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Tampons vs pads

Tampons vs pads

The great debate of our time: tampons or pads? In this post, we'll explore the pros and cons of each option and help you make the best choice for your next period. 

First, let’s talk pads before we get into tampons.

What are menstrual pads?

Pads are usually seen as the less expensive, more convenient option. While they are cheaper and more accessible than tampons, they can also be a more environmentally-friendly option as they are often made from super-absorbent materials and don’t need as many wrappings as tampons do. 

The core function of pads is the same as tampons—to catch your menstrual flow and protect your underwear while keeping you feeling dry and comfortable. The pads are designed to stick to the underwear and are offered in different sizes depending on whether you have a heavy or light flow. 

Pros

Period pads have been around for many years, long before the invention of tampons. Here are some of the benefits of wearing a menstrual pad.

  • Menstrual pad with wings - When it comes to preventing leaks, wings are the difference between being caught off guard and feeling prepared at all times. Wings help prevent leaks by holding the pad in place. 
  • They’re great if you're new to the world of menstruation or have a hard time wearing tampons.
  • You can wear them overnight, so you don’t have to worry about leaks whilst sleeping.
  • They offer reduced risk of developing TSS (Toxic Shock Syndrome)

Cons

It is also important to consider that menstrual pads come with some downsides just like tampons.

  • They are not as discreet as tampons, so you may notice your pad peeking through your underwear every now and then.
  • They are not suitable for swimming in.
  • Like tampons, there’s the environmental factor. The majority of mainstream pads that are available on the market are packaged in plastic, and the pads themselves are made from non-biodegradable materials.
  • They are notorious for moving out of place when you are sitting or moving around.

What are tampons?

A tampon is a soft, absorbent cotton-based product that helps protect against leaks during your period. It is worn inside the vagina and works by absorbing fluid. Tampons are often associated with their use for protection on heavy flow days, but they can also be used on light days to assist with spotting or irregular periods.

The tampon is usually cylindrical or 'bean-shaped' and comes with a string at the bottom. Most tampons can be worn for up to 8 hours without needing to replace them.

Pros

You may be surprised to learn that tampons can offer unique pros that menstrual pads just can’t compete with.

  • Using tampons offers protection against leaks! Tampons are inserted into the vagina to collect menstrual blood. They are flexible, so they can expand with your flow.
  • Tampons can be worn for eight hours, especially while swimming; they’re easy to insert, they're water-resistant, and they’re designed to be comfortable.
  • No need to worry about them being visible through your favourite pants.
  • If inserted correctly, you can’t feel them, and they won’t get in the way of your day.

Cons

Tampons may seem like a miracle product — they’ve been a go-to method of menstrual protection for decades. But the biggest downside to wearing tampons is the risk of toxic shock syndrome (TTS). TSS is caused by Staphylococcus aureus, an organism that can infect the vagina and the bowel. The bacteria releases toxins that cause a variety of symptoms, the most common of which are fever, a sunburn-like rash, vomiting, diarrhoea, and muscle aches.

Even though tampon use is associated with toxic shock syndrome, it’s important to note that there have been cases of the disease being triggered in individuals who aren’t menstruating or using tampons.

Other downsides include…

  • For some people, inserting a tampon can be difficult and uncomfortable, especially if it’s their first time.
  • It may take a while to find a tampon that’s right for your flow.
  • A huge portion of non-organic tampons and their packaging ends up in landfills each year.
  • There is a possibility that they can irritate or dry out your vagina, causing itching and discomfort.

So which are better, Tampons or Pads?

There are a few key factors to consider when deciding between tampons and pads. 

The first is comfort. 

Tampons are inserted into the vagina, which can cause some discomfort, especially if you're not used to it. Pads, on the other hand, sit outside the vagina, making them a more comfortable option for some people.

The second factor is leak protection. 

Tampons are more likely to leak than pads because they can't always absorb all the blood flow. Pads are better at absorbing blood, making them a good choice for people who are worried about leaks. However, it may mean you have to change them regularly.

The third factor is cost. 

Pads are more expensive than tampons because you have to buy them more often, and you go through them more quickly. Whereas tampons are cheaper in the long run because you don't have to replace them as often.

The fourth and final factor is the environmental impact. 

The majority of mainstream tampons and pads are made from plastic and take a long time to decompose after they are used. 

Why switch to organic tampons and pads?

Organic pads and tampons have the benefit of being free from harmful chemicals like pesticides and herbicides. They are also free from harsh chemicals like chlorine bleach, superabsorbents, and fragrances or dyes that could potentially irritate the skin.

Organic period care also biodegrades a lot faster than mainstream pads and tampons. So not only are you saving your body from absorbing a concoction of chemicals, but you are also protecting the planet.

So, which is the best option for you? 

Where you go for tampons or pads depends on your needs and preferences. If you're looking for the most comfortable option, pads are probably the best choice. If you're worried about leaks, tampons are a good option. What should you do if you're worried about the environmental impact of your period products? In that case, pads are the better choice. (Unless you are using our eco-tampons, of course).

&SISTERS pads & tampons are made from Soil Association & GOTS certified organic cotton. Unlike the majority of mainstream tampons and pads, which are made from plastic and take a long time to decompose after they are used. 

Ultimately, the best option for you is the one that meets your needs and preferences. Consider all the factors before making your decision, and don't be afraid to try out both options to see what works best for you.

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