110 chapter 5: Taking care of your body
If you help a woman with her monthly bleeding,
it is best to wear plastic gloves or plastic bags on your
hands to prevent the blood getting on your skin.
Although the chance of diseases passing from one
woman to another during monthly bleeding is very
small, it is a good idea to prevent possible infection
from hepatitis and HIV.
Helping girls who have trouble learning or understanding
If a girl who has trouble understanding needs help with her daily care, an
older sister, aunt, or mother can show her how she takes care of her monthly
• Be sure you use the same kind
of pads or cloth to catch the
blood that the girl will use.
• Show her where the supply of
pads or cloth is kept.
• Show her where the pads or
cloth are thrown out, or how
they are washed if they are to
be used again.
• Put a pad or cloth inside her
underwear so she can “practice”
and get used to wearing it.
• Explain that she may want to
wear dark clothing when she
does start bleeding so there will
be less chance of blood stains
Discomfort with monthly bleeding
During monthly bleeding, the womb contracts (squeezes) in order to push out
the lining. These contractions can cause pain in the lower belly or lower back,
sometimes called cramps. The pain may begin before or just after bleeding starts.
Heat on the belly can help reduce cramps. Fill a bottle or some other container
with hot water and place it on your lower belly or lower back. Or use a thick cloth
soaked in hot water. If heat does not help, you can take a mild pain medicine such
as ibuprofen (see page 345).
Monthly bleeding can also make your muscles sore, or make you feel more tired
than usual. The usual signs of your disability may become worse during monthly
bleeding. Some women find that their breasts get swollen and sore during monthly
bleeding. And some women have emotional feelings that are especially strong or
harder to control.
For more information about monthly bleeding, see page 74.
A Health Handbook for Women with Disabilities 2007