Maybe you’ve seen it in your sister or your mother's bag and you wonder what it's for. Well, it's called a sanitary napkin!
The time will come when your body goes through changes. This is called puberty, and with this comes the beginning of menstruation. We use sanitary napkins when we menstruate. But before we get into how they are used let’s revisit what happens during menstruation.
Menstruation is part of what we call the menstrual cycle, a monthly occurrence that happens to prepare our bodies for pregnancy. It goes like this:
1). Days 1-7: The menstrual cycle starts when your uterus discharges its lining. Your body releases this in the form of blood through your vagina. This is called menstruation and it occurs for several days, depending on each woman. This is when we use a sanitary napkin, to absorb the blood.
2). Days 7-14: This is when ovulation starts. Your ovaries prepare to create an egg. In the meantime, your uterus also starts to create new lining.
3). Days 14-17: Here, your ovaries release the egg, and it makes its way to your uterus. This is the time when you are most fertile. Use contraceptives when having sex if you’re not ready to get pregnant – and to avoid sexually transmitted infections.
4). Days 17-25: The egg continues to travel along the uterus. If it is not fertilized, it will break apart and be released from the body.
5). Day 25: Your body will discharge the lining from your uterus, and your menstrual cycle begins anew.
Amazing, right? So that's what usually happens during menstruation. However not everyone’s menstrual cycle will follow this exact pattern. Periods are usually irregular when you first start, and that’s totally normal!
Now we know what sanitary napkins are for. Here are some added tips when using sanitary napkins:
a). Make sure the napkin is new and sealed, to ensure that it's safe and clean.
b). Take out the plastic strips of the napkin before placing it on your panty, to use the stickers behind it. The stickers secure the napkin to your underwear. Or else it might move or fall out.
c). There are different kinds of napkin, depending on your budget and needs. Choose the one that fits you best.
d). Change the napkin when it is full, or after six hours. Dispose of it properly, so you're always fresh and clean!