It has been reported that a woman will wear a tampon or a maxi pad over 100,000 hours in her lifetime (and perhaps more when it comes to women suffering from uterine fibroids’ symptoms).
How to choose the best pads for heavy flow with uterine fibroids? Let’s try to figure it out!
It is particularly important to know the makeup and reliability of these pads. The tissues around the vagina are very vascular and given the long amounts of exposure to this area, it is not hard to understand how various chemicals from maxi pads can get in to a woman’s bloodstream.
What You Should Consider When Choosing Best Pads for Heavy Flow
If you have heavy periods with heavy bleeding (particularly with the passage of large clots), using tampons becomes impossible.
And when it comes to best pads for heavy flow, it is important to research the products as thoroughly as you can. Some of the features that are important to look for include:
100% certified organic cotton.
It is the preferred material over inorganic materials or other organic ones (ex. rayon). Rayon, like cotton, is made from cellulose. However, rayon releases dioxin when bleached which is a toxic compound. Dioxin is known to cause significant health problems and even cancer.
Some manufacturers substitute wood pulp for rayon in the absorbent layer. While this may be preferable, it can cause vaginal irritation in some women. A large shift in wood pulp usage has been argued by some to contribute to deforestation.
No bleaching with chlorine.
Cotton is not naturally ultra white. White is the personification of cleanliness and purity. It’s why western brides, doctors, and nurses wear white.
Pad manufacturers will often bleach their products to make them ultra white. This can release dioxin and other chemicals for absorption in to a woman’s body. Bleaching is believed to be safer with hydrogen peroxide.
No dyes or fragrances.
Some women are sensitive to fragrances or dyes. It may cause irritation, itching, or a full-blown allergic reaction.
Biodegradable and compostable.
Obviously it is preferable to be environmentally friendly.
You Have Options When Dealing with Heavy Periods
Video by Put A Cup In It
Ultimately, maxi pads are not your only option to take control over heavy periods. There are two additional options to mention.
Reusable Sanitary Pads
The first alternative for heavy flow is a reusable sanitary pad which are made of safe materials with a washable, highly absorbent insert for different levels of flow.
Reusable pads can cost more up front than a pack of disposables, but they last for a very long time. Considering that an average American woman uses nearly 17,000 tampons or pads in her lifetime, spending on disposable maxi pads adds up overtime.
In addition to saving you money in the long run, reusable pads can be more comfortable and are better for the environment, too.
Today, many stores carry reusable pads and you can find a variety of high quality, comfortable pads online. If you are new to reusable sanitary products, here is a list of top 10 reusable menstrual pads reviewed in detail.
The other option is a menstrual cup. It is made of medical grade silicone and is inserted in to the vagina to catch all of the menstrual blood. It is emptied every 8-12 hours during your cycle.
The cup is rinsed out and re-inserted. It will also save a lot of money on sanitary products and is a very environmentally friendly option. There is a slight learning curve to placing the cup at first, so initially you may want to pair it with a pad or a liner.
You might find it useful: 2019 Guide | How to Choose a Menstrual Cup – For Beginners and Pros
When You’ve Had Enough of Fibroids: A Better Solution
At the end of the day, maxi pads for heavy periods are costly, inconvenient, and don’t guarantee that you won’t have embarrassing “accidents” in public.
Not to mention that heavy periods interfere with your social life, work, sex life, and are often accompanied by severe pain and anemia.
You can finally trade your maxi pads for the smallest “pad” you will ever need: a simple bandaid covering a tiny incision left after uterine fibroid embolization. You will go home with just a bandaid to never buy maxi pads again!