Are Tampons better than Sanitary pads?
Are tampons really better than sanitary pads? This is the question that has been on the minds of people recently. Before we evaluate the beneficial and detrimental details of both tampons and pads, let’s explain what they are and their modes of usage.
What are Tampons?
Tampons are menstrual products designed to absorb blood and vaginal secretions by insertion into the vagina during menstruation. Unlike a pad, it is placed internally, inside the vaginal canal. Once inserted correctly, a tampon is held in place by the vagina and expands as it soaks up menstrual blood.
How to Use a Tampon
The good news is tampons are easy to use. Some tampons come with an applicator that aids you to slide them into your vagina comfortably and deals with the blood instead of your fingers. If your tampon does not come with an applicator, there is no reason to fret, the two steps are outlined below;
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How to use Tampons with Applicator
Step One – Wash your hands and get into a comfortable position ( squat, raise a leg up high or place it on the toilet seat)
Step Two – Remove the tampon from its case or pack. Push the tampon into your vagina using the applicator, which in turn pushes it in better for you.
How to use Tampons without Applicators
Step One – Wash your hands and also get into a comfortable position.
Step Two – After removing the Tampon from its pack or case, push the tampon into your vagina with your fingers until it has gone deep enough.
Step Three – Wash your hands again (which might be stained with blood).
Note that, you need to be well relaxed before inserting a tampon. If you find it difficult to try out any of the above steps, you can seek the help of a relative (mother, sister, cousin) or someone that you trust who is familiar with the use of tampons to help you put it in. Lubricants such as olive oil, vaseline can be used to rub the rounded tip of the tampon to also aid easy slide-in.
What about Sanitary pads?
Sanitary pads are the most popular for menstrual use. They are rectangles of absorbent material that is stuck to the inside of an underwear. Some have extra material on the sides (called “wings”) that fold over the edges of the underwear to better hold the pad in place and prevent leaks. Sometimes, pads are called sanitary pads or sanitary napkins.
Pads come in different sizes for heavier and lighter periods. They also come in deodorant varieties, but these can irritate the vagina and cause itches of various kinds too.
How to use a Sanitary Pad.
Wearing a pad only requires your underwear. There is no applicator for pads whatsoever.
Step One – Peel off the adhesive strip ( sticky part) under the pad and around its wings first.
Step Two – Press the down part ( where the strip was removed) on your underwear while making sure that the “wings” fold over the edges of your underwear to help hold the pad in place and prevent leaking.
Step Three – Gradually wear your underwear and adjust the pad if not placed well then, wash your hands.
Now, let us evaluate which is more preferable and suitable for you.
Advantages of using Tampons
1. They can be worn for recreational and sporting purposes.
2. They can be worn without underwear if you find that uncomfortable.
3. They do not disturb the Ph level of the vagina.
4. Once put in properly, you cannot feel them.
5. They are sizeable, which means they can fit into any bag or purse.
6. Stains are hard to come by while using tampons unless they are not changed on time or not put in properly.
Disadvantages of using Tampons
The major threat to tampon wearing is Toxic shock syndrome which is known as TTS. This is rare but still very life-threatening because it introduces some certain kind of bacteria to the vagina and the body generally. To avoid the Toxic Shock Syndrome, the following should be ensured:
• Change your tampon frequently. For days with heavier flows, change your tampon 3 to 4 hours later, while for other days with less flow, 6 to 8 hours is advised. The maximum hour mark is 8 hours, ensure that your tampon does not stay in for that long.
• Avoid wearing a single tampon to sleep all through the night.
Another problem for Tampon wearing is the insertion, some people find it very uncomfortable especially when it is their first time. They can also dry out your vagina and makes it itchy and really uncomfortable, this mostly happens during the last day of your flow.
Advantages of Sanitary Pads
1. They can be worn overnight.
2. They are advisable for teenagers who started seeing their period.
3. They are much easier to use because it does not involve the insertion of any kind.
4. They come in various absorbent levels, sizes and types which makes it easier to identify the most suitable for your kind of flow.
Disadvantages of Sanitary Pads
1. They cannot be used to swim. In fact, coming close to the water of any kind is not advisable while wearing them.
2. They feel very uncomfortable to use during sports activities.
3. They can shift and wrinkle up in the center while you walk causing leaks.
4. You cannot wear them with thongs and G-strings if that’s your speciality.
From the pros and cons above, it is important to know that both tampons and sanitary pads are good for use during your period. Although sanitary pads might seem more suitable for some girls, tampons also come with their flare and for girls who would like to feel confident and free, it is their best bet. Tampons also have more hygienic pros than sanitary pads because they hardly stain or cause leaks.
However, you can use both tampons and sanitary pads during your flow, alternating pads for tampons at night since the former cannot be used while sleeping through the night.