Personal Growth

Period Products: Pads, Tampons, and Cups…Oh My!

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Ugh, it’s that time of the month—you have your period. Now you have to start carrying around supplies to keep the blood from staining your clothes and every surface you sit on. If this is your first period, or you’re doing some research ahead of time, you’re probably freaking out over what to use to control and hide the bleeding. If this isn’t your first time, then maybe you want to explore other options for period products. No matter your situation, you’re in luck because there are so many different options for products that will help keep your period in check.

i am on my period wallet
Credit: Seattle Black Feminists

It is sometimes difficult to find information on this subject since people often shy away from talking about periods publicly. That’s where Miss Millennia comes in! Keep reading to learn basic information about your options, as well as pros and cons.

**This article contains affiliate links, and we will be compensated for any purchase made after clicking on them. Thank you for supporting Miss Millennia Magazine!**

Menstrual Pads

There are two types of pads: disposable and cloth. You’re probably familiar with the disposable kind. They can be bought in bulk from almost any pharmacy, grocery store, supermarket, and even on Amazon. Disposable pads adhere to the inside of underwear and absorb any blood and other discharge from the vagina. There is a variety of shapes, sizes, and thicknesses so you can find a kind that fits for your period. Cloth pads are washable and reusable, so they are becoming increasingly popular. Also, they’re allergen-free and come in fun colors and patterns!
cloth pad for period

Pros:

Variety to suit your specific needs

Relatively inexpensive

Easy to find in stores and online

Cloth pads are reusable

Cons:

Must be changed every three to four hours

Sometimes uncomfortable

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Might show through clothing, depending on what you’re wearing

Panty Liners

Panty liners are basically mini pads—they’re smaller, thinner, and less absorbent. They come in handy if you have light periods or you’re at the end of your cycle and all you’re dealing with is a bit of spotting. They’re also great if you are experiencing discharge even though you’re not on your period. As with pads, they can be found in a variety of stores and online for a low price.
always dailies thin panty liners for period

Pros:

Easy to carry around

Inexpensive

Lighter than a regular pad

Cons:

Should be changed every three to four hours

Not absorbent enough for a heavier flow

May not cover enough area

Not reusable

Tampons

A tampon is a cylindrical plug that is inserted into the vagina to absorb period blood. Most tampons have a cord or string at the bottom for easy removal. Many people worry that a tampon will get stuck or lost in the vagina, but in reality that is not an issue. It shouldn’t hurt to put a tampon in, though depending on how big your hymen is, it might be uncomfortable the first couple of times. Tampons are especially great for people who are very active and don’t want to deal with an external period product.

playtex gentle glide 360 tampon period product

Pros:

Easy to find in stores and online

Variety to suit your specific needs

100% Organic cotton options available

Cons:

Must be changed every four to eight hours

Not reusable

Menstrual Cups

Menstrual cups have been gaining popularity recently, even though they’ve been around for about 80 years. This is partly because they are reusable, so you don’t have to spend money on your period every few months. Also, it helps people get more in touch with their bodies, which is an empowering experience. Using a cup forces you to be conscious of how much you bleed during a period. It’s not as much as you might think! A menstrual cup is a flexible, silicone, bell-shaped cup that is inserted into the vagina. It is similar to tampons, except that it collects menstrual blood instead of absorbing it. The cup needs to be removed and washed out with water (no soap!) or special cup cleaner every twelve hours. Menstrual cups are a great alternative to disposable period products.

diva cup and cleaner period product Pros:

Reusable

Easy to find in stores and online

No leaks for twelve hours

Don’t have to remove as often as tampons or pads

No odor

Cons:

May be difficult or uncomfortable to put in at first

Must remove every twelve hours

“Ick” factor

Period Underwear

Recently, more and more people have been choosing to use period underwear over the traditional tampons and pads. They’re a comfortable solution to a very uncomfortable issue! Each pair of underwear absorbs about two tampons-worth of blood without you feeling a thing. Plus, the original makers of period underwear, Thinx, have recently started manufacturing period underwear for people who don’t identify as women! This movement started specifically with trans men in mind. Thinx recognizes that not everyone who has periods identifies as female. As with the makers of menstrual cups, Thinx seeks to destigmatize periods and the gendered discussion surrounding periods through the use of their product. That’s a goal I wholeheartedly support!
period underwear thinx

Pros:

Relatively worry-free

Leak resistant

Washable and reusable

Variety to suit your specific needs

Cons:

Not so easy to find in stores

Must change approximately every ten to twelve hours

variety of period products in a store
Credit: Yelp

Learning about all the different period products out there is beneficial because you can find the best option for your individual needs. There is such a wide variety of options! Since we live in the 21st century, all of these options are ready for delivery with just a few clicks.

What kinds of period products do you use? Are you now considering changing how you deal with your period after learning about some new products? Let us know in the comments section!

 

Resources:

The Diva Cup

HelloGiggles: An Underwear Invention

HelloGiggles: The maker of period panties just created a version for trans men

Medicine Net: Menstruation

Thinx

U by Kotex: How often should panty liners be changed?

 

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16 Comments

  1. I’ve only ever used menstrual pads and nothing else. I’m not good with experimenting when I’m on my period. I just play it safe, lol. Really curious about other products though. Someday, maybe.

    1. Me too! I’ve always been curious about them. If you do review them, come back and link to your post! I’d love to read it 🙂

  2. I am way bast the years of buying any of these items but I found this very informative for my daughter who is coming to that age.

    1. I’m glad you find there’s no ick factor for you…there’s really no need to be grossed out by what our own bodies produce!! Thank you for reading.

    1. I have friends who use the Diva Cup and absolutely love it. They’re never going back to pads or tampons! Thanks for reading 🙂

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