A Period Piece

Sunday, December 6, 2015

This post is a short list options available during menstruation with a discussion about each one. Since menstruation is a big part of our lives it is a good idea to weight the options and determine which method is best for you during your time of the month.

1. Pads
Disposable & reusable cloth pads
Pads are designed to collect the fluids and need to be changed depending on how heavy or light your flow is. They generally contain absorbent materials and you dispose of them afterwards. They come in a basic shape a size and can have wings for any side leakage that may occur. You simply place them into your underwear sticky side down.
There are also cotton pads for those who are interested in producing less waste for the environment, those who are not comfortable with the absorbent gels in disposable pads or those who do not want to continuously purchase disposable pads. One company I know of that makes them is Luna Pads and they say that they can last upwards of 5 years if properly cared for. They come with wings as well and they do not stick but they snap at the bottom for placement into your panties. The reusable pads will need to be washed of course, by hand or using your washing machine.

2. Tampons
Tampons are sold in a variety of widths that you will choose based upon your flow. They are individually wrapped and come with a very easy to use applicator. Some feel the use of tampons is painful, which in this case you should most likely opt for a pad after giving it a good try. Tampons work by absorbing the blood. You can use them for up to 8 hours. Tampons come with a warning about Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS). TSS is rare and can occur due to a build up of harmful bacteria; it can be prevented by changing the tampon when needed. Other issues people have with tampons are the use of a bleached material that may contain harmful chemicals being inserted into and absorbed by the body and that it may dry the vagina out.

3. Menstrual Cup
The Menstrual cup seems to be making a recent come back, and it is exactly how it sounds. It is a soft silicon cup that you insert into your vagina and it collects the fluid. With the menstrual cup you can leave it in longer than the tampons (12 hour leak protection via Diva Cup) depending on your flow, and you don’t have the same risk of TSS..  The menstrual cup has to be put in at a certain placement or it will not collect the blood properly. There are tutorials on sites and Youtube. You need to dump the menstrual cup after its use before reinserting it and clean it if you are in a bathroom or at home where this is possible. With the long wear of the cup you may not have to clean it away from home if you time your insertions properly The Diva Cup recommends replacing the cup once a year. At a cost of about $40 it works out to be cheaper than purchasing other disposable options.

With the following information I hope you are able to try a new option if a certain one isn’t working for you to find the best fit. The following is not an original image/graphic.


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