PMS and hygiene for teenage girls – staying clean during and after

Dr. Archana Dubey- Best Gynaecologist near me

Author: Dr. Archana Dubey, MBBS, MS (OBG)

Consultant – Gynecologist, Infertility and Laparoscopy at Motherhood Hospitals, Indore

Dr. Archana Dubey- Best Gynaecologist near me


When a teenage girl enters puberty, her body goes through several changes both physical and biological. This includes significant changes to the reproductive system which also marks the beginning of her monthly menstrual cycles, to continue till the woman reaches her 50s and menopause. This is also a phase of excitement and confusion for the girl who has stepped into womanhood. She is experiencing a lot of things, has a lot of questions and is too shy to ask someone. While the mother does answer a few, a lot more remain a mystery, waiting for her to discover by herself. Friends and the internet are another source.

What are periods?

A girl child will go through several changes once she reaches puberty, and the most significant milestone in her life is her first period. Periods are an integral part of the menstrual cycle that occur because of changing hormone levels in the ovaries, which influence the uterus. 

The following changes happen during a menstrual cycle:

  • The ovaries produce the hormone oestrogen in cysts or sacs called follicles. This stimulates the follicles to produce eggs. Usually, a single egg matures and this is let out after which the ovaries produce progesterone, another hormone.
  • This egg travels from the ovary through the fallopian tube towards the uterus.
  • The hormones oestrogen and progesterone activate the uterus to create a lining to receive and implant a fertilised egg.
  • In case the egg is not fertilised, there will be a drop in hormone levels which results in the lining of the uterus, consisting of blood and other tissue, being discharged through the vagina – this step is referred to as period.

For most young women, their first periods start between the ages of 11 and 14, but the beginning of a period anywhere between 9-16 years is normal.

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) and hygiene

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) is what the girl experiences in her body and her mood before or during her periods. It is usually very intense for 4 days before her period and tapers down 2-3 days after her period begins. Hygiene is a very important aspect that teenage girls need to learn and practice as they enter womanhood. Here are a few important things they need to know.

Choosing between pads, tampons and menstrual cups

Children must discuss this with their mothers or doctors, or at school with counselors. They must learn of the advantages and disadvantages of the various options available for them to use during their periods such as sanitary pads, tampons or menstrual cups. It is important to know what pads, tampons, period-proof underpants, and sanitary cups look like and how to use and dispose them, and also how to use and clean a menstrual cup. It is better for the child to start with period-proof underpants or pads before she goes on to try menstrual cups or tampons. A good thing would be for the child to practice using a tampon or a menstrual cup between periods, by inserting and removing them.

Pads, tampons, period-proof underpants or menstrual cups – how many would be needed

A child will need about 3-6 sanitary pads or tampons a day, although fewer may be necessary when the flow is lighter. Pads or pads with wings could also be used.

1 to 2 period-proof underpants could be needed each day although this depends on how heavy the bleeding is. These underpants must be washed and dried between each use so one may need about 2 to 3 pairs.

Home-made cloth pads carry the risk of infections including severe white discharge, smelly discharge, burning, etc. If these are being used, they have to be washed thoroughly and dried before they are ready for use again.

If using a tampon, one cannot be used for more than 4 hours. It has to be replaced and the used one disposed, by wrapping it in a piece of paper.

