By Leanne Barbarito
Tampons are inserted inside the vagina and absorb blood internally. Tampons can be kept in for about 4-6 hours, but you SHOULD not keep them in for longer than 8 hours. This puts you at risk of toxic shock syndrome. I personally prefer tampons because it should feel like nothing is there if inserted correctly.
Pads are a great option for those who are just starting out with their period or don't like the idea of putting anything inside of them. Pads stick right on to your underwear and catch blood externally. You might want to change your pad about every 3 hours. Some people get uncomfortable keeping it in longer, especially if your period is heavy. (We prefer to use pads with wings, so they hold better!). They're a lot safer to sleep in than tampons, if you sleep through the night for 8+ hours.
Menstrual cups are perfect for busy and environmentally conscious menstruators. They are inserted inside the vagina and catch blood internally. A cup can stay in for up to 12 hours! You shouldn't feel it while it's inside of you, so it's great for a carefree period.
Period Underwear/Cloth Pads
If you're eco-friendly and aren't into putting menstrual products inside of you, there's still other great options! Period underwear or cloth pads can be worn throughout the day and washed over and over to reuse.
Liners can be worn in the very beginning of your period when you're not bleeding much yet, as backup protection from your tampons or cup, or as you're finishing up your period. They're thin and worn like a pad in your underwear.
What menstrual products do you prefer?