Pads, Tampons, Menstrual Cups – What to use?

Long time ago cloth was the only option for women to handle periods. Those clothes were of fannel or woven, but bacterial growth was on its peak because of inadequate cleaning , this gave rise to the “hygiene” market, Now there are a number of products in market like pads, tampons, Menstrual Cups!

You are confused what to use? Here are period products that will inform you well that how useful are they and what is the best for you.

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1. Sanitary Pads:

Sanitary pads  are the most popular product in Pakistan, We always consider pads on tampons and menstrual cups. We feel safe to use it on periods. These pad are available in all different lengths are absorbency levels.

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Pros of Sanitary pads:

  • Easy to use:

As said before pads are always easy to use. It is thin and it simply sticks to the underwear. They are also made of disposable materials you use them once and throw them away.

  • Fewer health risks:

Pads are external products so the risks are fewer. The very few hours changing lower the risks of virginal infections.

  • Less stains:

Pads are extremely absorbent and the right length covers the majority of your underwear which lessens the risk of leakage and stains.

Cons of Sanitary Pads:

  • Do not hold on much:

Well pads are good absorvants but women with heavy flows have to change every two hours which is quite cumbersome.

  • Limited Activities:

Pads don’t allow you to do tasks like exercising, sports or swimming. It makes you reserved with your movement otherwise the position of the pad will change and cause leakage.

  • Non-Eco Friendly:

Sanitary pads are non-ecofriendly they add to the unhealthy environment. It contains chemical that are a threat to the environment. Sanitary pads take around 500-800 years to decompose. There are 1.9 billion people in the world who bleed and will on average, for 65 days a year. It causes loss of soil fertility and groundwater pollution.

2. Tampons:

Tampons are the most popular product in US, in Pakistan tampon have not gained much popularity because there is a misconception that tampons take your virginity but this is just a myth. A few people in Pakistan use tampons.

Tampons are made of rayon and cotton, are soft and absorbent, available in different sizes and absorbency levels.

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Pros of Tampons:

  • Comfortable:

Tampons are very comfortable, once you insert them, you hardly feel them. There are a  number of activities you can do wearing them which you are restricted to do while while wearing sanitary pads. You can swim, be sportious and completely feel comfortable, There will be no feeling of leakage.

  • More Hygienic:

When it comes to hygiene, tampons are far more better than pads. They keep the irritational and the wet feeling at bay, because the menstrual blood doesn’t come in contact with the skin. Which lessens the risk of bacteria.

  • Long lasting:

Tampons are great absorbants, they can last long for 4 to 8 hours without any constant check or change, but keep that in mind that don’t let it stay in for 8 or more than 8, change it after 6 hours to prevent from infections.

Cons of tampons:

  • Tricky to insert:

Tampons can be really tricky to insert. If interested wrong it might feel uncomfortable, but if inserted following the instructions it will  become easier. Now tampons also come with applicators with applicators and you just need a touch to make the process way more easier.

  • Size of confusion:

Tampons are of various sizes and as it is for internal use it quite tricky to choose a size for yourself. If a tampon is too small for you it can be easily pushed out, if its too big for you it will be dry to take out, which is not good at all, it will go rough on your skin. So it can be a little tricky to find a appropriate size for yourself.

  • Risk of Infection:

Tampons are very absorbant and they can accumulate a lot of blood and they can last long, if not changed and kept for a long time that blood could become the medium of bacteria to grow and which could cause infection. So go for lower absorbant tampons or change after every 4 to 6 hours.

3. Menstrual Cups:

Menstrual cup is a feminine hygiene product, small flexible and funnel – shaped cup made of rubber or silicone. It is used to collect the menstrual blood it doesn’t absorb.

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Pros of Menstrual Cups:

  • Eco-friendly:

As told before menstrual cups are made of rubber and silicone which means it can be reused. It can be used for up to 10 years. They are chemical free and don’t contribute more waste to the environment, and is a long term investment, is much more cheap then pads or tampons.

  • No risk for Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS):

Because menstrual cups collect rather than absorb blood, so there is no risk of getting toxic shock syndrome (TSS), it is hygiene friendly.

  • Worn for long:

Changing a tampon or pad every few hours is agonizing. Menstrual cups can hold up for 12 hours. It can stay in there for long without any worry as compared to tampons or pads.

Cons of Menstrual Cups:

  • Difficulty in inserting and removing:

The biggest flaw of menstrual cup is their insertion and removal. You may find it difficult to get the right fold of the menstrual cup. Or you may have a hard time pinching the base to pull the cup down and out. It requires some practice, not easy for beginners.

  • Removal can be messy:

Pads and tampons are much more easy to remove. Pads allow a pull and tampons allows a string to remove but menstrual cups allow your fingers. It makes the process a little awkward and difficult to remove your cup. That means you may not be able to avoid spills during the process.

  • Right fit:

Not one size of menstrual cup fits all , means you have to try out a few brands before finding the perfect one for you and your vagina.

Fatima Ali

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