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I generally have periods for 3-4 days but I prefer using napkins for atleast 6-7 days so as to prevent staining. When I use napkins on 4th day and after, I have inflammatory sensation (not exactly inflammatory but i feel some pain in between legs while walking and the more I walk the more is the sensation). This problem is very recent or I would say has started occurring after I have started working. Mine is mostly sedentary work. And generally i use napkins for 9-10 hrs. The awkward walk during the last days is very embarrassing and therefore i resorted to using napkins wrapped by cotton cloth during those days.

Also, a number of times we have forwarded texts which say girls should not use napkins for more than 5 hrs or else there are chances of infection because of chemicals used in absorbent. Is it really so ?

asked Oct 04 '13 at 17:49

abc's gravatar image


Aditi, that is such a great suggestion. They are seldom used and not much discussed in Australia. The main benefit for ladies like abc and I (as well as helping to use less resources) is the lack of physical presence of materials between the thighs irritating the skin and causing horrendous nerve pain. I have an unrelated nerve condition, and nerve pain can be triggered by clothing, weather, tiredness, etc. It can make walking and standing very painful.

abc - as far as occupational health and safety, maybe it's possible for you to try to make an excuse every few hours to stand up, walk around for ten seconds, do some sneaky stretches of your hands to the floor, turn your neck side to side, wriggle in your seat a bit. I just reread your Q, and I have a sneaky suspicion your leg pain is due to sitting long periods compressing your lower spine. The nerves in the lower back and legs become sore, achey and nervy, and it causes stiffness and back problems. These are especially heightened during menstruation due to hormones circulating more wildly in our systems. But of course the damage from sitting continues all month, and as you get older may likely become worse if you remain in a sedentary job. Oc health and safety recommendations in Australia are to take 30s - a minute each 20-30mins (or something close to this) to quickly mobilise the body and spine, do a quick few stretches. Go fetch some paperwork, stretch your legs while you type, and roll your shoulders if you are on the phone. Be creative and come up with ways to move. It may save you time off work and some lessening of your mobility in the coming years, and may help with the pain a lot. I used to get torture back pain sitting in chairs at school during my period. Stretching my hands to toes was about the only way to relieve it. If you have the time and energy when you are not working to practice one of the more active styles of yoga exercise, this helps immesurably (it did for me, anyway).

I am glad to be able to participate on this site. I feel I have accumulated some interesting knowledge over years of being fascinated by science, medicine, community and humanity. It is a joy to help empower people to understand good info about health and the human body, and to answer particularly Q's that go unanswered for whatever reason.


answered Oct 13 '13 at 15:49

Mischa's gravatar image


Dear Mischa, thank you so much for answering so many questions. I like the way you answer the questions. Your answers are very informative and unbiased with many good advises. I hope your well thought and written answers continue to help many on this forum.

(Oct 14 '13 at 12:53) aditigupta ♦ aditigupta's gravatar image

Thanks, Aditi. I hope I can continue to participate on this site, too. I really enjoy helping others with their problems - everyone deserves respectful and thoughtful answers - women's health issues can have an enormous impact on women's lives, and the Q's are v important to those who ask them. Being able to reply particularly to people whose Q's go unanswered for whatever reason is a joy. It is nice to be able to make a difference to people scattered across the globe and in communities with less free access to good health info. Keep up the good work yourself!

(Oct 15 '13 at 21:23) Mischa Mischa's gravatar image

I keep trying to award you rep points, Aditi, but maybe I don't have enough karma yet!

(Oct 15 '13 at 21:31) Mischa Mischa's gravatar image

Hi abc, I wonder if the sensation you are describing is an allergy to the napkins - as if so, you would have this sensation from the first day, soon after starting to use them. I'm not sure if you are able to change to a different napkin or a cloth one. Wrapping them is a good idea. Inflammation means of course swelling - an allergy to the pads would likely cause an inflammation to the inside of your upper thighs, a rash, very sore genitals, etc. I wonder if it's your nerves playing up in the last few days of periods. I suffer from this, too. The hormones coursing through our systems causes lots of bodily changes (hormones are very powerful things) and this can make the genitals, thighs and legs very sensitive and heighten skin sensations. It can be very painful. I take a magnesium supplement as a natural help for my painful nerves. As for your Q about length of use of napkins, it is fine to use a napkin for 6-8hrs, some women only change them twice a day if they are not soiled. It is optimal to change them as soon as you need to, every 3-4hrs initially, but extend their use as your flow wanes. This means less wastage. It is very important not to leave tampons in place longer than 6-8hrs, as this can cause toxic shock syndrome if a certain bacteria is present. But napkins are external, so you will be fine. There are chemicals in all bleached paper products. But these are present whether the pad is 1hr old or 11hrs old. If you are unable to change to or find organically produced or chemical free pads, continuing to wrap the pads in light cotton cloth may help prevent your body contacting the chemicals. If you know someone who sews, maybe you can persuade them to make you a set of washable cloth pads (these save money in the long run) from organic ccotton and absorbant cotton or wool layers. You do need a decent water supply to be able to wash them, though. Good luck with your health issues, and I hope I have helped with your questions. Cheers, Mischa.


answered Oct 12 '13 at 20:02

Mischa's gravatar image


edited Oct 15 '13 at 21:28

Thanks Mischa. The sensitive logic and use of organic/cotton pads seems convincing. Will try those. :) I doubt if its an allergy since I had been using napkins earlier as well and i dont feel this pain during the initial days; its only when the flow almost stops and I continue to use it.

(Oct 13 '13 at 01:44) abc abc's gravatar image

Thanks for answering Mischa,

Hi abc,

I would like to suggest, you give menstrual cups a try. Menstrual cups are made up of medical grade silicone which is a hypoallergenic(meaning, least likely to cause allergies compared to other materials) material. You can wear a cup for as long as 12 hours. And since it is worn inside and if properly worn, you don't feel it's there. This could help you a lot considering your sedentary lifestyle.

For more information please visit: What is a menstrual cup and how to use it?


answered Oct 13 '13 at 12:42

aditigupta's gravatar image

aditigupta ♦

Thanks Aditi. Since not many people around me use cups, I am a bit hesitant but will surely try to try it ;)

(Oct 13 '13 at 14:57) abc abc's gravatar image

It would take you one or two cycles to get used to your menstrual cup.

(Oct 14 '13 at 12:42) aditigupta ♦ aditigupta's gravatar image

Doctors specialised in gynaecologists suggests women to use organic sanitary pads free of chlorine. It is convenient, breathable, sophisticated with good absorbency compared to all products and doesn't impact skin with irritation, allergies and cramps. Check out more:Removed


answered Nov 12 '14 at 23:34

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edited Nov 13 '14 at 01:56

karijoh's gravatar image

karijoh ♦♦

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Asked: Oct 04 '13 at 17:49

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Last updated: Nov 13 '14 at 01:56

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