Scented products must be avoided for genital hygiene

Best Gynaecologist Motherhood Hospitals, Indore
  The PMS impact and managing it During PMS, the girl might go through sadness, mood swings, crankiness, fatigue, anxiety, irritation, food cravings, bloating, backache, pimples, diarrhoea, sore breasts or other kinds of discomfort. For food cravings a balanced diet consisting of fresh fruit and vegetables is recommended. To reduce bloating, practice a low salt diet.
  • To reduce anxiety, it is good to avoid caffeine and get plenty of exercise
  • For sore breasts, backache, and headache a warm heating pad could be used or a pain killer (only if necessary).
  • Yoga helps in keeping the mind calm and the body flexible
During the period, particularly in the first few hours, many girls experience severe cramps, caused by prostaglandin, a chemical that contracts the muscle in the uterus. A warm pad or a pain killer can alleviate the situation (it is better to manage naturally unless it is imperative or pain killers could become a habit). Post their first period, most girls settle into a regular cycle and are able to manage their symptoms at home. It is advisable to have a healthy diet, sleep cycle, and an exercise routine. It is advised to rest well during periods and keep active so the monthly cycle can be managed well over time. However in case you are not able to manage the symptoms or are experiencing any other discomfort, it is best to contact your family doctor or a gynaecologist for advice. At Motherhood Hospitals, we have a team of excellent doctors and super specialists specialising in women and children care. Do take an appointment with our doctor at any centre close to you and discuss your PMS related issues with her. You are assured of sound advice to help you/ your child manage the condition effectively and lead an active life. At Motherhood Hospitals, we deliver exceptional healthcare services to women and children with highest standard of care and competence. book your appointment with Dr. Archana Dubey, for all the Gynaecological issues.

Sports injuries in children: Should we be concerned?

By Dr. Shilpi Srivastava, Consultant Physiotherapits, Lactation Expert and Child birth educator, Motherhood Hospital, Noida

Eight-year-old Suresh is enthusiastic about sports and he is so passionate about it that he even doesnŸ??t want to give a break to it if he is sick or met with some injury. Since he doesnŸ??t take adequate rest after meeting such injuries, his body has become prone to wounds and sprain. The health experts even suggest that the tender bones and tissues of children are often subjected to some kind of injuries when they play without taking proper precaution and donŸ??t rest after having a muscle pull or sprain.

Even a report from Centres from Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that more than 2.6 million children from 0-19 years old are treated in the emergency department each year for sports and recreation-related injuries. Some sports, which require frequent contact, are more dangerous than others. Contact sports such as football or basketball can be expected to result in a higher number of injuries like sprains and strains than a noncontact sport such as swimming. All kinds of sports can result in an injury either from the trauma of contact with the other players or from overuse or misuse of a body part.    

Most frequently occurring injuries

The most common injuries are muscle-joint sprains, bruises, dislocation and fractures and all these occur at frequent injured areas of the body Ÿ?? knee, ankle and shoulder joints. These injuries are short-lived and can be recovered within 10-15 days. According to the experts, only 4 in 10,000 injuries are that severe, which results in quitting sports. 

In all these injuries, diagnosis and care play an utmost pivotal role. Since children have soft tissues and bones unlike adults, their X-ray or MRI reports should be carefully evaluated by the pediatric orthopedic or radiation specialists familiar with such kind of reports. Even parents, doctors and faculty members should be cautious enough to give a good-enough time to the kid to resume sports. Unlike movies, they should be refrained from participating in any kind of sports competition during the treatment procedure.

Treatment of sports injury

The treatment of such injuries depends on how badly the kid is hurt. Here are some of the options your doctor may give you:

First aid: If the injury is minor, the kid may only need to put ice on your knee, elevate  his leg, and stay off his feet for a while. He can reduce swelling by wrapping an ace bandage around his knee. Crutches can help to keep weight off his knee.

Medications: Anti-inflammatory drugs can help to reduce swelling and pain. The doctor may suggest over-the-counter medications or prescribe something stronger.

Physical therapy: The child may need this a few days a week to get his knee back in working order. During these sessions, he will do exercises to strengthen the muscles around his knee that will help him regain a full range of motion. He may be sent home with exercise to do on your own.

Surgery: The doctor may tell you that you need this if your ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) is torn badly. A surgeon will remove the damaged ACL and replace it with tissue to help a new ligament grow in its place. With physical therapy, kids who have surgery can often play sports again within 12 months.

