Menstrual Products: Menstrual Cups, Tampons, Padettes, and other Disposable and Reusable Menstrual Products
Most women use some type of feminine hygiene product to absorb or catch their menstrual flow. There are a number of different methods available, both disposable and reusable, including sanitary napkins, tampons, silicone menstrual cups, padettes, and other.
Disposable feminine hygiene products
Disposable sanitary napkins (sanitary towels) or pads — They are probably the most commonly known and used. Somewhat rectangular pieces of material are worn in the underwear to absorb menstrual flow, often with “wings,” pieces that fold around the panties, and/or an adhesive backing to hold the pad in place. Disposable pads may contain wood pulp or gel products, usually with a plastic lining and bleached. Older styles of sanitary napkins were held in place by a belt-like apparatus, instead of adhesive or wings.
Tampons — Disposable cylinders made of soft cotton or rayon blends pressed together to form a cylinder-like shape, usually bleached, that are inserted into the opening of the vagina. A tampon absorbs menstrual flow, or blood, before it has a chance to leave the body. Tampons come in all different sizes and absorbency and can be purchased at most convenience stores or supermarkets.
Padettes – Disposable wads of treated rayon/cotton blend fleece that are placed within the inner labia to absorb menstrual flow.
Disposable menstrual cups — A firm, flexible cup-shaped device worn inside the vagina to catch menstrual flow. Disposable cups are made of soft plastic.
Reusable Feminine Hygiene Products
Reusable cloth pads are made of cotton (often organic), terrycloth, or flannel, and may be sewn by hand (from material or reused old clothes and towels) or store-bought.
Menstrual cups — A firm, flexible bell-shaped device worn inside the vagina to catch menstrual flow. Reusable versions include rubber or silicone cups.
Reusable Cloth Menstrual Pads — healthy alternatives to disposable menstrual pads, both for you and for the environment.
Sea sponges — Natural sponges, worn internally like a tampon to absorb menstrual flow.
Padded panties — Reusable cloth (usually cotton) underwear with extra absorbent layers sewn in to absorb flow.
Blanket, towel — (also known as a draw sheet) — large reusable piece of cloth, most often used at night, placed between legs to absorb menstrual flow.
In addition to products to contain the menstrual flow, pharmaceutical companies likewise provide products — commonly non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) — to relieve menstrual cramps. Some herbs, such as dong quai, raspberry leaf and crampbark, are also claimed to relieve menstrual pain; however there is no documented scientific evidence to prove this.
Divacups, the Keeper, Mooncup are all great reusable menstrual cup brands!
Read more about menstrual cup products on my blog.