PETALING JAYA: Menstruation is something women deal with every month.
The crimson wave is enough to make most women cringe, and some may not feel comfortable talking about the topic.
Here are four questions women have about their periods, answered by obstetrician and gynecologist Dr Premitha Damodaran (pic).
Can inserting a tampon or menstrual cup break the hymen?
Yes it can. The hymen is the entrance to the vagina which is a loose distensible piece of flesh. It can be easily broken with the simplest of actions including dancing, splits, horse riding etc. When inserting a tampon or a cup, the hymen can be easily broken.
In this part of the world, an intact hymen is an important personal, cultural and social issue and may constitute one of the main reasons that tampons and menstrual cups have not picked up among teenagers.
Can a menstrual cup ever get stuck or lost once inserted?
A menstrual cup cannot get lost, as the only way out is down. It may fall off unknowingly if not fitted properly and the user panics that it is “lost”.
It can definitely get stuck. This happens in ill-fitted cups which do not conform to the size of the vagina. It also happens more in beginners or in those who are not sexually active or have infrequent sexual activity. Their comfort in placing the cup may be absent and thus the cup is fitted wrongly. Usually this results in spillage rather than in it getting lost.
There are certain positions one can get into to remove the cup. All is not lost in the doctor’s office. The cup can be easily removed.
Are you more prone to infections when using pads or tampons? Why?
I think whether it is tampons or pads, the most important aspect is the frequency of change. When the pads or tampons are filled within three to four hours, women quickly change and put a new one on.
However, when it is not filled up, many tend to leave it on and not change until the pad or tampon is full. This is a bad habit. Pads, panty liners and tampons must always be changed within three hours irrespective of whether they are full or not.
Keeping them on beyond that promotes infection as the old blood coagulates and infections may set in to enter the vagina with prolonged use.