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Tampons, Pads Or Menstrual Cups? What’s Right For You?

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No matter which pad you use, it's best to change them every 3 or 4 hours, even when your flow isn't very heavy. Regular changing prevents the buildup of bacteria and eliminates odor. A tampon needs to be changed every 4 to 6 hours or when it's saturated with blood. Menstrual cups can be worn for 10 hours and has more holding capacity.

Tampons, Pads And Menstrual Cups

Sanitary pads: They are the earliest and the most used form of feminine hygiene. Pads come in two variations. The sticky one, where you attach it to your underwear and dispose of it after using it and the re-usable one.

Reusable pads can be found at most natural health stores. They can be clipped on or may have a special holder. These are better for the environment than the regular sanitary napkins.

Advice: No matter which pad you use, it’s best to change them every 3 or 4 hours, even when your flow isn’t very heavy. Regular changing prevents the buildup of bacteria and eliminates odor. Naturally, if your period is heavy, you should change pads more often because they may get saturated more quickly.

You also get regular disposable sanitary pads that are scented/ deodorizer in them. Beware of these as they may cause irritation or allergic reactions.

Tampons: They are the most popular choice of feminine protection for women younger than 41, according to a prominent study. Because they offer greater physical freedom during the period, women prefer using this to regular sanitary napkins.

Tampons are not recommended in between periods. Some women may remember the connection between superabsorbent tampons and an outbreak of toxic shock syndrome (TSS) in the 1980s, but these “hyper absorbable” tampons were taken off the market and the incidence of toxic shock syndrome plummeted. However, there is some evidence that women who use tampons may have an increased risk of urinary tract infections.

Advice: A tampon needs to be changed every 4 to 6 hours or when it’s saturated with blood. Unlike a sanitary pad, you will not be able to see the flow on your tampon. So it’s important that you remember when it’s time to change or you may get spotting or leakage on your underwear or clothing.

Menstrual cups: Menstrual cups have been around as long as tampons but currently are not as widely used by women in the United States. There are two types of menstrual cups: The first is a soft, flexible, disposable cup that resembles a diaphragm. The second is a bell-shaped cup made of rubber (latex) or silicone that can be reused after thorough cleaning.

Some women prefer menstrual cups because they don’t contain any chemicals, bleaches or fibers that could cause sensitivity or allergic reactions. Also, the soft, flexible menstrual cups can be worn during intercourse, making the experience a little less messy for women and their partners.

Advice: Menstrual cups also have to be changed or cleaned regularly depending on your flow. Unlike tampons where 8 hours is the maximum, menstrual cups can be worn for 10 hours and has more holding capacity. You also get different menstrual cups for before/after childbirth so that it accommodates your body changes.

Edited by Rachelle Chandraan