Everyone of us knows about pads but there are quite some other options to deal with your menstruation. We’d like to introduce you to some.
Half of the population have to deal with their period about once a month. Such a big target group needs to be addressed with a lot of variety of products. Surprisingly, there is only a big variety of different brands and sizes of pads to be found in Indonesia and knowledge only is spread among these. Do you know all possible measures to deal with your period? We have found 7 alternatives and give you all pros and cons!
(Source: Your Liberty Tokopedia)
Imagine tampons as a pad that you carry inside your vagina. It is a good alternative to pads as they allow you to be more free in your daily activities and require less changes compared to pads. And no, inserting something like a tampon to your vagina wont take your virginity or break your hymen, no worries sisters! An instruction on how to use tampons can be viewed here.
- You generally have to worry less about leaking
- Can do sports and other activities like swimming
- Less changes needed
- You don’t feel it when inserted correctly
- Various sizes for different heaviness of flow available
- A little learning is required to insert it properly
- More expensive than pads
- Hard to get if you don’t order online
- Little TSS (Toxic Shock Syndrome) risk if not changed regularly
2. Menstrual cups
Menstrual cups were already invented in the 1930’s but weren’t a success at all and materials to make them were rare. The small cup is made out of silicone and is inserted into your vagina while folded.
- Allows activities like sports
- Long lasting if treated well
- No weird chemicals used if you buy a proper brand
- Various sizes available
- Very eco friendly
- Very steep learning curve
- Very likely to spill if not inserted correctly
- Emptying the cups in public restrooms might be embarrassing
- Chance to spill if not emptied in a timely manner
- You might feel it even if inserted correctly
- Only available online
3. Soft Tampon
This is a synthetic sponge with quite a bad reputation as they are said to be used by prostitutes who don’t want to get their customers to find out they are on their period. It works because they can be pushed very close to your uterus. Contrary to tampons they do not come with a string and need to be fiddled out when its time to change.
- Good for swimming, sports and sex
- Very soft so you don’t feel it
- No weird chemicals if you use a proper brand
- Extremely expensive
- Hard to get even online
- Single use
- Not really recommended for every day of your period
- Higher risk of TSS
(Source: Marie Claire)
4. Period Panties
These are panties with a built in pad. Currently very rare as it is pretty new and probably not officially available in Indonesia yet.
- Can absorb a lot of blood
- Very comfy
- You can sleep with it all night with little risk of leaking
- Eco friendly
- Several styles on offer
- Long lasting
- You need to wash them immediately after use
- You need to have a second pair with you in case you need to change
- Possible leaking during stronger flow
- Very hard to get and extremely expensive
(Source: Rosypads’ Etsy)
5. Cotton Pads
Those are pads made out of cotton fabrics and a core that is strong in absorbing liquids. You will have to order these online.
- Very long lasting if treated well and washed correctly
- Very eco friendly
- Many online shops offer customizations
- You have to deal with the blood as you have to wash them immediately no matter where you are
- You need to carry multiple ones with you (and the used ones too!)
- Only available online from abroad
- Very expensive
- You might order the wrong shape and either have to live with it or order again if it doesn’t fit you well
6. Menstrual Sponge
This is an organic sponge, which means it once was a living being which then getting desinfected and cut to the size of a tampon. Same as the soft tampon it can be pushed very close to your uterus. It doesn’t come with a string.
- Eco friendly
- Easy to insert
- If inserted correctly you can’t feel it
- Good for swimming, sport and sex
- You have to deal with your blood as you need to wash it immediately when changing, imagine doing that in public restrooms…
- Higher TSS risk
7. Free Bleeding
This is just here for the sake of completeness and is not very practical for most women that have to follow a schedule or work. You are supposed to feel when a load of blood is coming out and go to the toilet in time. You don’t need any period products if you get the practice right.
- Theoretically you don’t need any products
- Most eco friendly
- Natural method
- You understand more about your body
- Big challenge and might not work for you if you have to work or attend classes
- A substantial amount of women does not feel the movement of the next load that is about to come out
- Every period can be different
- You probably will be leaking
It’s everyone’s own choice and what works for some girls might not work for other ones. For me I try to go with tampons whenever I can and I love the freedom that comes with them. If you have any questions, feel free to leave some comments below!