Key Prevention Tips

Take proper time to heal completely

In general, an injury takes 12 to 16 weeks to be fully healed. But mostly, children start feeling better after a span of four weeks or so. And, they often get back to sports. This practice can have serious repercussion on bone health and might lead to disability. So, one should take full prescribed time for resting.

Always wear protective gears

Parents or teachers should create awareness among kids about the importance of wearing right protective gears such as elbow and knee pads, helmets, wrist guards for their activities.  Also ensure that all the protective gears are in right condition.  For example, avoid wearing such gears which have missing or broken buckles or compressed or worn padding. Poorly fitting equipment may be uncomfortable and also does not offer the best protection.

Warm up is the key

Before playing any sports, a kid should devote 20 minutes of his/her time in stretching the muscles, side shuffling and warming up.  They help in activating muscles and reducing injuries during the sport.

Stay Hydrated

To avoid heat-related injuries or illness, give some time to the child athletes to get their body gradually adjust to the weather conditions. Parents and coaches should make sure that players are hydrated well. Injuries occur when a child is not hydrated or rested well.

Follow the guidelines

Ensure that your childŸ??s sports program or school has an action plan that includes information on how to teach athletes ways to lower their chances of getting a concussion and other injuries. Get more concussion safety tips

Love and Limits?? Parenting playfully

Discipline and Freedom: What’s the correlation between these two powerful words? Discipline is taken up as a serious business by some parents, they curb their child’s freedom to choose or act. But as they say, freedom brings in opportunities to learn likewise disciplining needs to bring in the freedom to think and choose. Our goal as a parent is to teach the child all about inner discipline or ‘self-discipline (Thoughts, feelings and choices) which takes a while for the child to learn and absorb. This inner discipline comes from a high sense of principles or values, understanding and conscience rather than the use of punishment, which uses scale or stick, shame, humiliation or even isolation.

Self-discipline is internalizing responsible actions and respect for others, the environment, and oneself. Discipline shouldn’t be about forcing a child to do something against his or her will, scaring the child into compliance or causing physical or emotional pain. Instead, validate the child’s feelings, empathize with his or her experience or pain, remove the stressor, point out the needs and feelings of others, encourage restitutions, help the child brainstorm alternative forms of actions and allow freedom of choice.

It starts with parents feeling the lack of freedom, stressing and focusing more on the role they play. However, grandparents are a lot more relaxed and experimental.They enjoy freedom, explore and bond with children a lot more, because their focus is on relationship and not responsibilities. A child feels empowered when given a chance to explore, play and feel free An essential element to grow. Our nature wants us to be free, try everything, taste everything and do everything.

Need for a paradigm shift

Parents often see uncooperative behavior as a challenge to their authority. Once we understand that uncooperative behavior may be the communication of a child’s unmet need, a hurt or any unpleasant emotion or stress, then we do not have to take the behavior, personally. A child behaves in a certain way, either in a new situation or a recurring one, because he does not know the accepted way. Using commands and threats may work immediately, but sustainability comes when such situations are dealt with love, respect, compassion, freedom and positive reinforcements. 

A child needs love the most, when we think he doesn’t deserve it.

Give your child the freedom to choose his outfit for the day, lunch for school, choose how to spend his time, play or do homework. Simple questions like these make a child feel important, involved and most importantly, valued. This freedom may require you to set limits, simple rules and directions towards acceptable and unacceptable behavior, as a family. Explain these to your child in a way that makes sense to him and most importantly benefits him, which is undoubtedly a skill for a parent to learn. Talking about positive and negative consequences helps the child connect his actions to the outcomes and eventually helps him understand the concept of cause and effect. He is then empowered to think through and predict the possible consequences before he acts.

You may have to set this new pattern, reinforce and remind your child till he is ready to accept it, with love being the key. This takes time, but the only way we learn to make responsible decisions is through practice, which comes with trial and error. And it is through freedom and practice that the child learns how to discipline himself and how to be a responsible person. He identifies feelings and develops his inner compass for what is right and wrong.

