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I currently use sanitary napkins but I find it messy. Are there better options available? How does a sanitary napkin compare to other options like tampons or menstrual cups?

asked Oct 20 '12 at 15:57

cathyshine's gravatar image


Sanitary napkins come in different absorbencies. Using a higher absorbency napkin would prevent any leakage and keep the region between the legs dry. Other than sanitary napkins there are tampons and menstrual cups that are used to absorb the menstrual flow. Here is a comparison of these products.


Sanitary napkin is worn between the vulva and the underpants where as tampon and menstrual cup is worn inside the vagina. Sanitary napkin and tampon absorb the menstrual fluid but menstrual cup collects the menstrual fluid.


New users find sanitary napkins easy to use as it is the least intrusive among the three options. Tampons and especially menstrual cups however take some practice to get used to. If worn properly one does not feel the tampon or the menstrual cup inside. It is obvious that all the three products need to be changed regularly; however, menstrual cups can be worn for a longer time (12 hours) while tampons should not be worn for longer than 8 hours at a stretch. Sanitary napkins need to be changed once it is fully soaked. Disposable sanitary napkins and tampons need to be disposed after one use while menstrual cups are reused and can last as much as 10 years if proper care is taken.

Affordability While purchasing, menstrual cups seems to be the most expensive followed by tampons and then the napkins; however, reusability of menstrual cups over a period of 10 years makes it the least expensive of the three. There are reusable sanitary napkins made of cloth also available.

Side effects

Tampons worn for a longer time can cause a potentially fatal illness called toxic shock syndrome.


answered Oct 21 '12 at 03:45

aditigupta's gravatar image

aditigupta ♦

Menstrual cup is good.It gets less messy and reusable and less expensive.But I have noticed that its not easily available in India.I wouldn't prefer tampons,rather use pads.If staining is the issue,then you need to use period panties like adira.They are worth the buy.


answered May 06 '13 at 01:07

farah's gravatar image


I too recommend the menstrual cup. You could order the Diva cup from Canada but guess what the She Cup is sold in India.
Read all about it ... http://askamma.wordpress.com/2013/05/10/menstrual-cup-now-in-india/

(Jun 03 '13 at 11:17) Aravinda Aravinda's gravatar image

Menstrual cups can be ordered from www.shecup.com.

Other than periods, menstrual cups can be used in case of excessive cervical discharge. They act very well.

As such no reports of TSS have been reported for menstrual cups. But it is advisable that if menstrual cups are used for cervical discharge in days other than periods, they be removed at night.

This will help muscles of uterine tract to relax.


answered Oct 03 '13 at 00:55

Anupriya%20Marar's gravatar image

Anupriya Marar

Myths abound in the Western world too - I was born and raised in Australia...

I am now the 38 year-old mother of 3 children (aged 4,5 and 7) and (initially) due to fear of "losing my virginity" and then misinformation about TSS (perpetuated by my mother), I did not use a tampon until I was 34 years old!

Since childhood I have silently suffered from very heavy periods and did not realise the extent of the "abnormality" until just 6 months ago when I watched an episode of the UK program EMBARASSING BODIES. At that point I became aware of the normal or average blood loss and the menstrual cup, first and foremost as a measuring device.

I was initially "horrified" by the idea but have used a menstrual cup exclusively since then for convenience, for economy and to be kinder to the environment.

The few female friends to whom I have mentioned this liberating option have been lost for words - end of discussion.

I have an appointment in the new year to discuss my physical and mental health concerns with an obstetrician/gynecologist.

I plan to buy your beautiful book to share with my daughters and my son. My husband might also benefit from reading it.

Thank you for such a dignified and informative website...


answered Nov 08 '14 at 06:42

rosemother's gravatar image


I find that a menstrual cup seems to work the best but I always use a pad as backup, it has never leaked for me though.


answered Apr 12 '13 at 00:02

Horse%20Lover's gravatar image

Horse Lover

Menstrual Cup however reduces your menstrual constipation, rashes and skin rashes and an added advantage thing is that it is sanitary and doesn't leak anyway.

check out more: Removed


answered Oct 31 '14 at 08:32

Questions's gravatar image


edited Nov 13 '14 at 01:57

karijoh's gravatar image

karijoh ♦♦

Tampons– A tampon is a small cotton plug which absorbs menstrual blood. You have to insert it into the vagina and it expands (opens up like a flower) to absorb the blood. It has a small string that hangs outside the vagina, which helps you pull out the tampon easily. Tampons also come with different absorbency levels for heavy or light flow and you can choose the one that suits your menstrual flow. Menstrual cups– A menstrual cup is a small and soft bell-shaped cup made from medical grade silicon and inserted into the vagina to hold the menstrual fluid. Menstrual cups are reusable, practically maintenance free and can last for about a year. The cup is inserted into the vagina by folding its mouth until the stem of the cup is half an inch inside the vagina. The menstrual cup is then rotated one full circle so that it opens completely and is positioned properly to hold the blood. To remove the cup, simply pinch the base of the cup and slowly pull it out with the help of the stem. Cloth pads– Cotton cloth pads have been used since eternity. Women from our grandma’s generation used a simple long rectangular piece of cloth to line the inside of the underwear like you’d line a sanitary napkin. The only difference is that it would be not be stuck with the adhesive but, tied or hung on the elastic of the underwear. The modern cloth pads are similar to sanitary napkins and have wings with glue that secure the pad. The only advantage of using cloth pads is that they are reusable and environment-friendly. However, washing, disinfecting and drying them is a task, and you have to change them every five to six hours. Using cotton cloth pads reduces the risk of rashes and irritations to a certain extent because of the soft material and zero chemicals. Suffering from heavy menstrual bleeding? These could be the reasons. BY ebtaccount jpmorgan


answered Dec 14 '16 at 19:54

sahaeta9's gravatar image


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Asked: Oct 20 '12 at 15:57

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Last updated: Dec 14 '16 at 19:54

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