What are pads, tampons, period underwear, and menstrual cups?
Pads, tampons, period underwear, and cups let you go about your normal life during your period, without getting blood on your clothes or sheets. Tampons and cups go inside your vagina, pads are worn in your underwear, and you can wear period underwear instead of regular underwear on the days you have your period.
Pads (sometimes called sanitary pads) are narrow pieces of material that you stick to your underwear. Some have “wings” that fold over the sides of your underwear to protect against leaks and stains. Some pads are made out of disposable materials — you use them once and throw them away. Other pads are made from fabric, and can be washed and reused.
Tampons are little plugs made of cotton that fit inside your vagina and soak up menstrual blood. Some tampons come with an applicator that helps you put in the tampon. Tampons have a string attached to the end, so you can easily pull them out.
Period underwear (AKA period panties) are just like regular underwear, except they have extra layers of fabric that absorb your menstrual blood during your period. There are different kinds of period underwear for light, medium, or heavy flow days. You can wear period panties on their own, or with a tampon or menstrual cup.
Menstrual cups are shaped like little bells or bowls, and they’re made of rubber, silicone, or soft plastic. You wear the cup inside your vagina, and it collects menstrual blood. Most cups are reusable — you just empty it when you need to, wash it, and use it again.
Let us see which is a better choice. We all know their advantages, but what is their disadvantages?
Disadvantages of a Pad?
You can’t swim in a pad.
Pads are bulky and visible.
Pads can shift to places, and the chances of a leak increase.
Disadvantages of a Tampon?
Tampons cause difficulty in insertion
Unlike pads, inserting a tampon can be quite challenging for some women. You can follow the instructions written on the box or use the applicator. If you are doing it for the first time, it might be difficult for you.
Tampons may cause vaginal irritation
Tampons are more likely to irritate your vaginal area than a pad. It can dry out your vagina quite quickly. Usually, it is not recommended to use a tampon overnight if you feel irritated.
Tampon can cause the risk of having Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS)
A tampon can do colossal damage to your body by increasing the risk of developing TSS. It is a sporadic but life-threatening disease.
What are the disadvantages of using menstrual cups?
Cup removal can be messy. That means you may not be able to avoid spills during the process.
They can be tough to insert or remove. You may find that you’re not getting the right fold when you put in your menstrual cup. Or you may have a hard time pinching the base to pull the cup down and out.
It can be hard to find the right fit. Menstrual cups aren’t one-size-fits-all, so you may find it difficult to find the right fit. That means you may have to try out a few brands before finding the perfect one for you and your vagina.
You may be allergic to the material. Most menstrual cups are made from latex-free materials, making it a great option for people with latex allergies. But for some people, there’s a chance the silicone or rubber material can cause an allergic reaction.
It may cause vaginal irritation. A menstrual cup may irritate your vagina if the cup isn’t cleaned and cared for properly. It may also cause discomfort if you insert the cup without any lubrication.
There can be an increased chance for infection. Wash the menstrual cup very well. Rinse and let it dry. Don’t reuse a disposable menstrual cup. Wash your hands after.
You can choose whatever fits your preferences. If you are planning a beach vacation or swimming, you can opt for a tampon or if you want to play safe, go for a pad. Whatever you choose, make sure to use it correctly.
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