The idea is to help children develop a conscience through a strong, connected parent child relationship, allowing them to feel secured, confident and teaches them how to reconcile their mistakes. We teach best by being the example. Define love as a culture, use respect as a tool and hold compassion as the attitude to teach your child the essential lessons of behavior.

Are you a working Mom?

If you are a working woman and you happen to be expecting, it is important for you to apply for your maternity leave. The Maternity Act of 1961 under the Indian Constitution lays down the maternity rights for women across all the industries ranging from industrial to agricultural. Any woman who is entitled to a salary from her employer is entitled to this maternity leave under this act.

Maternity leave is important for every expecting mother. However, in many cases there are demanding situations which require her to work in order for her to pay her bills and take care of her household. For instance, women who work as nurses, waitresses or teachers do not get the liberty to work from home because such is the nature of their jobs. They do not have the option of working through e-mails also. Thus, they end up returning back to their jobs as quickly as possible because they have bills to take care of and cannot afford to lose their jobs.

Research claims that it is extremely of high importance that a woman, while she is pregnant must take enough maternity leave to ensure good health for her baby and herself. During pregnancy, it is important for her to take adequate rest, eat healthy and remain stress free. And when women work during pregnancy, they are naturally inviting work stress and an imbalance in their work-life. Maintaining a work-life balance is of utmost importance in a working womanŸ??s life. This escalates to a higher importance during pregnancy. Few women give more importance to their work and tend to ignore matters related to their health.

Once you become a mother, your responsibilities are doubled and you need to make greater efforts to maintain a healthy work-life balance. It has been observed that women with short maternity leave tend to fall prey to negative outcomes in terms of health, stress and the babyŸ??s health. And it has been observed that women with two or three month old infants, working full-time reported higher levels of stress, depression and poor health conditions when compared to women who stay at home during their pregnancy, and for a while post-pregnancy. Not only does it affect the mothers, it has an adverse effect on the children also. Conditions like clinical depression, anxiety and psychological distress might sustain in your childŸ??s life.

In many cases, the issue is not about the expecting mother taking maternity leave, it is about the employers who are whiny about giving adequate maternity leave. Hence, the real problem comes down to how many days you can take off under maternity leave. It is all about the time you devote towards your motherhood and towards your baby once you deliver. Being a mom is not easy, especially a working mom. It has its own set of challenges to overcome. The key to this challenge lies in smart maintenance of work-life balance.



Making motherhood a blissful experience,Motherhood Indiranagar

Women require unique and specialised health care in every stage of life; some for themselves and some for their children. With a view to providing women in Bangalore a healthcare facility close to home,Motherhood, Bangalore inaugurated the new wing of their Indiranagar facility on 14th November 2013.

The facility known as the Advanced Women & Child Healthcare Centre is equipped with ultra-modern medical facilities to provide comprehensive care in Gynaecology, Neonatology and Paediatrics. The centre was inaugurated by Mr. U.T. Khader, Honourable Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Govt. of Karnataka.

While most pregnancies progress without any problems, some require specialized care. Motherhood has partnered with leading experts in fetal medicine, The Bangalore Fetal Medicine Center (BFMC) to give this expert care to the unborn baby primary care while it is still in the womb, making it possible to diagnose and manage genetic and other abnormalities in the fetus. Fetal medicine specialists, sonologists and emotional counsellors provide the most advanced treatment and care.

Motherhoodhas also partnered with Kosmoderma Skin Clinics &MedispaŸ??s, a leading skin, hair and laser clinic in South India.MotherhoodŸ??s Ÿ??Mommy MakeoverŸ? for new mothers provides customised cosmetology services to women before, during and after pregnancy.The Ÿ??Mommy MakeoverŸ? program includes, Anti-stretch Mark Treatment for body, Post Delivery Tummy Toning, etc.

We recognise that the health of women and children is very essential in building a self-reliant, healthy, stable and confident community. Our healthcare centre functions with the assistance of world-class expertise and technology, coupled with compassion and a home-like setting.