Period Myths 2: Disposal of Sanitary Napkins

There are so many fears and stigmas attached to menstruation and everything associated with it including sanitary napkins. So many households have certain long procedures regarding disposal of sanitary napkins which are plain annoying.

SJ once told me of a time, when she had bad cramps and could barely stand and was stuck at work for two hours before heading to her nearest relatives place for rest. When she wanted to discard her used napkin in the dustbin, her cousin did not let her and made her walk 2 kilometers in the hot sun with cramps just to throw it away near some dump which was more unhygienic and it was near some water source!!

I remember once when I was staying over at a family friends place, and I wanted to discard mine, the lady was uncomfortable with me throwing it in the dustbin and the trash bag in the house as the maids had already taken out the trash for the day. She made me throw the used napkin from the terrace to the space between the nearby flats and I never felt so irritated and swore never to stay at her place again. Wasn’t it more hygienic to keep it in the dustbin covered and throw it in the dump the next day?

I found that in a lot of places I have studied in India, do not have dustbins in the toilets at all.

Have you ever had such problems with disposal of napkins anywhere?

Read more articles in this series here.

6 thoughts on “Period Myths 2: Disposal of Sanitary Napkins

  1. If its covered up properly and thrown in the dustbin I don’t see what the problem is! And its much more hygienic to dispose it off properly than simply throwing it in the dump where stray dogs get to it!
    My neighbor used to walk to the dump and throw and she used to do it like 5-6 times in a day!! Sigh!
    She used to bend her head and walk to the dump.. I used to feel so bad for her.. :-/

  2. For hygienic issues I understand it should be wrapped with newspaper and then throw it in some garbage bin…I would have done the same for used bandages and cotton.

    But yes this keeping it out of household dust-bin is there in many households…..when I had my period just a day after my marriage my MIL got a panic attack…she had two sons & due to some medical surgery she never had periods after her younger son was born (25 years)…she was clueless how to dispose that but was adamant that I should not throw it in common dust bin which the garbage man clears every morning…so i was asked to pile them and the wrap them and throw them to locality dustbin ….(100 mts away) and as a newly wed i cannot go there alone so we used to take the ‘wrapped’ stuffs while we went for various invitations post marriage!!!!! I never visited my inlaws during my periods after that!! Now sounds funny though but it was really irritating that time.

    1. I agree, women with sons and no daughters are more clueless and their houses are more inconvenient for these matters. Periods are normal. If we stigmatize it so much, would it be considered okay if we we never got it?

  3. What is the problem if you cover it in a newspaper and throw it in a bin? Walking 2 km to a dump, honestly! This is sooo ridiculous!
    But there is another thing! I know some girls in hostels and Pgs jus keep them on window sill or even leave it like that… And when confronted, they were like ‘we all forget, haven’t you’.
    Well, I think there is no excuse for that. Its jus as bad as forgetting to flush the toilet after use.

    1. I know, that can be seriously irritating. I have been to camps where I have seen people throw the used ones out in the grounds near the bathrooms without even wrapping them. That is unhygienic.
      The thing is people are not so strict when it is bleeding from say injuries and accidents. Do you make people, especially men throw away their used bandages and everything else after walking 2 kilometers right? Then why only women?

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