Gynecology

Tampons, Pads and More

Many women start out using pads with their first period and eventually progress to tampons at a later age. But if you haven’t given any thought to your period (other than “ugh”) in ages, it might be worthwhile to examine your best options for monthly care. Tampons: Whether they have a cardboard applicator, plastic applicator or no applicator, tampons absorb menstrual blood from within the body. Ideal for active women, tampons should be changed every four hours or so. Some women prefer the deodorant tampons while others like to stick with the non-scented option. Pads: Once upon a time, women simply purchased “maxi pads,” a one-size-fits-all option. Now, however, there are mini pads, pads with wings, deodorant pads, slender, super –you name it. Pads can be a great option for overnight and are now less visible for daytime activities. If you wear pads, try to change them every three to four hours.

Menstrual cups: Non-absorbent menstrual cups offer up to 12 hours of leak-free protection; they are inserted in the vagina where they collect your menstrual flow. You empty the cup as needed, which can be worn overnight. Suppressing your period: If you take birth control continuously (skipping the week of placebo pills), you can safely stop your period for an indefinite amount of time. Talk to your doctor to determine if this option makes sense for you. The option you use for your period is ultimately up to you and your lifestyle, and many women like to use a combination of tampons and pads during their period. Make sure that you are comfortable with whatever you choose and that you understand all instructions for use and changing. If your periods are excessively heavy, where you’re soaking through a pad or tampon every hour or two, talk to your doctor to discuss potential causes and options.

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