections such as bacteria vaginitis, vaginal yeast and trichomoniasis. Sanitary pads harbour bacteria as they are not sterilised products. However, most sanitary pads are made or bleached with chlorine compounds that contain organ chlorine dioxin and over-exposure to the dioxins causes an infection to the uterine lining.
Dr Eminton Odongo, a senior consultant and gynaecologist at Lacor hospital in Gulu, explains that all pads are good but infections depend on individual hygiene.
“If you do not change your pad after some hours, it means that blood will feed the bacteria, causing them to multiply [and lead] to infections,” said Odongo.
A representative from Winalite International emphasised that before you purchase sanitary pads, note the expiry date because expired pads are dangerous just as any other expired goods. Go for pads that stick to the panty, but the glue used should be natural. Artificial glue on sanitary pads contains chemicals which can stick to one’s knickers, leading to infections.
A healthy pad should be well-aerated to eliminate bad odour and control temperature since menstrual flow usually comes with high body temperatures. It should be dioxin-free to strengthen immune system detoxifiers, since chlorine can be harmful to human life.
Good sanitary pads should be favourable to all skin types including sensitive skin, to prevent inflammation which can result into bacterial infection. Some women develop sores and inflammation around their private parts during and after their menstrual period; blame this on your choice of pads.
Above all, regardless of the strength of your blood flow, doctors advise that a woman should use at least three pads a day.