Menstrual Hygiene Day: Tampons, Menstrual Cups, Pads, Which Period Product Is the Best?May 28, 2019 10:25
Menstrual Hygiene Day, observed on May 28 every year, aims to help curb umpteen taboos accompanying menstruation. The key objective of the day is to have a world where all the women and girls have access to sanitary condition and materials required for healthy menses.
Menstruation, also known as periods, is a natural phenomenon that all women go through but regrettably, poverty and lack of awareness come in the way of enabling women and girls to achieve their full potential.
Proper availability of sanitary napkins and other menstrual aid is probably the most important aspect of working towards menstrual hygiene. Disposable sanitary napkins are very commonly used by women during periods.
However, since the disposable sanitary napkins add up to a lot of non-biodegradable waste, options such as tampons, menstrual cups, and reusable cloth pads are becoming popular.
Let's take a look at the pros and cons of different option available for women during menstruation:
A menstrual cup is a feminine hygiene product that is inserted into the vagina during menstruation. It is usually made of flexible medical grade silicone and shaped like a bell with a stem, which is used for insertion and removal. The bell-shaped cup seals against the vaginal wall just below the cervix.
Every 4–12 hours, the cup is removed, emptied, rinsed, and reinserted. After each period, the cup should be boiled for at least 5 minutes and stored for use the next month.
- One menstrual cup can be used for about 4 years, which makes it value for money
- Don’t contain chemicals
- Fewer chances of allergies
- Can be used while swimming or getting into the water
- Cleaning it from time to time is tedious
- Insertion requires some practice
- There are chances of spilling the cup if you make any mistake while the removal
A tampon is designed to absorb the menstrual flow by insertion into the vagina during menstruation. Once inserted correctly a tampon is held in place by the vagina and expands as it soaks up menstrual blood.
- Easy to carry
- No wet feeling
- Free movement
- Creates lesser non-biodegradable waste than disposable sanitary napkins
- Less expensive
- Potentially Uncomfortable Insertion
- If not fit well leakage chances are more
- If not changed on time may lead to toxic shock syndrome
Reusable Cloth Pads
Reusable cloth pads are made out of cloth and are softer than the regular pads. Cloth pads come with buttons or velcro at the end of the wings instead of the sticky gum patch.
(Image source from: viawater.nl)
- Environmentally friendly and don’t add to the waste
- Less expensive
- Can be cleaned in the washing machine
- Are way softer than disposable ones, so women with sensitive skin can use them.
- Need to be washed regularly which can be a task at times
- Special care may need to be taken if the user has a candidiasis (yeast) infection. Pads can cause reinfection if not sterilized.
- Chances of leakage are high
- You cannot swim wearing them
Disposable pads are made out of cotton and polymer powder as an additional powerful absorbent (superabsorbent polymers). They turn the blood into gel consistency giving you longer dryness. The pads have a plastic back sheet that prevents blood from seeping through.
- Easy to use
- Gives longer dryness
- Fewer chances of discomfort
- Potentially harmful chemicals
- May cause rashes
- Cannot be worn while swimming
By Sowmya Sangam