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It’s time to celebrate our periods, not hide them! Choosing the right menstrual products isn’t just about practicality, it’s about embracing your body and taking control of your cycle.

Here is your Ultimate Guide to Period Products:

 

Pads:

The most common menstrual product is a pad – this is a disposable pad that adheres to your underwear and is worn outside your body. Many women prefer using pads over other menstrual products because they are easy to use and don’t require insertion. Pads come in different sizes and thicknesses to accommodate your flow. A reusable version of the pad exists that requires a few additional steps for cleaning and ensuring its longevity. 

How-to steps: 

Disposable pads: Peel off the adhesive backing and stick the pad onto the inside of your underwear. After using it, dispose of the used pad in a trash bin and replace it with a fresh one as needed, it is recommended to change your pad every 4 to 6 hours to prevent any infections.

Reusable pads: Place the pad on the inside of your underwear and secure it in place with snaps or wings. After use, rinse with cold water and store in a wet bag or container until laundry day. Reusable pads are easily machine-washed and dried, and they will be ready for reuse!

Tampons:

Tampons are another popular menstrual product option. They’re worn inside the vagina to absorb menstrual flow. Tampons come in various sizes and absorbencies. Start with a regular absorbency for your first try and you should choose one that matches your flow eventually. 

 

How-to steps: 

Always begin by washing your hands thoroughly to maintain hygiene! Start by finding a comfortable position, such as sitting or squatting. Remove the tampon from its packaging, but keep the plastic covering on the applicator until you’re ready to insert it. Hold the tampon applicator with your thumb and middle finger at the ridged (textured) parts. Use your index finger to hold the smaller end where the string is. Gently place the rounded end of the applicator into your vaginal opening. Aim it toward your lower back. Push the smaller end of the applicator (where your index finger is) until the inner tube is inside the outer tube. This releases the tampon into your vagina. Withdraw the applicator while keeping hold of the string. The tampon should stay in place. Change the tampon every 4 to 8 hours to maintain hygiene. Remember to properly dispose of the used tampons according to the packaging, most brands can be disposed of in the trash. 

If you’re new to using tampons, don’t be discouraged if it takes a few tries to get it right.

Menstrual Cups:

Menstrual cups are a reusable alternative to tampons. These are flexible cups that are inserted inside your vagina, where they collect menstrual flow. They are eco-friendly, cost-effective, and can also hold a higher amount of menstrual blood than tampons. Some menstrual cups can last for up to five years, and they come in different sizes!

How to Steps: 

Using a menstrual cup may seem daunting at first, but with practice, it becomes easier. Start by washing your hands thoroughly, then choose a comfortable position (sitting, standing, or squatting), and try to relax to make insertion easier. Fold the cup to make it smaller for insertion. Common folds include the C-fold (folding the cup in half) or the Punch-down fold (pressing the rim down). Hold the folded cup with one hand and with the other hand, gently separate the labia. Insert the cup into your vagina at a 45-degree angle toward your lower back, the same as the tampon. Once inside, let the cup pop open. You may need to rotate or adjust it slightly to ensure the cup fully unfolds to create a seal against the vaginal walls. The cup should sit low in the vagina, below the cervix. To check if it’s sealed, run your finger around the cup. You should feel that it’s round or oval. Menstrual cups can be worn for up to 12 hours, but it’s recommended to empty them more frequently, especially on heavy-flow days. To remove the cup, you need to wash your hands (again). Try to relax your pelvic muscles. Start by pinching the base of the cup to release the seal. Gently wiggle the cup out, keeping it upright. Then empty the contents into the toilet. Wash the cup with mild soap and water between uses. Sterilize it at the end of your cycle by boiling it for a few minutes according to the packaging, don’t worry it will not melt!

Just like tampons, it may take a few cycles for you to get comfortable with the menstrual cup, don’t be discouraged, it’s okay if you choose to go back to a pad or alternate both during the day.

Period Panties

Period panties are underwear that come with a built-in absorbent pad, allowing you to avoid the use of tampons, pads, or menstrual cups. These are other eco-friendly options that can help reduce waste. They come in many sizes, styles, colors, and levels of absorbance to match your flow. 

How-to steps: 

Start by choosing your size and your absorbency level. It is as simple as wearing your regular underwear, but after use, you need to rinse the panties with cold water to remove excess blood. Then,  machine wash them using a gentle cycle and mild detergent. Hang them to dry or lay them flat, and once dried, they are ready to be used again.

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