Sanitary Napkins/ Pads

Seriously, do women still use these things?! LOL I mean they are invaluable for women after childbirth or young girls who maybe are too young or don't want to use an insertable device however, when afforded the option between this or that, why anyone would choose these is beyond my comprehension. Nonetheless, sanitary napkins many times are uncomfortable to wear often feeling like a diaper, they often don't fit in any modern 'cute' underwear, the adhesive can stick to you instead of your panties and these can not be worn to go swimming or if you're a lingerie model. I do still see the value of a panty liner for a protective layer when you are not sure exactly when your menses might show up but you know it should be today or tomorrow for example and no one wants to go through the trouble of inserting and wearing any of the other options listed here if they aren't actually bleeding yet or having to soak they're undies after an unexpected yet expected guess. Otherwise pads are the worst other than in very particular circumstances!

Tampons

I'm sure everyone knows about Tampons and how they work. The problems are that you can only safely leave one in for up to 4 hours at a time without risking toxic shock syndrome because the waste is literally sitting inside of you being absorbed by a cotton stick that can and will harbor and cultivate bacterial growth. Although Tampons are way better than pads for comfort and cleanliness however, swimming and intimacy can be tricky while wearing one of these. These are convenient and fast to insert and obviously better than sanitary napkins when given the choice of this or sitting in your own waste but are still low on the totem pole by ways of which options you have.

Insteads

This was my only choice for years even after similar reusable products emerged I wasn't comfortable reusing something like this (which is strange when I think about it just because there's not a lot difference in reusing a toothbrush or earplugs lol) so I stuck with my Insteads. I have recommended this product to countless girlfriends (and strangers) so much so that the company should have really paid me for advertising. The great thing about the Instead cup is that it collects the waste as opposed to absorbs it so it is not drying inside of you and collecting bacteria like with the use of tampons. It can be left in for up to 12 hours but I will admit I have often forgotten to change it towards the end of my cycle when it doesn't get full within the 12 hr time frame and you can even forget your time is even here! The only unfortunate and extremely inconvenient point is that with this product it can leak if it becomes too full or sometimes if you are a particularly active woman such as doing acrobatics or police work etc it can become displaced and 'empty' its contents. Unlike a tampon that has become full and may leave some spots in your undies this product will literally pour up to an ounce of liquid out at one time leaving you very soiled and very embarrassed if you're out in public. However, knowing your body and your cycle is KEY and you won't have too much trouble. Removing it while not tricky on the surface can lead to you spilling the contents out all over your hand. It's not a big deal but if you are in a public toilet this can be interesting to say this least. The best part about this product is that you can be intimate while it is i place and your partner will hardly notice if at all that you are having your menses! It sits right under your cervix and will not interfere with any intimate activities you may want to participate in but normally can not or will not due to your menses. *Insteads are now under new ownership according to their site and is just called Softcup now.

Blossom Cup

This is arguably the best option that I have found for aggressive protection. The cost is less than many of the other similar reusable menstrual cups and comes in different colors which I wouldn't find interesting at all except where multiple women living in the same household (such as a dorm room situation for example) or where a shared bathroom exists and if for some reason they were stored in the same space the color choices allow for one to determine very quickly which Blossom they belong to. Now unlike the Instead cups you cannot engage in intimacy while using the Blossom cup however, that is its only set back. It sits in the inside of the vaginal opening and suctions in a way that make leakage all but impossible. While slightly more difficult to insert due to needing to fold it in fours, it is far easier to position correctly than the Instead once inserted. It is also much more difficult to spill when removing due to its upright position while in place. I like this product best because it gives me the ultimate in menstrual security not having to fear leaking or toxic shock syndrom and the potential to place it and forget it for up to 12 hours is EVERYTHING!

Thinx Panties

This product is more of a passive collection approach. These undergarments are designed to absorb about 2 tampons worth of fluid as described on their product descriptions depending on which design you go with. As women who have a generous amount of fluid to disperse, we were pretty skeptical of their efficacy. In fact a backup measure was taken "just in case." However, after a few hours when it was time to change, our tester chose to go at it commando for the duration of her work day. With at least 5 more hours before quitting time this would be the time to determine if we should flip over these undies or if they were a flop. So finally, after an entire day of 1st day heavy flow the verdict is... WINNER!! Our tester was not only free from stains in her pants from leakage but she also reported feeling dry and comfortable and said they weren't noticeable.. just like wearing regular panties or boy shorts. We tried the boy shorts f.y.i. at nearly $40 a pair we decided to try one before ordering a week's worth. Some of the other styles aren't as absorbent and the smaller the cut (thong, bikini etc) the less they will absorb and require changing more often. However, as a woman who'd really rather wear nothing at all this product is for me! I would still use my blossom cup if I'm going to be out for a very long time before returning home and obviously if you want to have intercourse the Instead will always have a place in your cabinet but as far as everyday menstrual wear THINX are going to change how you feel about that time of month! Check out their site for all of the panties they offer as well as some other cool products they support or produce.

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