Almost every woman groans when it’s “that time of the month” because dealing with periods is frustrating. However, many don’t realize there are more period product options than traditional pads and tampons. Like shaving razors, many period products are available so every woman can find something that best suits their needs.
If you’re unfamiliar with all the options out there, this guide will help break down each type of period product and provide some brand recommendations so you can test them out for yourself.
1. Traditional Pads & Tampons
Pads and tampons are the most accessible and frequently used period products available. Many people appreciate that they are disposable and easy to carry in a purse or other small bag. However, these traditional period products do come with their fair share of drawbacks.
Both pads and tampons must be changed frequently, especially during heavy flow. They also come with a risk of bacteria or other harmful side effects. Most of all, neither pads nor tampons are biodegradable, meaning they end up in landfills.
2. Menstrual Cups
Menstrual cups are a newer period product. They are made of medical-grade silicone and operate as a “cup” that collects menstrual blood. When you insert the cup, it creates a seal between the rim of the cup and your vaginal canal.
Menstrual cups make a great alternative to tampons and pads. These period products gained popularity because they can remain in place longer and are reusable. In fact, you can leave a cup inserted for up to 12 hours then wash it with soap and water before reinserting it.
3. Period Underwear
Period underwear looks much like traditional underpants but is made with moisture-wicking microfiber polyester layers with an outer layer of nylon and lycra. They are also coated to prevent leaks.
Like menstrual cups, this period product provides another reusable alternative to tampons and pads. They’re also great for teens and anyone with light to medium flow because they provide all-day protection.
If you want to try period underwear, THINX Period Underwear is a popular choice.
4. Reusable Pads
Believe it or not, reusable pads exist. They work similarly to traditional pads, but you can wash them and wear them repeatedly. They also help the environment.
Typically, reusable pads work in one of two ways:
- They come in two parts (panties and liner). You can then remove and insert liners as you need to change out the pad.
- They come as a snapping fabric that inserts into your everyday underwear.
Reusable pads are definitely bulkier than traditional pads, especially the “ultra-thin” options now available. However, they cut down on trash and are more likely to stay in place than traditional pads. Hesta Reusable Pads are a great option to try this period product out.
5. Menstrual Discs
Menstrual disks are the most recent period product in the marketplace. These items are disposable disks that mold to fit your shape after you insert them. The disks are made from medical-grade polymer and must be changed every 12 hours.
Menstrual discs work well for active women because they have a very low risk of slipping or leaking during use. They’re great for days when you have social gatherings to attend after work and don’t want to deal with changing out a pad during cocktail hour. They are also the only period product you can use during sex.
The Flex Disposable Menstrual Discs are a great choice for anyone who wants to test out these period products.
As you can see, a variety of period products are available to women. Each option offers its benefits and comes with its fair share of drawbacks. It’s all a matter of personal preference based on your lifestyle and other needs. Now all you need is a cute, affordable handbag to put your chosen period products in so you can go about your day.
Frequently Asked Questions
What period product is best for me?
Each woman is different, so there isn’t a single period product that’s superior to all the rest. However, you can use these considerations to determine which option from the list is best for you:
- Your physical activity level
- Your daily schedule demands
- Environmental concerns
- Your budget
Why are there multiple menstrual cup size options?
Each woman’s body and flow are different. Menstrual cups are made to create a “perfect seal” and prevent leaks. Therefore, there need to be a variety of size and shape options so each woman can find what works for her body.
Which period products put me at risk for toxic shock syndrome?
Toxic shock syndrome occurs when bacteria enter the body improperly using tampons or menstrual cups. This condition is infrequent and only occurs when women don’t change their tampons or menstrual cup as directed.
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