In this article, we will talk about the key products available for period-management. With a variety of products available in online and offline stores, it can get a bit confusing to choose the right product for you. Through this article, you will be able to decide, which product works best for you and which does not.
The first disposable pads came in 1921. It led to the beginning of a new era of period products. Today, there are different sanitary products available in the markets. They include sanitary pads, tampons, menstrual cups, and period panties.
Ease and comfort to use them have made us forget their environmental and health effects. However, menstrual cups and reusable pads from organic cotton are eco-friendly.
Let us first look into the number of sanitary products a woman would need for her lifetime, and the number of times they have to be changed or emptied.
On average, a woman would require 11,000 sanitary pads (costs approx. ₹1,20,000) for her lifetime. She would have to change it every four to six hours to prevent leakage.
A woman would need about 14,000 tampons (costs approx. ₹1,45,000). She would have to change once every three to five hours.
A woman who uses menstrual cups would require around two to five of them (costs approx. ₹ 6,000). She would only need to empty it in eight to ten hours.
Here, we will look into the best products related to menstruation. Read on to find out more about them!
Sanitary pads are the most common sanitary products used in India. Women in India often prefer sanitary pads over other products. However, only 36% of menstruating women in India have access to sanitary napkins. Most women in rural India depend on clothes. But in urban areas, women prefer synthetic sanitary pads, as they are easy to use and cost-effective. They can contain toxic and chemical substances like Dioxin, which is a pollutant and can cause allergies.
The primary reason behind skin irritations is that our vaginal tissues are permeable that can help in passing toxic substances to our blood vessels. When these toxins get stored in our body, it can cause hormonal imbalances. They can also cause vaginal infections. However, using reusable cloth pads can reduce irritations and other problems. If you are someone who uses synthetic pads, changing them every three to four hours is the solution. And if the irritation persists, consider consulting a doctor. Synthetic sanitary pads have artificial fragrances to avoid unpleasant smells. Women with sensitive skin could face allergies and irritations when they use pads with fragrances. It is better to opt for sanitary pads without fragrances.
However, there are alternatives like reusable sanitary pads, organic material-pads that don’t use such toxins. In my personal use, I’ve found the reusable ones to work best, however, they are not as reusable as they claim.
Tampons offer comfort and prevent unpleasant smells. They are compact and can easily be stored. Most women prefer tampons as they can’t be felt like sanitary pads.
However, they can cause tiny tears in our vaginas. It can lead to the entry of bacteria and chemicals into our bodies. Tampons can sometimes cause Toxic Shock Syndrome. The absorbents in them can produce vaginal or yeast infections as well.
Women who use tampons have said they can cause dryness. It is because they absorb vaginal moisture and good bacteria. Losing good bacteria can affect PH balance. It can lead to irritation and infection.
If you are someone who prefers tampons, try to go for organic tampons and those with low absorbents.
Some women may face some discomfort while using a menstrual cup for the first few times. We might need a few trials to hang on to insert and remove the cup. But in the long run, they can provide more comfort and rewrite your experience with periods. Though they can't cure menstrual pain, they can aid you to get through your periods with ease.
Menstrual cups can hold up to 30 milliliters of menstrual blood. It is significantly higher than the capacity of other sanitary products (which can hold 5 milliliters and need to be discarded after every use). There are a plethora of reasons menstrual cups are the best products for maintaining menstrual health.
How do I know if I have inserted the menstrual cup or tampon correctly?
Can I swim with a menstrual cup or tampon?
Do I need to wear a panty liner or sanitary pad with tampons or menstrual cups?
Are scented tampons and pads safe?
What happens to used tampons and pads?
Considering the environmental and health effects most of these products have, it is better to rely on eco-friendly options. Period products like menstrual cups help reduce wastage and improve comfort during our periods.
So why don’t we start with menstrual cups, and contribute a greater change tomorrow?
Cover photo by freepik