Tampons or menstrual cups are great if you want to go swimming during your period. Sanitary pads (disposable or reusable ones) are the best choice for young girls who have just gotten their period. Find out more about various period products and how to choose among them.
Choosing the Optimal Period Product
There are countless period products. We all know the conventional ones (disposable sanitary pads and tampons) and there are also eco-friendly options (reusable cloth pads, menstrual cups, menstrual sponge, period pants). We’re here to help you pick the best ones for you, your cycle, the current phase of your life, or for different activities.
Remember: Every menstrual cycle is unique and individual. There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all optimal solution that works in every situation. Each period product has its pros and cons and is suitable for different phases of your life or cycle. Let’s have a look at them one by one.
External period product. Anyone can use them, including girls who have just gotten their period and using a tampon seems unreal to them (and for some girls, tampons would not be recommended anyway). They come in various sizes so everyone can find the best fitting ones.
Sanitary pads are very absorbing – their absorbing capacity is always sufficient. They’re a wise choice for days with heavy bleeding.
If you pick reusable sanitary pads (eco-friendly washable ones), there’s another benefit: breathability and sustainability. Breathable menstrual pads are perfect for those who seek prevention against gynaecological inflammations. It’s a very natural (and comfortable) form of prevention.
Reusable sanitary pads save your money too. The pads last many years.
A counter-argument we hear quite often when praising reusable pads: It’s gross, it cannot be hygienic! Nothing could be farther from truth. Read more about using and maintaining reusable pads in this article.
Tampons are a good choice if you need to use an internal menstrual product that you barely feel when inserted. You can jump into a pool while wearing it or practice yoga without experiencing any discomfort.
The con of tampons is that you need quite a lot of them – most times, you have to insert a new one every time you go to the toilet. Their absorbing capacity is limited which makes them less ideal for heavy bleeding days. Moreover, quite a lot of people can’t tolerate them. On the other hand, they come in multiple sizes, even mini ones, so even virgins can use them.
There’s also the risk of developing the toxic shock syndrome that is associated with tampons. It’s a serious life-threatening condition that could be triggered by the use of tampons.
Eco-friendly alternative to tampons. Similarly to tampons, you barely feel it once it’s inserted, you can go swimming with it or do any other sport while wearing it. And speaking of activities – you can even get a flat cup that can be worn during sex.
A menstrual cup holds much more blood than tampons ever could. It doesn’t need to be emptied every time you go to the toilet; during medium to light bleeding days, you only need to empty it twice a day.
The con of a menstrual cup is the insertion – it takes some practice to put it in and pull it out. This characteristic, hand in hand with a bigger size (compared to tampons) doesn’t make it a good fit for young girls (especially virgins). And as with tampons, some people just don’t like internal period products.
Contrary to tampons, menstrual cups aren’t associated with the toxic shock syndrome. A cup will save you a lot of money, too – the general recommendation is to get a new cup every 2 years and you only need one for your cycle.
Period pants are a newbie on the market – they have been around for the last couple of years. They’ve quickly become a favourite, mostly because they don’t require any extra layer in your underwear. They’re as breathable as reusable sanitary pads, representing prevention against inflammations.
At first glance, period pants are indistinguishable from regular underwear. It’s a great choice for young girls or for days with light bleeding. Or for those who practice free bleeding and use period pants as some kind of security (reusable sanitary pads could be also used, reusable panty liners are actually the best fit for this).
Period pants are super comfortable when worn under a dress or skirt during hot summer days and you can even wear them under tight shorts without any visible outlines. This pro has its downside, though – low absorbing capacity. We can say from rich experience that no period pants are sufficient for heavy bleeding and need to be changed during the day. Which is OK in summer but in winter, you need to completely undress to put on a fresh pair of period pants. Not very comfortable or practical, in our book.
Did eco-friendly period products got you interested? No wonder, they’re great! They save the environment as well as your money and they’re an appreciated alternative to conventional period products. They bring you even more benefits than sanitary pads or tampons. Read more about alternative period products in our article.