Are You Using the Right Menstrual Hygiene Products?
If you’ve found that recently your tampon or pad of choice hasn’t been cutting it, it may be because you’re not using the most effective one for your body, cycle and lifestyle.
The first step to tackling which products to buy is to assess your preferences so you can figure out what will be most effective. Not only does this require working with your doctor to discuss options that work for you, but also considering lifestyle factors like cost, environment and time. Whatever your choice, make sure it makes the most sense for your body. Fortunately, there are an array of menstrual product options on the market for you to choose from!
Menstrual cups are reusable cups that are worn internally, typically made of rubber or silicone.1 One advantage of menstrual cups is that they hold one to two ounces of blood during use,1 which is more than high-absorbency tampons can hold. Additionally, given that they’re reusable, menstrual cups create less waste than other menstrual hygiene products, making them a more suitable option for women interested in reducing their footprint. Talk with your doctor to find out if a menstrual cup might be right for you.
Tampons are a go-to product for women with active lifestyles looking for protection that will last. However, if you’ve found that your bleeding through tampons, or perhaps barely bleeding at all, you could be wearing the wrong size. Talk with your doctor to see if tampons are a suitable option for your lifestyle, and use this sizing guide2 as a reference to choose the right absorbency levels for your cycle:
- Light – can hold up to 6 grams
- Regular – between 6 and 9 grams
- Super – between 9 and 12 grams
- Super Plus – between 12 and 15 grams
- Ultra or Jumbo – between 15 and 18 grams
Menstrual pads have been widely adopted across different cultures for centuries. Today, these pads are offered in a variety of absorbency levels and styles to help combat both light and heavy days. Typically women prefer pads for light-flow days or spotting, while some double-up with a tampon and pad for extra protection on heavier flow days. Since pads rest on underwear, they can be tricky to wear during physical activity or with certain items of clothing, so be sure to plan around your schedule when opting for pads during your cycle.
Yup – period pants. Period pants, or absorbent underwear, are a relatively new development that allow women to forego tampons, pads, etc. Their material absorbs menstrual flow, so all you have to do is pull on a pair each day during your cycle and voila! Check out a few types of periods pants in this article.
Got a Heavy Flow?
Lastly, if you experience a heavy period that causes you to change your menstrual hygiene products so frequently that it prevents you from living your life to the fullest, you’re not alone. Visit We Hate Heavy Periods for helpful resources for women suffering from heavy periods, and consider talking to a doctor about potential treatment options so you can get back to feeling your best – even during your time of the month.
- Everything You Need to Know About Using Menstrual Cups. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/womens-health/menstrual-cup#disadvantages. Accessed October 30, 2018.