Young menstruaters sometimes fear using tampons or cups because they worry it may affect their virginity. Others like to be able to visually gauge when they need to change their period product so that they can avoid embarrassing leaks or stains.
Whatever your reason for choosing to use pads, it might be comforting to know that sanitary pads are arguably the most popular option for period products worldwide. There’s less of a risk of contracting infections with pads, and many women find them the most comfortable option.
But like all period products, pads have a few downsides. Some users feel that pads are bulky, awkward, or carry an unpleasant odor. You also can’t participate in water activities while wearing a pad. Furthermore, pads are especially bad for the environment.
Breakdown of Sanitary Pads
Health and Safety – 8/10
You’re less likely to contract serious infections like toxic shock syndrome (TSS) when using pads than tampons, but it’s not impossible. If you don’t change your pads regularly, you may also have a higher chance of developing urinary tract infections or other ailments. Like tampons, it’s also a good idea to invest in organic pads to decrease the amount of toxic chemicals you expose yourself to.
Effectiveness – 8.5/10
Perhaps one of the biggest selling points of pads is that they allow you to gauge how heavy your flow is and when you need to change out your period product. But they can become dislodged during any vigorous activity, which can result in leaks or stains.
Environmental Impact – 3/10
It may come as a surprise to you, but pads are usually cited as being much worst for the environment than tampons. Used pads often end up in landfills, buried, or both. The hazardous chemicals in pads can leach into the ground, resulting in tainted groundwater and unfertile soil.
Cost – 5/10
Like tampons, pads are a disposable product that require us to keep coming back for more. We spend large chunks of money every month on something we must throw out with every use.
Comfort – ?/10
As mentioned above, some women prefer the comfort and peace of mind they get from using pads, while others avoid them at all costs. They aren’t the best when used while being physically active, but they’re excellent options when you’re sleeping at night or need some backup for your tampon.
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