It is amazingly common how often this question gets asked and debated. I know tampons are the easiest and that you can walk around without worrying. You can go swimming and exercise and generally not worry about nasty accidents. But and this is a BIG BUT… they are being inserted into you. This means they will naturally inhibit the flow of blood out of your body. Think about it for a moment: when we are trying to get rid of all this extra blood, which shouldn’t be in our abdominal cavity, do we really want to stick a plug up there making it even harder?
Here are some other factors why I choose the pad over the plug:
1. Less pain
I used to use tampons from the time I first started my period. It was what my mom told me to use and it was easier and less disgusting than using pads. However, every time I took the tampon out, I felt such an instant pressure release from the abdominal cavity. It reduced the swelling feeling and naturally the pain that came with that. You will notice it even more when you haven’t used them in ages and then when you suddently find yourself unprepared… as I did last month. I had to use a tampon and—wow! Was it painful for my whole abdominal cavity!
2. You have to look at it
It is important to know what your body is doing. You need to see it. I know it is yucky but it gives you an indication of whether it is getting better or worse. Signs to look for are the colour and whether there are clots or stringy bits. This is not normal. It should look like normal blood, red and liquid—sorry to be graphic ladies, but this is important. You need to see it and make sure it is right so you can fix it and notice it if it is getting worse.
3. Foreign ingredients
Even if they are made from organic cotton, I am still hesitant on what we are putting in one of our most absorbent areas of our bodies!
What can you use?
I have personally gone with organic cotton disposable pads. They are the easiest and I have had no bad reactions from those.
The other option I tried was the Diva Cup but to be honest I never figured out how to use it and sticking that thing in there at the right angles and trying was too painful on my first day, which is the only day I really needed it. If you have tried it, let me know.
The other option, if you are living somewhere permanently, is to buy reusable pads. I got these from Australia and they were lovely. The first day didn’t really work as I just bled too much for the pad to absorb but they were great on the later days as they are much more comfortable than cotton pads. They are soft and feel like you are just wearing undies. Here is the website for more info on the ones I mean.
Have you thought about it? What do you use? Did changing make a difference? Feel free to share.
This Post Has 19 Comments
That is such a valid point Juliana. I was so much “younger” than 🙂 I definitely agree with you 🙂
I always feel discouraged when I read about how “yucky” and “disgusting” the process of menstruation is. Maybe if we could honor our cycles, honor our womanhood there might be less pathology associated with our cycles. Our minds are a powerful influence on our bodies; as a matter of fact its all interconnected.
Dena would love to hear your tips…I’ve just started using my diva cup (2 days ago!) and am liking it so far. Took a few tries to get it in properly (not getting any leaks so I’m guessing I have it right!!) I do find it a bit difficult to know if I have twisted it round one full turn tho?? I’m also a bit paranoid so am using a pad with it and going to check quite a bit!
Thanks for sharing Habi. I never gave it a fair go. It hurt too much in trying to get it to sit right. Love that it reduced the length of time. Totally agree – tampons are definitely not an option for me either 🙂
I use the moon cup, and have found since using it my period finishes, so much quicker, from 8 days down to 3/5 I was shocked that it could make a huge different.
It did take some time to get used to putting in but after a couple months I have had little to no leaks.
I always wondered and felt like the blood just did not come out, but now it does and quickly, if I ever use pads then it drags out again!
I love my Mooncup I wouldn’t ever use tampons again I do not think they are safe inside harbouring germs. I’ve not used them for years since I was having episodes of blood cots and super duper heavy flow, they were useless and I too noticed the release of pressure in my whole pelvis and tummy when I took it out. One day it just hurt and I did not use it again, In an emergency I could not even use it, it is probably bleached cotton, made from recycled rubbish!
I do not recommend tampons, and always recommend the Mooncup its just the best thing ever for periods and gets the blood out fast, the pain has decreased too, I only have good things to say, fewer cramps and sometimes I’m not even noticing I’m on my period because I have not been bed ridden!
Good post and the comments are interesting too.
I found that pads are sooo much better. I used to use tampons but I found they caused more pain with I used them as opposed to pads! I don’t think I will even go back to using Tampons again! Ya, they seemed like that best, not so gross option, but I couldn’t handle the pain they brought when I used them!
I use a MeLuna cup and Minki mini pads. They seem to be absorbant, they stay in place and feel comfy as they are made from fleece. They come in a range of funky designs and they work for me!
