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Period Products – An Analysis

This blog post on Period Products is shared by Dipanshu Thaware. It is a part of the Menstrual Hygiene Campaign by Limitless Stree, starting from 25th April 2021 to 31st May 2021. 

About Dipanshu

Dipanshu is a Limitless Stree Member. She is enthusiastic, vibrant, driven, and full of life. She is a very good listener and that makes her sociable. She tends to think out of the box, believes to have equality in society in all aspects, and wants to play a part in bringing the change.

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Period Products An Analysis

Every woman with a weeping uterus and flowy vagina has to think about the different period products suitable to their body and lifestyle over the course of an average of about 40 years of their reproductive life. In the present world, there is a variety of period products available than ever before and how do women choose the correct one for them? Do you also clash between the options, which ones good or bad or worse or perfect? 

Sanitary Napkins

Let's commence with the most usual and popular period product known to all. The sanitary napkins or pads: These are the most commonly used period product came into existence in around the 1800s. These are attached to the panties and meant to absorb a flow of blood. Pads are made up of different materials such as cotton, rayon, and plastic. Because they are not environment friendly and the plastic results in irritability, rashes, and itching some find it difficult to use. Also, these are advised to change after every 3 to 4 hours to avoid the growth of bacteria and other serious health issues.

However, there are biodegradable and environment-friendly pads available made up of cotton and banana fibre or bamboo pulp, easy to dispose of, and are rash-free. They are also pH neutral, which is perfect for maintaining a healthy vaginal environment. Also, there are washable pads available that can be used multiple times and are also eco-friendly.

Tampons

Okay, so tampons are a little trickier to use than pads. It comes second in terms of usage. It works by absorbing the flow of blood. Unlike pads, these are placed inside the vagina, it requires a little practice once you mastered the procedure, it’s easy to use and way more comfortable. But it can get filthy for a longer period. Tampons are made up of cotton or rayon. These can be placed inside for 4-8 hours. The absorbency rate of tampons is higher however, along with menstrual blood it also absorbs the vagina's natural lubrication and bacteria, which can change the normal pH, increasing the risk of infections, causes irritability, and increases the risk of toxic shock syndrome (TSS). There’s a lower chance of having this syndrome but better to use low absorbency tampons to maintain a healthy vaginal environment.

Same as pads, tampons are not an environment-friendly product. Also, don’t go with this option if you already have a skin infection or any type of infection down there. 

Menstrual Cups

Another period product used by many women around the world is the menstrual cup. Just like tampons, these are inserted inside the vagina, which requires a bit of practice. It is inserted by folding or pinching the cup and as it gets inside it opens up and sits at the cervix. These silicone, rubber, or latex-made cups work by collecting blood. Menstrual cups can be left for 12 hours inside and don’t meddle with the vaginal environment. After a point, It needs to be removed, emptied, and can be reused again. It requires sterilization every month. Also, it can be used for about 10 years which makes it very pocket-friendly. It is eco-friendly as well.

Menstrual cups are a safe option relative to other forms of menstrual hygiene. TSS caused by menstrual cup use appears to be very rare as they do not change the vaginal flora.

Menstrual Discs

Menstrual discs are also meant to be inserted inside the vagina. It is made up of plastic or silicone. Just like a cup, it collects the blood rather than absorbing it. It can stay inside for 12 hours. Unlike cups, these are not reusable. The insertion requires a bit of practice here as well, discs are inserted by squeezing the sides together so they can be inserted lengthwise. 

This is not an environment-friendly option though also not cost-effective. There’s a single pro of discs not shared by any period product is that you can leave it inside while having intercourse.

Periods Panties

Period proof underwears are the latest designed period product and have an array of benefits. These are made up of multiple layers of microfiber polyester, look just like normal panties. The extra layers absorb the period flow. You needn’t carry pads, tampons, or panty liners with you. Users with heavy flow prefer it to wear with any other period product to prevent leakages. It is a very sustainable product also can be used for up to 2 years, makes it wallet-friendly. Seems to revolutionize menstruation worldwide.

Finding a perfect period product seems unachievable. What suits you now might not suit you after a few months or years. It is all a hit-or-miss business. For 8 years I have been using traditional pads but now I have started to think I need to shift to biodegradable pads or period panties. Whatever you choose make sure suits your skin, your period flow, your comfort, your lifestyle. There will be more and more products in the market all the time with their pros and cons, it is you who’s gonna decide. Be ready with your ideal product!

You can read our blogs around menstrual hygiene, SDGs and Inspiration here.

Also do check out what the Menstrual Hygiene Campaign is all about.

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