Tampons and disposable pads aren’t the be all or end all for your period comfort.
Here are 4 useful period products
They all have their advantages and disadvantages.
No kidding, I have spent the better part of my life going through who knows how many pads and tampons without even knowing there were other options out there. As I have grown older and had kids I got into cloth diapering and it really made me take a look at what we do as humans to the environment. So I cut back on my tampon and pad usage. There are times where I do have to fall back to these but one bag or box can now last me well over a year. Think about that for a minute…
ONE 3-6 dollar box/bag will last an entire year or longer.
Cloth Pads– I got into using a cloth pad for my lighter days. It was actually the very first thing I ever tried.
Cloth Pad Pro: soft and stylish, pretty, and reusable.
Cloth Pad Con: can leak if you are heavy, you have to wash it, the pretty dont last long if it stains. They can smell just like wearing other pads.
Nevertheless I like mine and wish I had more.
Menstrual Cups– Fantastic if you can get over touching blood.
Pros: Doesn’t wear out your panties, holds a fair amount of blood, no worries of TSS (toxic shock syndrome)
Cons: if you don’t like blood then this isn’t for you. You have to reach your fingers in and pull out the cup, Can leak if you are really heavy, There is a learning curve to placing them properly.
I have been using the menstrual cup full on for two years now. I have 3 kinds.
Diva Cup– I know you have heard of this menstrual cup. Who hasn’t? Let’s say if you haven’t, it is the most popular option. It comes in two sizes. One for before you have a child and one for after you have a child. (Yes there’s a difference) I hated the Diva Cup and was extremely put off by Menstrual cups for a while because of it.
Why? Because the damn thing suctioned to my insides!!!
The way it fit inside me was a reminder of why I hate tampons. You remember that feeling when you try to pull out a dry tampon? The feeling where you tug on that string and it feels like you are clawing at your insides and pulling them out with the tampon. Well the Diva Cup creates a suction that you have to release before pulling. There is no string to pull, only a rubbery tip on the end of the cup. It’s moist and slimy from your vaginal secretions so guess what? It’s like walking on slimy river rock. You can’t get a good grip! I freaked out (which is very bad when you have an object inside of you) and it ended up taking me almost an hour to retrieve. I tried the Diva cup two more times since then and I gave up.
Not for me!
Instead Soft Cup– Ahh yes, the one I fell in love with. I tried my very first box over two years ago and never looked back. These are way more intimate with your body. Essentially the instead soft cup slides in and lays around your cervix (where the blood comes from). There again is a learning curve to these. If you don’t slide it in far enough to go all the way around the cervix then your vagina muscles will just push it back out. Another lovely memory of the tampon my first use. It sits and plays peekaboo with your vaginal opening. Not doing shit for your period. So push that cup as far as you can comfortably. You can wear it up to 12 hours and even have sex with it in (yes I have tested this theory on even my heaviest days-when I wasn’t cramping of course)
The only issues I have found with these are that when you go to pull it out depending on the position of your cervix, the soft cup can get behind your pubic bone which makes it very hard to pull out (remember slimy vaginal secretions), and that when you pull it out you ARE going to get blood on your hands.. Well damn. This is fine by me cause it’s my body, but I wouldn’t try changing it in public. I always check everything before I leave the house anyways. If you are at work then you shouldn’t have to do anything to it for up to 12 hours but this definitely depends on how heavy your periods are.
Then last but not least
Intimina Cup– this one is my newest review. My first two uses I didn’t like it at all, but now I am almost equally in love with it and the Instead. I’m on use number 4. I think 4 months is plenty of time to give a review on a product.
Intimina Cup is like the Instead soft cup where there is a learning curve to use it. The one I have has a deep side and a shallow side so the deep side will be the closest to your opening.(This is made for when you lean forward it doesn’t spill/leak) You also need to realise you will also be touching blood. This is better than the Instead because the ring is softer and it is made to last years rather than 12 hours and throw it away. Granted, Instead Soft cups do have a reusable cup but it still has the hard top outer ring. The Intimina cup is all the rubbery material but I have not had sex with it in. In my opinion it would be a bit more comfortable than the Soft Cup brand because there is no plastic, so the whole thing is a soft surface.
Now I didn’t go into great detail on Pads or tampons because I am now looking to support less waste in the world and the other things I have mentioned are better for the Earth in the long run.
So here is my take on Pads.
They work when needed. When you are 10-13 years of age getting your first period I believe this is your best option. Why? Because you almost can’t go wrong unless you are very heavy and end up overflowing. This is every females worst nightmare and it usually happens at night. There are many kinds of pads too. Wings, No wings, Long, Short, Thinner or thicker. My preference is long, thicker with wings. While they are uncomfortable, the wings have saved many panties in my run of 5 bazillion periods in my life.
And now Tampons.
When you graduate to tampons there is a learning curve to that. You will be afraid to insert something too far but get the size that fits for the period heaviness. If you wipe once and there’s barely anything on the toilet paper…DO NOT USE a tampon. In my experience, it took longer to absorb anything and the longer you wear a tampon, the higher chance of getting T.S.S. When your 8 hours is up (maximum time) it may still be dry and stuck to your vaginal walls and cervix.
The first time I put in a tampon on a very very light day was a huge mistake. No one taught me the proper way to insert nor the Do’s and Don’ts of tampon use. That was definitely a don’t. These also come in too many to know about. light, super, super plus..ect… Just be sure to go with the lightest unless you are a heavy bleeder. You will know by the wipe test after you pee.
I will have more on Periods for the tweens and teens at a later time.
So there is my review on the 4 useful period products that I have used so far. I don’t enjoy a period but at least my life around the period can be a bit more enjoyable without worrying about blood all the time. Have you tried any menstrual products that I haven’t listed? If so, please write a little about it in the comments and I will try it out.
Disclaimer: I am no doctor so be sure to speak with yours before trying anything I have mentioned above. This is for informational purposes only. More on my disclosure here.