I’ve also got a set of ImseVimse panty liners which are organic and great for days when I’m spotting.
Hope that helps
Ruth, thanks for the link to feminine wear. So many pads to choose from – which type do you recommend? cheers
Another vote here for “tampons hurt.” Pads it is!
I really appreciate Melissa’s viewpoint and have been doing the same- using organic cotton pads.
Although i am a little curious about the Diva Cup/Moon Cup. Although I wonder about how i would insert it! Dena I would love to hear further tips!
Teresa, I am the same exact way, well, was before my hysty a few years ago. They hurt like the dickens. I feel your pain.
Large clots indicate a hormone imbalance of to much oestrogen in your body. Perhaps get your hormones tested to see where your hormones are at. Focus on your liver for real healing 🙂
The clots indicate lumps or cell growth in the abdominal cavity. The stringy bits indicate sticky blood. It sounds like your blood is thick and maybe thinning it out would help. I have personally noticed a massive improvement within myself when I took a combination of Exclzyme and Ghu Zhi Fu Ling Wan. It is about cleansing the blood – at the end of the day which comes down to diet and also maybe looking at a blood purifier like Majistha herb. Ginger tea will help thin the blood too. Just cut two slices of real ginger and have that in a cup with hot water twice a day. http://endoempowered.com/serrapeptase/
You said that having clots and stringy bits come out during menstruation is not normal and I agree. For the last 4 months I have been actively following advice from your articles including diet, exercise, relaxation, etc. and I have noticed many many improvements in my body. I used to have periods that would last for one day (which I now realize is not normal). It would begin with one day of light brown spotting, followed by one day of dark blood and clots, ending with one day of brown spotting. My periods now last for 4 days, beginning with two days of heavy flow, and ending with one day of light flow day and one day of brown spotting. I cannot believe how much blood comes out of me!! It feels good to finally be expelling everything. I no longer have clots during menstruation, but I do notice that the blood can be quite thick (like warm honey) and have stringy bits in it. I know that the health of menstruation is a reflection of my overall health, and I don’t like that I am still not “normal.” I am on a journey to conceive and I want to be as close to normal as an “endo girl” can so that I can be healthy and have a healthy baby.
Can you please explain why you believe there are clots and stringy bits in menstrual flow and how they can be remedied? Thanks Mel!
I love love love my Diva Cup. It took a few months for me to get it right, but now I would never be without it. I did cut off the stem after reading online that some other women did the same to make it more comfortable. Now, I just insert it before I go to work and forget about it all day. Then when I get home I simply empty it out, wash it, and put it back in. It’s also a great way to keep track of your flow- there are even measurement lines inside the cup. Oh and because you need to ensure that your cervix is inside the cup to avoid leaks, I now know exactly where my cervix is located- something I definitely did not know before! I have some other tips for making the Diva Cup work. Let me know if you’d like to hear them!
I use a MeLuna cup – similar to the Divacup or Mooncup. I love it, and don’t feel any pain from it. I think a cup is so different to an absorbent tampon. I used tampons for a little while years and years before I had endo, I’d never go back to them.
I also use reusable pads, which I get from http://www.femininewear.co.uk/ who are a really lovely company. I’d never go back to anything else now.
Very interesting you should post this today. I love the fact that you have been graphic!
I am having terrible problems lately with very large clots. I use tampons due to such heavy bleeding and double protection with a pad as well. I bled through my supersize tampon at the weekend and when I removed it a large clot came out after it. I was a little distressed at the time due to it’s size. What I was wondering is if you have any tips on what I should do to try to correct this and stop it from happening in future?
Wow good for you. I don’t have many close female freinds but the ones i do have think very differently of how to take care of themselves in this regard. About seven years ago I found the Diva cup. I agree it can be quiet uncomfortable, but needed something no mess for my tree planting experience. It worked well but found it can be painful to put in until you get use to a method of inserting.
Since then I too came across reusable pads… I love them. They seem to have come a long ways with heavy to light flow pads since my discovery of them. I found mine at an independant organic earthwise shop. Takes some getting use to to clean them but have a method down for that to, I’ll spare the details.
I have never enjoyed tampons and have always been kind of a natural girl, so it only seemed natural to seek out alternatives… they are always out there!
Interesting. I have never been able to even insert tampons without it hurting let alone use them. Looking back I guess this was a sign of endometriosis, and never thought about the fact I had so many clots with periods as “not normal” but then docs never said it wasn’t normal either…….