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  • Aditi Singh

Want to ditch sanitary pads? Try these!

Are you tired from using the same disposable pads over and over again? Annoyed with how uncomfortable it is, and even further, the rashes? We got you covered! Here are some great alternatives to disposable pads. There are a wide range of period products that you can choose. Some of these, unfortunately are not commercially advertised but packs a great deal and can have significant advantages over others. We have also listed all the pros and cons of the products for better understanding and to help you choose whichever works the best for you.

 

1. Menstrual cups

A menstrual cup is a small, flexible cup made of silicone or rubber that is inserted into the vagina to catch menstrual flow, rather than absorbing it like a tampon or pad.


Pros

Cons

  • Cost Effective

  • May take some time for few users to successfully insert

  • Environment friendly

  • Accessibility to clean water and toilet at the time of washing and re-inserting

  • Longer usage hours (have to be changed between intervals of 6-8 hours)

  • Since cups come in different sizes and material, one has to figure out which one would suit them best before buying

  • Great for athletes and swimmers

  • Cost Effective and Durable : Most menstrual cups are priced between 500 to 1000 INR and last as long as 8-10 years. This is better as compared to other products like disposable pads which cost about 500 INR per year.

  • Environment-friendly : Cups are not one-time use products. Since cups can be used upto 10 years, using them does not add to biomedical waste like sanitary pad waste does.

  • Longer usage hours : Cups can be used for as long as 8 to 10 hours at one stretch before washing and re-inserting saving you those urgent toilet runs due to fear of leakage.

 

2. Cloth pads / Cloths

Cloth pads are a type of reusable menstrual hygiene product, and are an alternative to disposable sanitary napkins. These mostly have bio-degradable fabric and some may have a PU layer to make it completely leak-proof. A cloth, if layered, can also be used and reused similarly.


Source: thehappyturtle.in

Pros

Cons

  • Cheaper

  • Washing and drying in the sun after every use can be tedious

  • Better absorbency than regular disposable pads

  • A cloth pad can take longer to dry on cold days

  • Soft on the skin

  • Environment-friendly

 

3. Tampons

A tampon is a menstrual product designed to absorb blood and vaginal secretions by insertion into the vagina during menstruation. They can be either reusable or disposable.


Pros

Cons​

  • Compact and easier to carry

  • Disposable tampons are harmful to the environment

  • More comfortable than disposable pads

  • ​Risk of developing Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS)

  • Reusable tampons are environment friendly

  • The process of insertion may be difficult for new users but tampons do come with an applicator which makes the insertion easier.

  • ​Makes tasks like swimming easier

 
Some other period products that are new to the Indian market :

4. Period panties

Both disposable and reusable, period panties are underwear garments meant to be used specifically during menstruation to absorb the flow (just like a baby's napkin, you got it right!).


Source : healthline.com

Pros

Cons

  • Reusable period panties claim to last as long as 3 years hence are comparatively less wasteful and more eco-friendly

  • Disposable period panties can be harmful for the environment

  • Chances of leaks are very less as compared to disposable pads


 

5. Menstrual Disc

Like menstrual cups, menstrual discs are silicone-based insertible period products. (Some discs are also disposable) Because of their shape, menstrual discs can stay in place without having to strain against the vaginal muscles.


Source : popsugar.com

Pros

Cons

  • Eco-friendly and economical as reusable discs can last upto 10 years

  • Disposable discs may be harmful for the environment

  • Perfect for athletes and swimmers

  • Insertion may be difficult for new users, especially teenagers as it is to be placed closer to the cervix

  • One doesn't have to remove it during sexual intercourse


 

Sources used : Piedmont.org, Healthline.com, Indiatimes.com , Insider.com

 

Which product do you prefer? let us know in the comments!

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