Expert Tips to Cope with Menstruation During Summer | Health

According to some studies, the menstrual cycle is affected by the sun and there is a link between vitamin D exposure and increased production of follicular stimulating hormone (FSH), which leads to high ovarian activity that can cause frequent and long periods. Heat in summer causes tiredness, fatigue and dehydration and these hormonal changes can be accompanied by bloating, water retention and mood disturbances which can make periods before and during periods exhausting and difficult to cope with.

Expert Tips for Coping With Your Period During Summer (Photo by Kinga Howard on Unsplash)
Expert Tips for Coping With Your Period During Summer (Photo by Kinga Howard on Unsplash)

As the weather heats up during the summer months, many women experience increased discomfort during their periods but there are many ways to deal with these discomforts and make the most of the summer weather. Dr Priyanka Chauhan Garg, Obstetrics and Gynaecologist, Consultant, Dehradun-based Max Healthcare, said, “Menstruation is more uncomfortable in summer than in winter. Women smell more during menstruation in summer. That time of the month requires more hydration and a healthy diet. Therefore, women should consume more liquids and liquid-mixed foods such as soups and juices during this time. It also causes urinary tract infections, which are very common at this time. Food with salty snacks and fried foods should be avoided.

She suggested, “Heavy exercises including weight lifting should be avoided. However, easy aerobic exercise and yoga can be done during this time. Personal hygiene should be maintained properly. The frequency of changing sanitary pads should be known. In summer, all women should change sanitary pads at least every 3-4 hours during the day. It reduces excessive sweating and pad induced blemishes, which are very common in summer. Private areas should be washed each time the toilet is used. Always wipe from front to back direction. Bathing twice during menstruation is not a bad idea to maintain cleanliness and hygiene in summer.”

He stressed, “No chemical vaginal washes should be used. All underwear should be washed thoroughly and dried in the sun. Women should always wear comfortable, loose-fitting cotton clothing and undergarments or clothing of breathable fabric, which allows air and excess sweat and odors to escape.” Anger and mood swings are often seen and experienced by many during menstruation, which increases during summer. So it is our duty to promote a comfortable environment and emotional support to women’s family members and colleagues. Stay healthy and fit!”

Dr. Nivedita Jha, Consultant – Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Koramangala, Apollo Cradle and Children’s Hospital, Bengaluru, advises what you can do to manage your periods well:

1. Hydration is key – Drink plenty of water and other fluids even if you are busy with your work. Setting reminders to drink water can be a good idea.

2. Avoid caffeinated drinks and alcohol – Alcohol and caffeine are known to cause dehydration, and sleep disturbances, and can cause headaches and bloating.

3. Eat clean, fresh food – Seasonal fruits and fresh vegetables should be a priority on your plate. Avoid very salty, spicy, canned and preserved food

4. Sleeping Routine – Maintain a healthy sleep routine. Taking a shower, and avoiding electronic devices for 2 hours before bed can help women who struggle with sleep.

5. Don’t forget your exercise – Consider light stretches and swimming as extreme heat in the climate can disrupt your normal fitness schedule.

He emphasized on taking extra precautions during summer season when heat and sweat can increase the coldness of the vulva and vagina leading to rash and infection and suggested the following tips for good personal hygiene and prevention of infection in summer:

* Change your pad every four hours

* Use biodegradable sanitary napkins

* Use a menstrual cup

* Keep your vaginal area clean. Don’t hesitate to change undergarments frequently

* Wear comfortable loose cotton underwear

* Avoid tight clothing

* If you suspect any kind of rash or infection on or near your genitals, do not ignore it and see your gynecologist.

The health expert highlighted, “Irregular periods, painful periods, vaginal and vulva itching and rashes, mood swings and other premenstrual symptoms are more common in women during summer. These problems often subside as the weather changes and the environment itself cools. If the usual measures do not help or alleviate the problem, see a gynecologist for examination and further advice.

Bringing his expertise to the same, Senior Obstetrician and Gynecologist Dr. Kamineni Hospital, Hyderabad. Prasannalatha said, “First of all, it’s important to stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of water and fluids can help prevent dehydration, which can exacerbate menstrual symptoms such as cramps and headaches. Additionally, staying cool and comfortable can also help alleviate these symptoms. Wearing light, breathable clothing and avoiding tight clothing can help prevent overheating and discomfort. Exercising during menstruation can also be beneficial, as it can improve mood and reduce cramps. However, it is important to listen to your body during this time and avoid overexertion. Yoga, swimming and walking are all great low-impact exercises to do during menstruation.”

She recommends, “It’s also important to maintain a healthy diet during pregnancy, as certain foods can exacerbate symptoms. Plenty of fruits and vegetables, as well as lean protein and whole grains, can help keep energy levels up and reduce discomfort. Avoid high calorie diet, sugary and fatty foods. In addition to these tips, it’s important to have open communication with your healthcare provider about any concerns or questions you may have about your menstrual cycle. They can provide guidance and support to help make your period as smooth as possible. Overall, with the right strategies and support, women can manage their periods during the summer months and enjoy all that the season has to offer.”

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