“Are you serious??” I was really shocked when I found out our domestic help, Krishna still using cloth during her menstrual days. Isn’t it shocking? I mean how she is able to manage to work in 5 different homes, with that piece of cloth on. On being asked she answered as it is more reasonable, easy to dispose of or clean and easily available too.
Her answer reminded of an advertisement. I hope all of you have seen that advertisement where a girl could not go to school due to the menstrual periods, as she still uses cloth. The girl is afraid of getting her school dress stained and thus attracting unnecessary shame.
Menstrual Periods!! It is one of the less talked topics in India. Periods are still a Taboo in India. Like contraceptives people don’t like to talk about it as it is something illegal. Thanks to few recent movies which have tried to bring change in the mindset of the people. Now people are discussing it and also educating the others about the complexities of those critical days!!
In this post, we will discuss the some of the products/items that we can use during those days. Also, let us talk about, what are their pros, cons and the preferred one.
1. Cloth: Rural India or the poor ones still prefer to use the cloth during menstrual periods. Any piece of cotton cloth with the certain length is able to solve the purpose. With some folds and pressing, females use it to soak the flow during those critical days.
Pros: Seriously speaking just it is available in every household and that too in plenty, nothing defines a good reason for using cloth during menstrual periods.
Cons: Cloth is the messiest and the bulgy one. To be honest, I used to use it during my initial days and believe me they are the most uncomfortable ones too. You cannot do any activity in the cloth. There is always the risk of cloth piece getting dispositioned and leaked. Moreover, using them while wearing pants is the tackiest thing. With cloth piece on, Not only you but anyone can guess that you are on your periods.
- Sanitary Pads: The 70% of urban females, uses sanitary napkins. It is one of the most widely used product during menstruation. Reason being the advertisements, easy availability and reasonable rates. The menstrual pads are offered in various lengths and absorbency levels.
Pros: Sanitary Napkins are one of the most widely used methods among females. Since is it used outside, menstrual pads are excellent for people who just don’t want to bother with painful insertion and potentially difficult removal. Sanitary Napkins allow natural vaginal cleaning and can be worn overnight or with light flow or spotting.
Cons: There is difficulty in doing certain physical activities if you are wearing sanitary pads/ sanitary napkins. Also, they are non-bio- degradable and not easy to dispose off. They can, however, still put you at risk for other infections if not changed at a reasonable rate. Moreover can cause bad odor on hot days or with heavy flow.
- Tampons: Tampons are designed to be easily inserted into the vagina during menstruation and absorb the menstrual flow. Once inserted correctly a tampon is held in place by the vagina and expands as it soaks up menstrual blood. Several countries regulate tampons as medical devices.
Pros: Tampons are inserted internally so more discreet than pads. Also, prevent odor during use and doing physical activity is comfortable if wearing tampons. Tampons are used internally that’s why not noticeable. they can hold more flow than menstrual pads.
Cons: Tampons shouldn’t be worn without sufficient flow – using too high an absorbency means tampons will absorb more vaginal moisture so allow damage to vaginal tissues. For some tampoons are difficult to learn to use as have more precautions to follow. Also, their cost is higher. Moreover, Tampoons poses a higher risk of vaginal infection and Toxic shock syndrome. It is hard to monitor the flow while wearing tampoons and if not checked can leak without any warning.
- Menstrual Cups: Recently becoming more popular than pads or tampons, menstrual cups are the reusable cups made of silicone (most menstrual cups), latex (the Keeper Cup), or Thermoplastic Elastomer (TPE) (the Meluna Cup). Unlike tampons and pads, the menstruation cup catches menstrual liquid rather than absorbing your flow.
Pros: the Menstrual cup is an Eco-friendly and soft alternative to pads and healthy, high quality, long-lasting menstrual hygiene products. Try to use the menstrual cup, Which is leak proof by collecting menstrual flow. It can collect 3 times more liquid compared to ordinary pads and tampons. Then you just empty, wash with soap and water and replace. At the end of your cycle, you can sterilize your cup in boiling water.
Cons: Females complain of pain while inserting the menstrual cup, maybe less so with removal. Also Unless you’re going to autoclave them each and every time you remove and reinsert, they are never truly clean. Otherwise, chances are great that you have been suffering from bacterial vaginosis due to menstrual cups.
- Reusable menstrual cotton pads: If you are allergic to using plastic, reusable menstrual cotton pads are the best option. The reusable menstrual cloth pads are a healthier and eco-friendly replacement to sanitary napkins and tampons. These are made of layers of absorbent as well as leakproof materials.
Pros: They are biodegradable, reusable and easy. If anyone is prone to plastic they can be good method during menses.
Cons: Cleaning them is a task. Also carrying them for traveling can be problematic until and unless you are using the new one every time.
Menses/ periods are with every girl. Instead of seeing them as a problem we should find them as something natural and that makes you more strong. Not only females but males also do the needful to make them easy for us. Whether Tampons, menstrual cups or pads, the feeling that we are bleeding from inside is not easy to tackle. By the way am using sanitary napkins and think will stick to them as scared of using something internal. Whats your take on this, please share in the comments or you can DM too.