It is a brave new world out there. In times gone by, menstruators were offered up only one option to handle their period. The solid sanitary pad or napkin. Thankfully, we have made great steps since then and have been awarded a huge amount of choice when it comes to products. But how can you tell what product works best for you and your flow? Well today, we are going to dive into the world of period products, discussing each of their abilities and each of their drawbacks to help you make the decision best for you!
Although there is evidence that menstruators were using ‘tampons’ as early as the 15thCentury, the modern conception of the tampon was introduced in 1933. Since then it has evolved drastically. Today, menstruators are faced with huge variety of brands, styles, materials and absorbencies.
But are tampons right for you?
So tampons provide a discreet and comfortable way to manage your period. The internal product ensures that they are practically invisible allowing you to go about your day to day life normally, even swimming in bikinis or wearing thong underwear without any sign of a product. However, tampons are not for everyone. Tampons are internal products, and for many menstruators inserting a product is simply not accessible. Many find internal products irritating or just an added hassle. The waste created by tampons, in particular applicator tampons has also gained a huge amount of attention over the last few years- with the average menstruator using more than 11000 products in their lifetime, using disposable products adds up to a lot of waste!
One of the newer products available, the menstrual cup stormed on the UK scene after being first manufactured in 2001. Its popularity and awareness have increased drastically with focus being placed primarily on its environmental benefits.
The menstrual cup is an internal product used to collect menstrual blood. It is then taken out, emptied and reinserted- preventing any waste.
The cup is can provide menstruators who prefer internal products to cut down their period waste. However, again for those who find internal products inaccessible or challenging, the cup may not be the perfect fit.
Disposable Sanitary Pads
The product which is most used and known around the world, the disposable sanitary pad provides an easy method to manage a period. Pads are found all across the world and are stuck onto underwear, worn and then disposed. The benefits of disposable sanitary products include the fact they are super easy to use and they are less likely to irritate your vagina as they are not inserted. Similarly, to tampons, disposable pads can cause a huge amount of waste and many are made of plastic based materials which are unable to degrade. Pads are also commonly ‘perfumed’ with chemicals which are not always listed on the packaging- these are not great for the environment or for you!
Period underwear is another great sign that developments are being made to increase the choices for menstruators! Period underwear looks the same as normal underwear and is worn without any other product. Part of the underwear is layered with an absorbent material, preventing the blood from leaking. Period underwear can be a great way to cut down the waste of disposable products, and provide a comfortable way to manage your period. The drawbacks of period underwear is that changing the underwear in public can be slightly more of a hassle and carrying more than one pair of pants around may be a bit of a pain!
Reusable sanitary pads
Finally, reusable sanitary pads. Reusable sanitary pads have been around for a while. Different brands have launched various different styles with many developing more innovative styles recently. Reusable pads provide a direct switch for disposable pad users, as well as an environmentally friendly addition to cup or tampon users who may worry about leaks. Reusable pads are worn the same way as disposable pads and usually come with a waterproof zip lock bag to carry your used product in when you change. The products are then put in the wash and used again. For some, reusable pads may not be a suitable option due to the fact you have to change them during the day. But the huge environmental benefit, the ease of their use and the fact there are no plastics or chemicals in them are huge benefits!
These key questions can guide you the right product for you!
- Internal product or external product?
- Reusable or disposable products?
Want to try our own modern, reusable sanitary pads?
If you are interested in purchasing our own reusable sanitary pads or liners follow the link below to explore our Kickstarter page and to get your hands on a sleek and modern product or find us on social media to here more (@lilypads.uk)