Sanitary Napkins and Healthy Alternatives

We use different sanitary products when we’re on our period. The most common product is sanitary pads. In Bangladesh, many types of pads are available.

However, alternatives to sanitary pads are becoming popular. Women use tampons and menstrual cups as well.

Sanitary Pads

Pads are protective cotton absorbents. They are attached to the underwear and soak up the blood. Most pads have a peeling gum line that helps to attach it. They also have wings or side attachments that help to secure the pad. These days, pads have a protective lining that helps to avoid leakage.

There are different sizes and density for different flows and uses. Women with lighter periods use different pads than women with heavy flows. Some pad types are maxi, mini, night pads, etc. They come in S-XL sizes.

Most pads are one-time usable. You use them for up to 6 hours and then dispose of them. But there are reusable pads that can be washed and used again. However, reusing pads isn’t ideal. Don’t ever flush pads.

Even though pads are the most commonly found sanitary product, it’s not perfect. It has been tested positive for volatile organic compounds (VOC). These compounds have been linked to exposure to cancer, disrupting reproductive organs, and more.

Furthermore, phthalates have been found in sanitary pads too. This has the potential to unsettle the endocrine system.


There are alternative products available for menstruation. Tampon is another popular option, especially in the West. Unlike pads, tampons are inserted into the vagina and directly soak up the blood.

Tampons aren’t scary and invasive contrary to popular myths. They come with an applicator. Insert the tampon inside your vagina by using your fingers or the applicator. It’s better to insert it during heavy flows as the slide becomes easier.

Since the cervix is narrow, there’s no chance of it getting lost. Compared to pads, tampons soak better and don’t cause a bad smell. You need to change tampons every 6 hours too. Or you can risk toxic shock syndrome (TSS).

Menstrual cup

The menstrual cup is rising in popularity these days. So far, it’s the most effective sanitary product. The cup needs to be put inside the vagina like tampons.

However, they don’t soak the blood but accumulate it. Since you can’t tell if the cup is full, you need to take it out every 4-6 hours. They are made of silicone or rubber. Most of them are reusable. They need to be cleaned in hot water.

In the end, it’s up to you, the number of accessible products and whatever suits you the best.

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