No one's ever excited to get their periods — the emotional tornadoes and mood swings in the week before, the monthly acne flares, and the gnarly cramps all leading up to days of lethargy. Adding to all this internal turmoil is the external discomfort of pesky, itchy, plastic pads that never seem to stay in place.
If you too are looking to unsubscribe from the month rashes that cotton pads bring, here are 5 alternative menstrual products you can check out for a more comfortable period.
Reusable Cloth Pads
Cloth pads work exactly like sanitary napkins but without the redness, rashes, skin infections and discomfort. Designed with multiple layers of fabric, that dries up the blood quickly, cloth pads are antimicrobial and washable. They are also a sustainable option as these pads can last up to 2 years. Homegrown brands like Avni and FabPad offer reusable cloth pads made with polyester and cotton.
Made of absorbent material compressed into a small tube, tampons are like small cotton plugs that can be inserted into the vaginal canal and soak up the blood. They come with and without applicators and have a string at the end so you can pull them out. Tampons vary in sizes depending on your flow. Although a little stigmatized against the notions of virginity here at home, they're a globally known and used product. Indian brands like Carmesi and Pee Safe offer a variety of biodegradable tampons.
Menstrual cups are small, flexible feminine hygiene products that are made of rubber or silicone and can be inserted into the vagina to collect blood. These cups can hold more blood than tampons and depending on your flow can last up to 12 hours at a time. Designed with a tip to pull them out, menstrual cups can initially be tricky to learn to use but they are increasingly becoming a popular reusable menstrual product among women. Homegrown brands like The Woman's Company and Sirona offer safe, reusable cups.
Menstrually discs are won internally like tampons and cups but instead of absorbing and collecting blood, they act like a cap fitting into your vaginal fornix, which is where your vaginal canal meets your cervix. These are the only menstrual products that you can use for having sex during menstruation. They are also made of medical-grade silicone and can be used up to 12 hours however, discs are a little more difficult to remove than cups because of their design. Lemme Be is a homegrown brand that offers soft silicone discs.
Period panties are probably the most comfortable option when it comes to menstrual products. These panties look like regular underwear but are designed with highly absorbent, moisture-wicking fabric that comes with microfilaments that soak up the blood. They are washable, hence reusable, and can last up to 8 hours. Period panties also come in light flow or heavy flow options according to your need. FabPad is an Indian brand known for their hygienic And breathable period panties.