Over the last 50 years feminine hygiene has changed dramatically. Back in the day, we wore a contraption that was called a sanitary belt. This intimidating looking item with its straps would give anyone a panic attack.
Today, the market offers products with wings as well as a cup. The world of feminine hygiene has evolved and woman have more choices to find a product which is right for their body. But, what is the right product for your body?
First, start out slow when purchasing a new product, and try a sample. Avoid buying in bulk in case the product doesn't work out or if you have an allergic reaction.
If you are experiencing your period for the first time, try a sanitary pad with wings. The wings protect your underwear from stains. But when you have your period wear dark colored underwear to hide any possible mishaps.
Change your pad every three to four hours even during a light flow. This can minimize mishaps and keep you feeling clean and fresh.
For those of you who are active, you may want to consider tampons. Like sanitary napkins, tampons come in different sizes. They range from heavy flow days to light flow days.
The key thing to using tampons is to change them frequently to avoid toxic shock syndrome (TSS). If you keep a tampon in too long it can develop bacteria which can cause TSS. Toxic shock syndrome can be a life threatening infection.
To dispose of a sanitary napkin, fold it in half, wrap with toilet paper, and put it in the garbage. They, like tampons, should not be flushed down the toilet.
At night, it may be best to use a sanitary napkin to avoid the possibility of TSS.
A tampon should also be changed every 4-6 hours or when it is saturated. Tampons can leak so it is important to not just forget about it, and to monitor its saturation level.
To remove a tampon, pull the string, wrap in toilet paper and throw away in the rubbish bin.
If the string accidentally breaks on a tampon don't panic. While tampons are very sturdy, there is a very slim possibility of the string breaking. The most important thing is to relax and bear down.
If you are unable to remove the tampon yourself, you can contact your ob/gyn or go to the emergency room. The important thing is to remove the tampon as soon a possible to avoid TSS.
A word of caution about tampons and other products that are perfumed. They could cause an infection or allergic reaction. So, if your skin is sensitive to perfume or scented items, you should avoid these type of products.
Another product that has recently entered the market is a menstrual cup. The cup is inserted into the vagin where it catches your period.
The cups can be worn for up to 12 hours and can be used while you are sleeping. Some cups are disposable and others can be reused. Many athletes uses these when they are participating in rigorous activities.
In order to prevent an emergency it is always good to carry a spare of clean cotton underwear, feminine pads or tampons.
"TeensHealth." Feeling Fresh. Web. 07 Oct. 2013.
"Feminine Hygiene Guide." Softcup. Web. 07 Oct. 2013.
"KidsHealth." Pads and Tampons. Web. 07 Oct. 2013.
Reviewed October 7, 2013
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith