Unlike what we have been made to believe, periods are not dirty. However we do need extra hygiene measures during the days of menstruation to stay healthy and feel good.
There are many ways to absorb the blood during your period days.
Sanitary Towels/pads : These are pads made of absorbent material which are placed in the underwear to soak the blood. It is best to change them regularly and avoid using the same pad for more than 3-4 hours.
Tampons : This is a small mass of absorbent material which can be inserted into the vagina to absorb the menstrual flow. You can use tampons at any age after you have started your period. They can be inserted with an applicator or your fingers. THey are most useful if you want to go swimming while you are on your period. They come in many sizes and u can choose depending on your flow. But remember to change them frequently ( every 4-6 hours) and do not use a larger size on less flow days as it can lead to a serious condition called Toxic shock syndrome. Also The FDA advises not to use the tampons overnight.
You may even use tampons on the heavy flow days or for swimming and pads on other days.
Another alternative is a menstrual cup. This is a device made from soft silicone. It is about 2 inches long and reusable. You can place it in the vagina during your periods to collect the menstrual blood. You can then remove and wash it every 6-8 hours and reinsert it.
Whatever method of sanitation you use, it is important to change it regularly. Having daily baths and using special washes to wash the vagina even during your period will help keep you feeling fresh.
It is absolutely fine to have sex during your periods. The only thing to remember is that although chances of an unwanted pregnancy are minimal, you are still at risk of sexually transmitted infections ( maybe even at a higher risk) during your period, so try and use protection.
Do read up the post about abnormal periods and if you have any other queries, send them to drnehagami(at)gmail.com