Period Products: Tampons, Pads, Period Pants, Menstrual Cups And ...
Do you remember the first time you started menstruating? The very first menstrual product you used? Have you tried out other options, or do you swear by the product that you are well-acquainted with? It is only human nature to stick to a product that we find comfortable and are familiar with, so why should one bother to venture into the realm of menstrual health and explore other products?
In recent years, the introduction of various menstrual products has led women to explore more sustainable options; some are easy on the wallet, some have a learning curve, and some require work.
So, let's take a look at the several menstrual products available to us.
Tampons and pads are the most commonly used menstrual products. They are hassle-free and easy to use. They are both made of cotton and rayon (wood pulp) and function by absorbing the menstrual blood.
Is pads good for periods? The pad rests on the inside of your underwear and absorbs blood after it leaves the body. Sanitary napkins or pads come in various sizes, quality, and absorbency. They are super easy to use and manage. The only downfall is that the material may be harsh on the vulvar skin, leading to itching and redness.
Tampons rest within the vaginal canals, where they absorb menstrual blood before it leaves the body. However, tampons also absorb protective vaginal secretions, which leads to vaginal dryness, irritation, and discomfort. Depending on the absorbency, tampons can remain inside the vaginal canal for up to eight hours. However, when left inside for longer than eight hours will increase the risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS).
Long before the introduction of disposable pads, women relied on cloths to absorb the menstrual blood and maintain menstrual hygiene. Utilizing reusable pads is an economical and environmentally friendly option.
The only downside to reusable pads is that one will have to put in the effort and time to wash the cloth pads after each use.
Most tampons are not biodegradable, and they usually come with a cardboard or plastic applicator. The packaging, tampons, and applicators all add to the plastic waste, which is why some of us may prefer buying tampons without an applicator. Inserting a tampon without its applicator may be troublesome, but this is where a reusable tampon applicator comes to our rescue! Combining an organic tampon and a reusable applicator is another environmentally
Another option for tampon users is organic or plant-based tampons. These tampons are biodegradable and are even compostable!
Menstrual cups have been recently gaining popularity, and rightfully so! Made from medical-grade silicone, latex, or rubber, they are reusable, and one cup can last for up to ten years! The menstrual cup can remain inside the vaginal canal for up to 12 hours. They are essentially a container that collects blood; therefore, a menstrual cup will not absorb vaginal secretions or lead to TSS. The initial cost may seem a lot, but they are economical long term as one doesn't have to buy menstrual products every month.
A menstrual disc is similar to the cup except for one significant difference; a menstrual disc allows for sexual activity. The downfall? It isn't reusable like the menstrual cup.
Pantyliners are just like pads, except they are smaller and thinner. They function to absorb a minimal amount of blood or any other fluid. They are commonly used for the last days of the menstrual cycle (during spotting), vaginal discharge, or urinary incontinence.
These are just like regular underwear except that they have multiple layers, and thus, the capacity to absorb menstrual blood. They are commonly worn during light flows or as a back-up for heavy flows and are a great alternative to the non-sustainable pads and panty liners.
The use of menstrual products is an unavoidable reality for all of us. However, menstrual products have been contributing to the plastic waste problem for decades now. Whether they are wrongfully flushed down the toilet or end up in the landfill, it takes years for menstrual products to degrade.
Thankfully, we do have sustainable options available. Period underwear, menstrual cups, reusable pads, and organic tampons are all great alternatives. Not only are they the green solution, but in the long run are also pocket friendly.
Discover our boxes to find the best period option for you: CLICK HERE
1) Hait A, Powers SE. Dataset: Feminine hygiene product lifecycle inventory and impactassessment. Data Brief. 2019 Nov 21;28:104851. DOI:10.1016/j.dib.2019.104851. PMID:31871992; PMCID: PMC6911938.
2) van Eijk AM, Zulaika G, Lenchner M, Mason L, Sivakami M, Nyothach E, Unger H,Laserson K, Phillips-Howard PA. Menstrual cup use, leakage, acceptability, safety, andavailability: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Lancet Public Health. 2019Aug;4(8):e376-e393. DOI: 10.1016/S2468-2667(19)30111-2. Epub 2019 Jul 16. PMID:31324419; PMCID: PMC6669309.
3) Howard C, Rose CL, Trouton K, Stamm H, Marentette D, Kirkpatrick N, Karalic S,
Fernandez R, Paget J. FLOW (finding lasting options for women): multicentre
randomized controlled trial comparing tampons with menstrual cups. Can Fam
Physician. 2011 Jun;57(6):e208-15. PMID: 21673197; PMCID: PMC3114692.