Hey there! Is this your first time using a pad, or are you still unclear about what they are? You're covered; here is your pads guide - on what they are, what sizes and kinds are available, how to use them, and health risks associated with them.
Which Sizes Of Pads Are Available?
Each flow and situation can be handled by one of the pads. These pads come in many different widths, lengths, absorbencies, and designs. There are many variations, such as scented and unscented, long and short, with wings or without wings.
Now let’s look more closely at the differences:
Panty liners are thinner, smaller, and less absorbent. These are designed to be used on non-period days when you may experience discharge and/or spotting.
The pad is usually characterized by medium absorbency for flow, which falls between light and heavy.
These pads are thicker than normal pads. Some people prefer thin pads, while others prefer thicker pads for the extra security they can provide. Pads of this type are usually capable of accommodating a medium to heavy flow.
These are typically longer and thinner than other types, and some are wider in the back. They are used to protect your underwear and sheets from leaks during the night. There are wings on the sides of the crotch of this pad to protect against leaks.
Different Kinds Of Pads Available
With the advent of better materials for absorbing menstrual blood, several options are available depending on what better suits your needs. But with so many options, it's confusing as to which one is better. In addition, there are many variations of pads, including biodegradable, reusable, and cloth pads. We have listed the materials here so you can have a closer look at them.
Eco-friendly and formulated with natural fiber that lets your skin breathe, these pads keep you dry with an absorbent cellulose core. Biodegradable pads do not contain any harmful chemicals that can harm the body, reducing the risk of infection or skin allergies caused by standard pads.
Pads made from biodegradable material come in a variety of options. For example, Saathi pads come in banana fiber and bamboo fiber. Due to bamboo’s high absorbency and unbleached nature, you are at a lower risk of bacterial or fungal infections. A sustainable and cost-effective option that decomposes within six months.
Pads made from these materials are reusable and eco-friendly. They have no foul smell, and when properly maintained, they last for many years to come. To last the entire cycle, you will probably need at least five or six cloth pads.
The pads are made of natural cotton fiber, thus reducing the risk of rashes and allergies. To suit your body type and comfort, you can also choose between different shapes and sizes. The problem is that if it's not dried properly, there's a risk of infection.
In the past, pads have evolved from bulky to thin and now ultrathin, with wings, adhesive, leak-proof layer, etc. As a result, the fabrics also changed from cotton to superabsorbent gel, a feel-dry non woven plastic layer, and a plastic back sheet to prevent leaks. Moreover, the pads' packaging and fragrances have been altered as well.
However, these pads are not healthy for you, as they contain toxic chemicals that seem to cause health problems. Additionally, these pads are bleached to make the material white and scented. Standard pads tend to cause menstrual issues when used against the skin, and due to their nature, they may cause itchiness and rashes.
How To Use A Pad?
Pads are available in various sizes - thin for when there aren't many traces of bleeding (pantyliners), regular, or thick for heavier bleeding. You can choose the size that suits you best. A quick guide on how to wear a pad.
STEP 1: Ensure that the pad that you select has the appropriate thickness, absorbency, shape, and style. Nearly 3.5 billion people on this planet have periods, so there are tons of options available to accommodate all our needs.
STEP 2: Get into position. It's common to change your pads when you go to the toilet, but sometimes the urge hits you when the bladder is empty. It doesn't matter what you do, find a bathroom, wash your hands, and place your underwear in plain sight. If you sit down and have your underwear wrapped around your knees, you'll have the easiest time. Standing is okay too; just keep everything within easy reach.
STEP 3: You will need to stick the adhesive part to your panties. This pad should sit directly beneath your vagina rather than creep up your front or rear! You may want to align it a little further back if you plan to do a bit of lying down, but you probably already know where it will be most effective. You'll get better at centering the pad front to back after a little practice! Did you get wings? Be sure to fold these around the outside of your pants to ensure they stick. It is much more comfortable to wear the pads with wings while you are moving around. You won't have to worry about leaks during heavy flow.
STEP 4: Put on your panties as usual and you're done! Remove the pad if it is itchy or irritating your skin in any way. Wearing a pad shouldn't cause discomfort; if it does, consider consulting your gynaecologist, you may need to switch brands. If the pad needs to be changed or if there are any issues, you can check when you go to the bathroom. You should change the pad as needed to keep odors at bay.
Pro tip: change your pad every few hours. It will obviously depend on how heavy your flow is. Not only will frequent toilet changes make you feel better, but odors won't develop either.
STEP 5: Some brands of pads include a box or wrapper in which the used pad can be disposed of. You may also wrap the used pad in a newspaper and discard them if you don't have that option. Always cover used pads with a piece of paper or a box before throwing them away. There is nothing more displeasing than a used pad in the garbage, and you must never, ever flush it down the toilet.
