Tampons, Pads, Mooncup: Which Should I Use? in Body
Ugh, periods are annoying enough but it can be so confusing deciding between all of the sanitary products. Read our info on how the different products work to decide which is best for you.
What are sanitary pads?
Sanitary pads stick on your underwear to soak up any blood. You can can get them in different lengths, and some which have 'wings' that fold over the sides of your pants, depending on which you find most comfortable.
You can also get them in different levels of absorbency depending on how heavy your period is. There are loads of different brands you can get, but they are all very similar.
Try out a few different brands and styles to find which you like best - you might even want to mix up absorbencies for different days of your period or at night.
Some people choose sanitary pads as they find them more comfortable than other products, and prefer not to have to use anything internal. However, some people prefer other options as they find sanitary pads less comfortable and discreet.
Remember, you should change your pad every 3-4 hours, depending on your flow.
What are tampons?
A tampon is a small rod of absorbent material which you pop inside your vagina to soak up any bleeding.
Like pads, they come in different weights, and you can choose which works for you based on how heavy your period is and what feels most comfortable.
Some people prefer to use tampons because they find them more comfortable and discreet than other options. Although tampons can be used overnight, some people choose to wear tampons during the day and a pad at night.
Some people prefer not to use tampons because they don't like the idea of inserting the tampon inside of them, or may find it difficult to put a tampon in.
If you're struggling to insert a tampon try to relax, as worrying will cause you to tense your vaginal muscles making it more difficult to get the tampon in. If you're having ongoing trouble putting a tampon in contact your GP, as you may have a condition such as vaginismus, which is making it difficult to insert a tampon.
Worried about using tampons?
Some people worry about using tampons in case the tampon gets lost inside of them or causes toxic shock syndrome.
You can't lose a tampon inside of you. If you accidentally leave a tampon in and push it further up towards your cervix, you may be able to feel it and get it back out yourself. If not, get along to see your GP asap and they'll be able to get it out easily. Don't be embarrassed, they see things like this every day!
Toxic shock syndrome is very rare. You can stay safe when using tampons by:
- Always using tampons with the lowest absorbency which works for you
- Washing your hands before and after inserting a tampon
- Changing tampons regularly, as often as directed on the pack
- Only inserting one tampon at a time
- Using a fresh tampon when going to bed, and changing it as soon as you get up
What are Mooncups?
The Mooncup is a reusable cup, about two inches long, which you insert into your vagina to gather any blood.
You remove, rinse and reinsert the cup every 8 hours.
Some people choose to use the Mooncup because it is reusable making it a cheaper and environmentally friendly option. It can also collect more fluid than a tampon.
However, some people prefer to use a different option as they don't like the idea of inserting something inside of them or prefer to use something which they're more familiar with.
Remember, whichever product you choose to use the important thing is that it is what you find most comfortable and effective. Don't be embarrassed to ask any friends or family for advice, or to spend an extra 5 minutes in the supermarket deciding which product would be best for you. Happy period-ing!