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Heart-to-Heart: Pros and Cons of Feminine Hygiene Products for Heavy Periods

Today there is a large selection of feminine hygiene products available in every store and pharmacy. Among them are well known market leaders like pads, tampons, and menstrual cups. But what is better to use for heavy periods? After all, everyone’s individual needs are different, and for many women heavy periods can be entirely debilitating (and very embarrassing if “accidents” happen).

Top Feminine Hygiene Products

During menstruation, the most important thing is to be in control of cleanliness and safety. Below we will discuss the pros and cons of each product most women use monthly.

Feminine hygiene pads

Most often, pads are made of cotton, synthetic materials, plastic, and [often] some chemicals and bleach. Although today there are options made of organic materials: high-quality cotton and pulp from renewable wood, whitened with hydrogen peroxide instead of chlorine. It all comes down to carefully reading the fine print on the package.

A common cause of heavy menstrual bleeding are uterine fibroids.

Pads are considered uncomfortable by many women but they still remain a popular option for heavy periods.

Pros:

  • Pads can be bought in all stores.
  • They are easy to use.
  • You can choose pads according to the intensity of your flow, and there are options for day and night.
  • Although not always comfortable, some manufacturers have come up with efficient and inexpensive options.

Cons:

  • Unpleasant odor.
  • Not all women like the contact of the used pads with their skin.
  • You cannot swim or be in the pool.
  • You can not wear thongs or certain outfits (like white pants) due to the risk of an “accident”.

Tampons

Tampons are another popular feminine hygiene product. If the bleeding is excessive, tampons are not an option due to leaking or expulsion of the tampon For lighter bleeding, leaks are minimal (if any), the product does not come into contact with air; therefore, less bacteria and unpleasant odor.

Fibroids can cause uterine bleeding between periods or heavy menses.

However, many gynecologists do not recommend to use tampons on an ongoing basis.

Pros:

  • Tampons can be bought in all stores.
  • They are easy to use.
  • You can wear thongs and light underwear (or a swimsuit).
  • A tampon is inside, which gives women a feeling of comfort, cleanliness, and freedom.

Cons:

  • Not an option for very excessive bleeding.
  • An incorrectly inserted tampon can cause discomfort.
  • Tampons can lead to drying out of the vaginal mucosa.
  • It is necessary to change tampons in a timely manner because they should not be inside for more than 6-8 hours.
  • Very frequent use can disrupt natural microflora causing vaginitis and/or colpitis.

Menstrual cups

Menstrual cups have been around for a while, and the most recent version of the product has many fans. Menstrual cups were invented in the 1930s but gained great popularity only in the last decade. What is it and how does it work?

Heavy menstrual bleeding (HMB) is a significant health issue that is impacting 20-50 per cent of women.

A menstrual cup is a silicone or latex flexible bell-shaped container. The cup does not absorb discharge, but only keeps it inside. 

Rinse the cup thoroughly with boiling water before each use. Wash your hands, fold the cup in half to insert it, and carefully relax the muscles of the pelvis; place the cup as you do with a tampon. The bent cup should open fully in the vagina. Unlike tampons, the cup is located in the lower part of the vagina, and thanks to a convenient “tail”, you will have no problems removing it.

Pros:

  • Menstrual cup usually serves 3-5 years. This is a money saver compared to tampons and pads.
  • Properly set menstrual cup does not cause discomfort.
  • Menstrual cup does not violate the natural flora of vagina, does not dry the vaginal mucosa.
  • It holds twice as much discharge as the largest pad or tampon. Even if you have a heavy period, you can leave it in for hours!
  • You can swim in the pool.
  • You can wear any clothes.

Cons:

  • Menstrual cup cannot be bought in all stores.
  • Using a menstrual cup is not very convenient and hygienic in public places because often you cannot wash the cup and your hands well enough.
  • You need experience to insert the cup correctly and not spill the contents when removing it. After 2-3 test runs the use of a menstrual cup becomes simple and natural.

The Best Way to Combat Heavy Periods

Unfortunately, there is no hygiene product known to women that comes without cons. Not to mention that heavy periods can be quite painful and sometimes cause anemia or other consequences. When faced with heavy periods, the best option is to consult a doctor to determine the cause of the issue and address it as soon as possible.

The most common cause of heavy periods are uterine fibroids and/or adenomyosis. Both of these conditions are successfully treated with Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) otherwise known as Uterine Artery Embolization (UAE). It is an outpatient, nonsurgical procedure that can give you your life back and forever solve the problem of heavy periods and other severe symptoms that these conditions can cause.

To learn more about UFE and uterine fibroids contact Atlanta Fibroid Center at 770-953-2600 or make an appointment online at ATLii.com.

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