“Aunty Flo is here to visit you!” OR “It’s that time of the month, again”! There are so many ways to say ‘I am on my period.’ And while the jokes and memes don’t stop, menstruation is no joke. Women know that those 3-7 days of bleeding are accompanied by cramps, mood swings, cravings, pain and whatnot. Plus, using the wrong kind of sanitary product can create a list of problems like TSS, rashes, cramps (again) and the risk of infections. Hence it is crucial to select a sanitary pad or product that suits your needs. Learn which period product is good as per your needs here.
To learn more TC46 connected with Simran Dhingra, the Marketing Head at Evolve Essentials. Here she shares her knowledge about the different types of sanitary napkins, infections and hygiene tips.
1. The two types of sanitary napkins
Sanitary napkins or pads are the most commonly used period products. Pads and panty liners are mostly made of plastic. But in case you are someone with sensitive skin and prone to skin rashes, opt for sanitary pads that are made from sustainable and natural materials. Buy sustainable and eco-friendly sanitary pads from the Red Dot Shop here.
The two types of pads available in the market:
- Disposable pads:
- Regular or medium flow
- Heavy flow
- Overnight pads
- Organic cotton pads
- Maternity pads
- Reusable pads:
- Cloth pads
2. Use different pads (types, sizes) on different days of your period based on your flow
All period days are not the same. Usually in the first 2 days, one needs a heavy flow pad. An overnight pad or heavy flow pad are napkins with wider wings that provide greater absorption and maximum coverage. For the last 3-4 days, medium flow pads are required.
You must also select a sanitary pad as per your flow or requirements. Depending on the flow, select the appropriate size.
- Light flow – S/M size 240 mm
- Medium flow – L size 280 mm
- Heavy flow – XL size 320 mm
- Menopause-related bleeding – XXL Size maxi pads (Maxi pads are a specific category of sanitary napkins which is used for greater absorbency usually at those times when the menstrual flow is the heaviest. These pads are the best to support you during the heaviest flow.)
- Post-delivery bleeding – Maternity pads
Some brands customise your sanitary napkins pack for your period days. They give an option for a customisable box where one gets both sizes in the same pack.
Click here to buy different sized sanitary pads from the Red Dot Shop.
3. Prevent the risk of infection or UTIs caused by sanitary products
Maxi pads are more prone to cause rashes and friction as their top sheet is made with harsh plastic, and some toxic ingredients are likely to give rashes- ink or artificial fragrances. Here are some ways you can reduce the risk of infection or UTIs:
- You must change your pad frequently. It would be better to change them at least every 5-6 hours
- Maintain proper perineal hygiene and use organic intimate hygiene products to keep the area clean
- You must drink enough water during your periods to prevent urinary tract infections. Most women avoid water consumption in order to avoid frequent trips to the loo
- Clean your underclothes regularly and dry them (preferably in sunlight) properly so that no moisture remains
Here are 8 things you should know about UTIs according to a gynaecologist.
4. Toxic shock syndrome! Can you get it from pads?
Toxic shock syndrome (TSS) is a rare but life-threatening complication caused by bacteria getting into the body and releasing harmful toxins. It’s often caused by tampon use in women, but it can affect anyone, including men, children and postmenopausal women. Risk factors for toxic shock syndrome include skin wounds, surgery, and the use of tampons and other devices, such as menstrual cups, contraceptive sponges or diaphragms. TSS symptoms can worsen quickly and can be fatal if not treated. But if it is diagnosed and treated early, most people will make a full recovery, usually within a couple of days to a week.
Thankfully, pads don’t cause toxic shock syndrome. However, they can still put you at risk for other infections if not changed at a reasonable time. You should change tampons every four to eight hours, and You should change pads every three to four hours if you wait too long or tend to forget to put yourself at risk for developing a UTI, vaginal infection, or a rash. Women using super-absorbent tampons during menstruation were found to be most likely to get toxic shock syndrome. Learn more about TSS here.
5. Sanitary products one must stay away from
One must stay away from scented wipes, vaginal deodorants, scrubs and pads which have fragrance or printed designs. Instead, people should switch to organic cotton pads which are free from all toxic chemicals. Intimate washes are highly suggested to be used. Feminine intimate/vaginal wash is a hygiene product that contains a specially formulated liquid to cleanse women’s intimate areas. The intimate wash helps to maintain, control and maintain the vaginal pH balance, prevents dryness, itching, bad odour, sexually transmitted diseases and even cervical cancer.
6. Must-know period & hygiene tips
Periods can be messy. But with the right tips, you can have an easy period. Have all the answers to your period doubts here.
Here are a few tips to have an easy period.
- Track your cycle. Use tracking apps like Clue, My Flo, Period Tracker Flo, Ovia Fertility, Natural Cycles.
- Always keep yourself hydrated.
- Change your pads every 5-6 hours.
- Get your beauty sleep. One must sleep for at least 7-8 hours.
- Keep your vaginal area clean. Avoid scented products.
- Wear comfortable clothes.
- Opt for a healthy diet.
- Get adequate exercise. Practising yoga is always beneficial. Click here to learn the dos and don’ts about working out during your periods.