“What are different types of Sanitary Pads?”

 “What are different types of Sanitary Pads?”

different types of Sanitary Pads ichhori.com

For women and girls, having access to safe and dignified menstruation is a basic requirement. Many girls in low- and middle-income nations are unable to manage their menses and related hygiene with comfort and dignity, according to a growing body of evidence. In times of crisis, this deprivation is exacerbated for girls and women. Due to a combination of discriminatory social settings, incorrect information, insufficient facilities, and a restricted variety of absorbent materials, many girls and women are unable to maintain proper menstrual health and hygiene at home, at school, at work, or in other public places.

Personal preference, cultural tolerance, economic standing, and availability in the local market all influence sanitary protection material selections. To manage period hygiene, along with basic sanitary facilities, soap and menstrual absorbents should be provided. Women and girls in rural and urban areas use different absorbents. Reusable cloth pads are the most popular absorbents in rural regions, whereas commercial sanitary pads are favoured by women in metropolitan areas.

The different types of Menstruation/Sanitary products

There are a variety of products available to keep menstruators comfortable and dry. There are a few things to think about that will help narrow down the options. We live in a world where period products are more readily available than ever before. When it comes to finding the best product for a specific body and lifestyle, there are numerous factors to consider:

  • Level of physical activity
  • Cost
  • Sustainability: Reusable or Disposable
  • User-friendliness
  • Time management – How long can you use the product before replacing it or cleaning it?

According to the Association of Reproductive Health Care Professionals, menstruating women may have 450 periods in their lifetime. Period products are divided into two categories: external and internal protection. Internal protection such as tampons are inserted into the vagina to catch or absorb menstrual flow before it leaves the body, whereas external protection such as pads and panty liners attach to the crotch of underpants to absorb your menstrual flow after it leaves the body. Some people prefer internal protection because it is less noticeable and easier to use while participating in sports.

  1. Reusable and Washable Cloth Pads

Reusable pads are worn on the outside of the body in underwear to collect menstrual flow and are generally kept in place by snaps. They're made of various natural and synthetic materials. They are washed, dried, and reused for about a year after each usage. They're consumables that need to be checked on a frequent basis for supply, availability, and price. Its usage is dependent on public knowledge, cost, and accessibility. Due to supply chain constraints, there are only a few large-scale makers of reusable pads, and they are not widely available in many situations. There is virtually little evidence that using reusable pads has any negative effects on one's health. There may be a link between urinary tract infections and bacterial vaginosis, and using moist materials might irritate the skin. 

The potential to save money over time is the main advantage of reusable cloth pads. Because disposable sanitary pads must be changed every few hours, you may generate a lot less waste. However, one significant drawback is the initial expense.

  1. Disposable sanitary pads

The sanitary pad/napkin, the most widely used period product, has been on the market for almost a century. They are attached to the inside of the user's underwear and absorb menstrual blood through layers of absorbent material, which is generally rayon, cotton, and plastic. Pads have improved over the years to become considerably more absorbent and comfortable, with a wide selection of options to accommodate various flows. They come in a variety of forms and absorbency levels.

Disposable pads are frequently favoured and viewed as desirable by girls and women since they are described as dependable, sanitary, comfortable, convenient to use (particularly in situations when privacy is limited), and do not require access to water for washing. Although there is ambiguous data on the influence of disposable pad usage and bacterial vaginosis, as well as reproductive tract infections, especially in connection to prolonged wear duration, in most research, no major adverse health consequences are documented. 

However, because they're disposable, they're not the most ecologically friendly alternative because they need to be replaced every four hours or so to avoid bacteria development and odour.

  1. Tampons

The tampon is a close second to the sanitary pad in terms of popularity. Tampons are inserted into the vaginal canal and used internally. It takes some getting used to, and not everyone is comfortable with them. Internal protection is provided by this sort of absorbent. They're a soft cotton plug that's inserted into the vaginal canal to collect menstrual flow before it leaves the body. They should be changed every 4-6 hours or as needed. Tampons are preferred by many users because they are more inconspicuous than pads, both in terms of packaging and while in use.

Tampons, like most pads, are not the most environmentally friendly or cost-effective solution because they are disposable and non-biodegradable. Toxic Shock Syndrome is another factor to consider (TSS). Tampons can absorb the vaginal lubrication and bacteria in addition to menstrual blood, raising the risk of TSS, an uncommon but potentially deadly disease.

  1. Menstrual cups

They might be a new technology for underprivileged women and girls, as well as a substitute for sanitary pads and tampons. They feature cups made of medical-grade silicone rubber that folds easily and may be placed into the vaginal canal to collect menstrual blood. They can be worn for up to 12 hours depending on the amount of menstrual flow, requiring less frequent removal and emptying. They are both reusable and eco-friendly. It provides a long-term, practical, and cost-effective solution where sanitation is a problem. They can last up to a decade, making them one of the most environmentally and financially friendly alternatives. Using a menstrual cup has a number of advantages. Many women claim that wearing a cup makes their cramps more bearable since the flexible material moves with uterine contractions rather than pressing against them.

There is a slight risk of TSS with menstrual cups, just as there is with tampons. 

  1. Menstrual Disc

Menstrual discs, which are composed of plastic or silicone, are also inserted into the vaginal canal. A menstrual disc, unlike a cup, is placed at the base of your cervix, the broadest part of your vaginal canal. It works by collecting blood in the disc and can stay in for up to 12 hours, just like the menstrual cup – and, like the cup, it can take some time to find out how to use it effectively. It is removed and its contents dumped into the toilet once the user is finished with it. However, unlike the cup, most menstruation discs are not reusable, making them less environmentally and financially friendly. For exercise, women prefer the disc over the cup and tampons since the chance of leakage is reduced.

  1. Period Underwear

These underwear appear and feel like ordinary underwear, but they are extremely absorbent, preventing leakages onto clothes, and they are one of the most environmentally friendly alternatives available because they are washable. When you have a light flow, they can be used instead of pads or tampons, or as a backup when you have a high flow. They aren't the cheapest choice, but when compared to years of disposable pads or tampons, they are well worth it. For further leak protection and peace of mind, users with a heavy flow can pair period-proof underwear with their choice of period product.

It's easy to become overwhelmed by the large number of feminine care products available, especially since few of them are inexpensive. It takes a lot of trial and error to discover the proper period product. As your requirements evolve, what works for you now may not work for you in ten years. Using a combination of products during each period to accommodate for your activity level and unique flow might be beneficial. It is important to remember that when properly cared for and used, any period is good, as all period products are made equal and all are regarded safe by doctors.


  1. https://www.hindawi.com/journals/jeph/2018/1730964/

  2. https://www.familyplanning.org.nz/advice/periods/period-products

  3. https://www.ippf.org/blogs/period-products-what-are-options

  4. https://www.unicef.org/media/91346/file/UNICEF-Guide-menstrual-hygiene-materials-2019.pdf

  5. https://uthealthaustin.org/blog/period-products

  6. https://youngwomenshealth.org/2013/03/28/period-products/

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