CHADHA, D., 2015. Universalization of sanitary napkin use is not menstrual hygiene management. IN: Shaw, R.J. (ed). Water, sanitation and hygiene services beyond 2015 - Improving access and sustainability: Proceedings of the 38th WEDC International Conference, Loughborough, UK, 27-31 July 2015, 5pp.
Menstruation is a natural biological process, but if it is not properly managed it can lead to various health related problems. It is assumed that the risk of acquiring infection is higher than normal during menstruation but in low income countries girls and women face additional challenges that prevent them from practicing good menstrual hygiene or seeking medical help. They often suffer in silence because discussion on reproductive health issues is considered to be a taboo. Though initial discussion around menstrual education and menstrual hygiene management has begun but still it is often limited to provision of safe and affordable sanitary material to girls in growing age. Universalization of sanitary napkin use will not solely help in menstrual hygiene management and in reducing risk of infection. In fact it may lead to environment degradation because these napkins are mostly non-biodegradable and there is still lack of proper disposal mechanisms.