This information is brought to you by PeeBuddy
Periods, are our monthly companions but they it is not something a lot of us look forward to. Don’t you just hate the messy feeling, pains, bloatedness, mood swings ? In addition to this, the fact that you have to constantly be worried about stains and choosing the right period essentials.
Women are always on a lookout for a safer, hygienic, easier and minimum messy solution during that time of the month. Given that the average woman uses about 10,000 sanitary products during her lifetime, it makes sense that women as well as many researchers and activists are giving serious consideration to their menstrual management methods.Most of the women use sanitary pads but very few know about alternatives like Menstrual Cups and Tampons.
As Banita* says, “I have been using pads since I started my first period, at times I feel guilty about all the waste I am sending to the landfills, but I don’t really know of a better alternative. Some of my friends are raving about menstrual cups. I don’t know what will be the right product for me, maybe I will give the cups a try” If like Banita you are also confused about the right choice of sanitary products let’s delve deeper into the pros and cons of Sanitary Pads, Menstrual Cups and Tampons and their suitability for women around.
#1. Sanitary Pads
Sanitary Pads are also known as a sanitary towel, Sanitary napkin. A pad is most commonly used menstrual hygiene product. The Sanitary Pad is used by women of all age groups as a pad doesn’t involve any cumbersome usage process and pad users are less likely to have vaginal disorders like Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS).
Shape and structure
Nowadays a variety of pads suiting different flow volumes and for the day and night are available. Long pads with fibre content inside convert the blood discharge into a gel-like substance which gives the feeling of dryness. Sanitary Pads are available in all sizes; some includes wings on its sides to prevent spoiling sides of the panty.
Sanitary Pads are easy to use. Pads stick to the panty and can be changed after 3 to 4 hours, depending upon the flow.
- Simple to use
- No mess involved
- No risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS)
- Can be used overnight
- Pad users always feel the menstrual flow and these have to be changed every 2 hours.
- Pads are bleached which “may” lead to cancer
- Pads are prone to cause Rashes and skin infection if not changed in time
- Pads are non- biodegradable.
Tampons are widely used as they offer a great sense of physical freedom during periods. Tampons have been in existence from the 1930s and are a very common choice for women, especially in the western world. A tampon acts a boon for active women as they don’t feel the presence of anything in their vaginal region. Tampons tend to keep the user cleaner in comparison to other menstrual hygiene products. Its super-absorbing feature is great for women suffering from controlling flow during periods.
Shape and structure
Small finger sized menstrual hygiene product put in woman’s cervix.
Tampons tend to soak up the maximum amount of blood during menstruation. It also absorbs the excess lubrication on the walls of the vagina and gives a normal and dry feeling to a woman.
- Tampons are small in size, hence they fit anywhere and are easy to carry
- Tampon users don’t feel wet
- No risk of blood outside and Zero embarrassment.
- With tampons, a woman can swim and dance comfortably
- Highly comfortable in nature
- High absorbing power
- A fewer number of period days as it soaks up blood very quickly from women’s cervix
- Tampon users are more likely to face issues while peeing, there are instances when big tampons might get pushed more against the walls of the vagina and block the passage
- Tampons should not be used in the night as it involves long period hours
- Tampons might get stuck if it isn’t removed in time
#3. Menstrual Cups
Menstrual cups are flexible cups designed to go inside the vagina during your period to collect menstrual blood. It does not absorb any fluid like tampons. Cups are an easy way to discharge menstruation waste and is environmental-friendly in nature. The cup is a much healthier alternative in comparison to tampons and sanitary pads as they are generally FDA approved and made of medical grade silicon.
Shape and structure- Designed in the shape of an inverted glass or diaphragm with a stem, a menstrual cup is made up of non-toxic silicone material
The cup during menstruation is to be disposed off later. The capacity of the cup is about 30-40 ml of blood at once. Many women are a little uncomfortable with the thought of inserting something in their vagina, but just with a couple of uses you can get comfortable with the menstrual cup. Before you put in your cup, lubricate the rim with water or a water-based lube (lubricant). A wet menstrual cup is much easier to insert. The cup can be used upto 8 hours
As Shipra* says, “ I tried the menstrual cup on the request of a friend and it was a revelation. Since I can use it easily anywhere between 8 to 12 hours, it means I can insert it and remove it in the comfort of my own home. It means no more awkward trips to the bathroom at work smuggling my pads in my pocket or purse.”
- Menstrual Cups are environment-friendly in nature. A single menstrual cup can last upto 15 years. This means that you’re not contributing more waste to the environment. Pads on the other hand have to be thrown after a single use, leading to increased waste volumes in our landfills.
- Lower costs and long lasting
- pH level of Vagina isn’t disturbed
- Fewer chances of bacterial infection, they are made of medical grade silicon and are thus safe to use. Menstrual cups collect, rather than absorb, blood, you’re not at risk of getting toxic shock syndrome - a rare bacterial infection associated with tampon use.
- Cups can be altered according to the bodily requirements by trimming the stem. Caution-stem should not be cut entirely!
- Don’t have to change too frequently until and unless the flow is heavy.
- Some women find it awkward to clean it anywhere.
- Difficult to use especially for beginners
- Some women struggle with fitting the cup inside, since all bodies and anatomical structures are different. Though after a few tries a majority of women are able to successfully use the cups.
No wonder, choosing among Sanitary Pads, Menstrual Cups and Tampons is a tricky choice. But, the process of choosing a perfect menstrual hygiene product becomes simpler when you pay attention to the following points:
- Hygiene level
- Level of Comfort
- Convenience to use
- Safety of your Vagina
- The situation of the women during the period
- The intensity of menstrual flow