One of the essential products that women have to regularly replenish every month is sanitary pads. They are made of a material that soaks up the menstrual fluid while you are having your period. Most menstrual pads are made to be used only once and then thrown away and are not recommended for reuse.
Over the years, pads have gone from being big and thick to thin, and now ultrathin, with wings, adhesive, a layer that stops leaks, and other developments for maximum consumer satisfaction.
With that, the ingredients changed from cotton to superabsorbent gel, a feel-dry non-woven plastic layer, and a plastic back sheet to stop leakage. Not only that, but the pads also came in different packages, and ingredients for better fragrances were also changed.
Here are some of the pros and cons of using sanitary pads that could help you determine the suitable period product for you.
Pros of Sanitary Pads
There are many reasons why sanitary pads are commonly used in the Philippines as compared to other period products. Here are the most common:
You can buy it almost everywhere.
Sanitary pads are available almost in all convenience stores, pharmacy shops, retailers, and supermarkets. For instance, you are caught off-guard because your period came earlier than usual. You forgot to bring some with you and there are no friends nearby to help you out. You don’t need to worry about missing out because you know that there is always a store that could help you survive your hectic day with a period.
Convenient and easy to use.
Due to its light and slim design, you can always slip it into your bag and bring it wherever you go. To use, you just have to remove the paper strip covering the adhesive and press the pad into your underwear crotch. If the pad has wings, they should be wrapped around the crotch.
Using pads prevents you from developing Toxic Shock Syndrome.
Unlike tampons and menstrual cups that are placed inside the vagina to absorb menstrual fluid, pads are merely placed outside the vagina, posing little to no risk of acquiring Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS). Technically, sanitary pads do not block the expulsion of menstrual fluid but it “catches” them through absorption outside the vagina.
Toxic shock syndrome is a potentially lethal illness that develops suddenly. Staphylococcus aureus, or staph, is a type of bacteria commonly found in women’s bodies and can lead to this condition due to the production of its toxin. If you are a menstrual woman and use superabsorbent tampons, you may be at risk for toxic shock syndrome.
Cons of Sanitary Pads
You read that right! A lady’s number-one best friend may be a little bad for her, too! Despite the valuable advantages of sanitary pads, some things need to be considered before using them.
It is not safe for the environment.
As a single pad can take hundreds of years to degrade, the plastic that is used to make sanitary pads is not eco-friendly and can lead to problems for both the environment and human health. It should be disposed of properly to prevent contamination and the spread of infections.
If you are active, leaking is a threat.
Some pads don’t fit perfectly. There is always a struggle to keep a pad flawlessly aligned with underwear, especially during extensive activities that require a wide range of movements. You might want to constantly check it up so you don’t end up having an embarrassing stain on your back. Finding the right pad for you is essential to keep up in using sanitary pads.
It can cause irritation.
Since sanitary pads are not mainly made of cotton, they could develop rashes on the skin and could develop into irritation when used for a long period of time. Users of pads are prone to allergies that might be caused by the possibly toxic synthetic materials present in them that contribute to the maximum absorption process.
Change your pad every three to four hours (more often if your period is thick) to maintain proper hygiene and avoid unpleasant odors. This is especially important if you want to engage in physical activities. More importantly, leaks can be reduced if the pad is changed often.
There are available washable pads in the market that are made mostly of highly absorbent synthetic materials. When it comes to sustainability, yes, it could make a difference, especially in helping minimize waste production.
However, unregulated products such as these would pose an alarming risk to consumers. It is important to consider the regulation of the FDA to assess quality products that are safe and effective for consumers.
Although this could be a cost-effective step in managing menstrual flow, regular washing and drying could be a hassle for some.
Possible Alternatives For Sanitary Pads
Tampons also soak up menstrual blood, but they work from inside the vagina. The absorbent material in a tampon is pressed tightly into the shape of a small cylinder. When you put the tampon in your vagina, it soaks up the blood before it comes out. A lot of girls want to know how to put them in. You can try considering tampons as a nice backup!
Through this device, menstrual fluid is collected in a small, flexible cup made of rubber or silicone that is inserted into the vagina. Many women have switched to using cups instead of tampons since they are reusable, more environmentally friendly, and can hold more blood without feeling any discomfort. Learn more about using menstrual cups.
Summing It All Up
Sanitary pads are convenient and easy to use, as they are widely available in the market. Changing them in a day as often as possible could minimize health risks that could potentially harm you. Always choose sanitary pads that are made of high-quality materials, can breathe, and come in a secure package. You can get pads that are super absorbent, soft, and extra long, so you can say goodbye to all of your period problems.