Women today have a greater awareness and have learned more about their body, its comfort and convenience. This has led to a wide variety of menstrual products being available in the market such as sanitary napkins, tampons, and menstrual cups. You might have used one or more of these and might have a story to tell about your experience with the product. Have you wondered what is the best product out of these menstrual hygiene products for your periods?
Here’s a quick guide weighing out the pros and cons of the three most commonly available products. It will help you be absolutely clear and confident when stacking up your monthly shopping list the next time around.
Sanitary napkins or sanitary pads are thin pads made of absorbent material, mostly cotton. The napkins absorb the period blood that is released from the vagina, making them an external period protection product. Most pads today come with “wings” to give it an extra seal to prevent period blood leaking out from the sides. Sanitary pads tend to feel bulky when they get full and need to be changed at least every three or four hours. They come in different shapes, sizes, and even in reusable cloth forms.
The downside of sanitary pads is that they might move or roll up if not placed correctly on the underwear. This usually happens when we move during sleep or while playing sports. Moreover, in spite of the wing protection, some women end up getting stained panties during their periods, not to mention the irritating itches, burns, and rashes that a menstrual pad can cause. Also, since sanitary pads have to be disposed off after a single use, they aren’t the most environment-friendly hygiene products. Lastly, being single‑use, they are definitely a pinch to your pockets. Reusable cloth pads are considered better because they are cheap, you can keep them all day, and are softer, but they give a moist feeling once soaked and washing them off for reuse is pretty yucky and can also ruin the texture of the pad.
Tampons are cylinder-like soft cotton products that can be easily inserted in your vagina. A tampon absorbs the menstrual flow before the menstrual blood gets a chance to leave the vagina. They are an internal period protection product. Even tampons come in different sizes (absorbency). Some of them also come with applicators to help insert the tampon easily inside the vagina. Typically, tampons can be used for up to 8 hours, which makes them quite convenient. While saying so, there’s always a risk of leaks when you have heavy periods. Also, there is a risk of TSS [Toxic Shock Syndrome] which can even be life threatening.
Recyclable tampons make for a good pick because a regular single-use tampon is neither pocket-friendly nor eco-friendly.
A menstrual cup is a re-usable menstrual hygiene product. It is a small funnel-shaped flexible cup made of silicone or rubber. You insert a menstrual cup inside your vagina to collect the menstrual blood in the vagina itself. Once insered, it creates a suction with the inner walls of vagina and hence becomes leak proof.Menstrual cups are an internal period protection product. Unlike sanitary napkins and tampons, menstrual cups are not a single-use product. You can use menstrual cups for more than once; in fact, the can be reused for as long as 10 years. They are pocket-friendly, eco-friendly and most comfortable.
Whether you are participating in sports, swimming, or dancing, menstrual cups stay in the vagina, quietly doing what they do best. A menstrual cup can keep you leak-free for up to 12 hours. To add to the pros, the suction that is created while placing in the vagina helps ease menstrual cramps. Also, there no itching or irritation, no menstrual odour or risk of any infection due to wetness. With menstrual cup one can have a sound sleep. It is so comfortable that one even forgets period.
Arm yourself with the best menstrual hygiene product that caters to your specific requirements and make your period a happy period.