Periods products can be classified into two according to the kind of protection they provide. External protection includes sanitary pads, cloth pads and period panties. Internal protection includes tampons, menstrual cups and sea sponges.
Pads are made of absorbent materials and has an adhesive strip at the bottom that you can press on the inside of the crotch of the panties.
Pads come in different varieties. Some have wings which can be attached at the sides of the pad to help hold it in place and prevent leakage.
However, there are risks. Disposal is problematic because they are made of plastics. They can cause irritation as well. Some are made of cotton bleached with chlorine while others have rayon in the cotton. Remember that they should be changed every 4 hours.
If you have sensitive skin, cloth pads may be an alternative to sanitary napkins. They are made from materials that won’t irritate your skin. They come in different colors and designs too.
Cloth pads are attached to the crotch area of your underwear much like sanitary pads. They can be stored easily and will blend in with other items in your bag.
Cleaning cloth pads might get tricky however. If you let the stain dry, it might be difficult to remove so it has to be soaked then washed before the stains dry.
Period panties look just like your underwear. They come in different designs from thongs to full-coverage panties. Each style has a level of absorbency. They can hold up as much as two tampons.
There are four thin layers that absorb the blood. The material is also antimicrobial and moisture-wicking. Period panties are washable and reusable.
Tampons, which look like a tiny tube, are made of absorbent materials that collect blood from inside the vagina.
There is a rumor that girls can lose their virginity if they use tampons. But don’t worry because it isn’t true, but you need to know how to use it properly. So if you’re uncomfortable having a foreign object inserted in your body, this might not be for you.
Tampons might also contain plastic, which if left too long can cause Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS). Some have glyphosate which can cause cancer.
Cups are also inserted inside the vagina like tampons. But it’s not made of absorbent material. Instead, they are usually made of silicone or rubber that catch the blood and which can be washed and reused.
You wouldn’t know if you need to change it so it’s advised that you do this regularly.
There have been testimonies that sea sponges are a great alternative to pads and tampons.
There is a risk however that the sponge might be filled with dirt so it’s not safe to insert them in your vagina. They are also rough and might abrade or irritate the skin. They are also difficult to clean.