Even if you have a light flow, you should change your pads every three to four hours. Changes regularly prevent bacteria buildup and decrease odor. To make sure you don't leak, you might need to change the pads more often if you have a heavy flow.
How Do You Know It’s Time To Change Your Pad
Before your pad becomes full, you should change it. When you visit the bathroom, check if your pad needs to be changed by how full it is or if it feels wet or uncomfortable. It's important to change it frequently enough to avoid leaks or discomfort.
Having your vulva and pad adjacent to your anus makes for tight quarters. And if left to sit for long enough, sweat and bacteria can create some pretty unpleasant smells, and it can be pretty gross when period blood comes into the picture.
The odor of the vaginal area is generally not alarming, but keeping it clean and dry can keep it from becoming infected. One advantage of some pads is that they are thicker and designed to hold more blood, which allows you to go longer between changes. However, don’t go any longer than 6-8 hours to avoid infections or odor. When in doubt, you should start with the instructions on the package.
How Many Pads Should You Use In A Day?
A few factors to consider can affect how many you need, so there is no right answer. For example, if you get seven hours of sleep a night, four to five pads would be sufficient.
If you're considering whether to use more, you might consider these factors:
Exercise: If you sweat, you might find things a little moisture and a little stinkier. You could also end up with a pad wedgie from a Pilates or spin class because pads tend to shift and squish after a workout.
Hot weather: There can be a lot of moisture down there during the hot weather.
Plans for the day: The day's plans may require you to change your pad before you go out, even if it's relatively dry.It might be less ideal and more uncomfortable to change a pad during situations like a date night or an afternoon off, or when you're on a long flight.
Heavy flow days: You may need to change your pad more often on the first few days of your period since they are the heaviest ones, which pertains to all heavy days.
Health Risks Of Menstrual Hygiene
You can prevent infections in your reproductive system by avoiding these six bad menstrual hygiene habits:
Unclean Sanitary Napkins: There’s a reason sanitary napkins come with more than one cover! Unclean pads can lead to fungal infections, reproductive tract infections, urinary infections, and even infertility. It may seem like common sense to some of you, but women worldwide still substitute dried leaves, plastic, cloth, old rags and other items as pads. As part of your menstrual hygiene routine, making sure you use sterile and clean pads is as important as cleaning your body.
Wearing one for too long: Every one of us does it, and it is one of the most dangerous things we can do. Changing your pads regularly (at least every 6-8 hours) will keep you from developing rashes, yeast infections, and odor problems. Changing your pad is a good idea, no matter how light your flow is. But, you can never be too careful.
Wiping or washing from back to front: Having a conversation about your periods can be awkward, but we’re about to step into new territory (pun intended). A common mistake we make when we want to make sure everything is completely clean? When you wash or wipe back to front after peeing or pooping, you actually transfer bacteria from the bowel to the vagina, leading to serious urinary tract infections.
Unprotected sex during your periods: Although you may think that you won't get pregnant if you have sex during your period, doctors have a different opinion. While the odds of becoming pregnant are lower, it's still possible since sperm live in your body for up to seven days.
When you have sex during your period, you are also at risk of spreading infections such as HIV and hepatitis. These blood-borne viruses can be spread through contact with menstrual blood. It is possible to reduce your risk of spreading or catching an STI by using condoms every time you have sex.
Not washing your hands: One of the lessons taught in school is to wash your hands. For a healthy feminine hygiene routine, it is important to wash your hands prior to wearing and after disposing of sanitary pads.
We hope this guide helped you understand your pad needs better. There can be an overwhelming feeling during periods or even the thought of bleeding down there. But that's a natural tendency, and there's nothing to be ashamed of in it.
Please share this blog with your friends and family if you enjoyed it and found it enlightening. Together, let's talk openly about periods and break the taboo surrounding them.
- Top thing to eat and avoid for a happy & healthy periods: Top thing to eat and avoid for a happy & healthy periods
- Yoga for Periods, Body and Soul: Yoga for Periods, Body and Soul
- Mental Health Month: Mental Health Month
Saathi, an award-winning social venture has patented technology to convert agri-waste into absorbent materials. It is known for its 100% biodegradable and compostable sanitary pads made from banana and bamboo fibers. Saathi pads are better for the body🩸, community 🌎 and environment 🌱. We are on a mission to make products sustainably and responsibly.
We are recognized by the New York Times Climate Hub, UNESCO Green Citizens project, University of St. Andrews, Solar Impulse Foundation, and Global Cleantech Innovation Program among others for our innovative, social impact, and sustainable work. We are working towards 8 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).