Pads, tampons and liners, oh my! How to choose what to use
Ok, let's chat about periods.
And to make sure we're all on the same page, here's a loving reminder that periods are totally normal, healthy and nothing to be embarrassed about! So many women manage their periods every month, and if you're new to the whole monthly-cycle-PMSing-chocolate-craving grind, we're here to help you through it, every step of the way.
Today, we're talking about period products, and how to decide which product is the best for you!
Every girl—and every *body*—has different needs and comfort levels when it comes to period products, so let's breakdown different types of products and help you figure out which is your best fit!
Perhaps the quickest, easiest and most common option, pads are a great place to start! Pads are probably what you're most familiar with, so they are a great product to use when you first start getting your period. They are also called sanitary pads or sanitary napkins, and they stick to the inside of your underwear with "wings" that wrap around to keep them in place.
There are tons of brands to choose from, and it's also important to find a size that works best for you and your body. If you have a heavier flow, or you want one for nighttime, a larger pad is a great option for you. If you have a lighter period, or you'd feel more comfortable during the day with a smaller pad, you can find small or regular sizes, too!
Pads are easy to keep in your backpack or purse to have on hand if you or a friend needs one in a cinch.
Pantiliners are like pads, but smaller, and without the wings you would use to attach them to your underwear. They are a great option for the last day or so of your period, when your flow is much lighter.
They are also a great option if you are spotting a little bit (like a really, really light period) or if you want to make sure you have extra protection while wearing a tampon.
Ah yes, the tampon. Tampons can be intimidating at first—and trust us, we've *all* been nervous to try a tampon for the first time—so you aren't alone!
Unlike pads, where you line your underwear to absorb your flow, tampons are inserted into your vagina. There are three sizes of tampon: regular, super and super plus (a super or super plus would be good if you have a heavier period). We recommend starting with regular size tampons. They are a little smaller and a little easier to insert. Some brands make tampons with applicators—plastic or cardboard tubes that help you insert the tampon—but you can also find tampons sold without applicators, too. Tampons are a good option for a more activity-filled day, or if you are going swimming.
If you feel ready to try tampons, awesome! If you aren't quite ready yet, that's ok too! You might even find that tampons just aren't for you. Everyone's preferences are different.
What a time to be alive, right? We now have the option to buy panties *specifically* designed to wear during our periods. Period underwear is super absorbant—like wearing a pad, but without the pad!
Period panties are a great option if you're looking for a more eco-friendly product. All you do is wash them with the rest of your laundry, and they are reusable, so you aren't throwing wrappers away every month.
You can use period panties on their own, or as a backup for a tampon or menstrual cup.
Menstrual cups are one of the trickier product options, and you might not be interested in trying them until you're older. But we think it's important for you to understand what they are and how they work, so if you decide to try them in the future, you know what to expect.
Menstrual cups work kind of like a tampon. When you insert them, you create a sort of seal inside your vagina, and you can keep it in for up to 12 hours, depending on your flow. You can take out the cup at the end of the day and clean it in the shower or sink.
Like period underwear, menstrual cups are a great eco-friendly and affordable option, as they can last up to two years and are easy to clean.
We want to hear from you! Send us your weirdest body questions here (seriously, we'll answer anything!) and it just might get featured.