A Guide to Menstrual Products

In Female Pelvic Pain by Emily TranLeave a Comment

By PHRC Admin

Menstruation is a natural part of life for most. However, navigating the world of menstrual products can be a daunting task, given the variety of options available today. This guide aims to break down the different types of menstrual products on the market, their benefits, and why you might choose one over another.


Traditional Disposable Products

1. Pads

Pads, or sanitary napkins, are often the first menstrual product one encounters. They are worn inside the underwear and absorb menstrual blood externally. Pads come in various sizes and absorption levels, making them versatile for light to heavy flow days.

2. Tampons

Tampons are inserted into the vagina where they absorb menstrual blood internally. They’re compact and discreet, offering freedom for physical activities such as swimming. However, they need to be changed every 4-8 hours to prevent Toxic Shock Syndrome.


Reusable Products

3. Menstrual Cups

Menstrual cups are bell-shaped devices made of medical-grade silicone, latex, or elastomer. They are inserted into the vagina to collect menstrual blood rather than absorb it. Menstrual cups are reusable, environmentally friendly, and can be left in for up to 12 hours.

4. Cloth Pads

Cloth pads function like disposable pads but can be washed and reused. They’re eco-friendly and free from potentially harmful chemicals found in some disposables.

5. Period Underwear

Period underwear is designed with multiple absorbent layers to catch menstrual flow. They can be worn alone on light days or as a backup with other menstrual products on heavier days.


Innovative Solutions

6. Menstrual Discs

Menstrual discs are similar to menstrual cups in that they collect menstrual blood. However, they sit at the base of the cervix instead of the vaginal canal. Some innovative menstrual discs come with TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) and heat features for pain relief.

7. Period Patches

Period patches are transdermal patches that release natural ingredients into the body to help alleviate menstrual cramps. They’re a non-invasive, drug-free option for pain management during periods.

Making the Right Choice

Making the ‘right’ choice means finding what works best for you. Choosing the right menstrual product depends on various factors such as comfort, lifestyle, flow volume, and personal preferences.

  • If you’re looking for convenience and single-use products, traditional disposable pads or tampons might be your go-to.
  • For those seeking eco-friendly alternatives, reusable options like menstrual cups, cloth pads, or period underwear would be ideal.
  • Active individuals might prefer tampons, menstrual cups, or discs for their ability to accommodate physical activities.
  • If cost-effectiveness over time is a critical factor, reusable options like menstrual cups or period underwear offer long-term savings.
  • For those who experience significant menstrual pain, menstrual discs with TENS and heat features or period patches can provide much-needed relief.

Remember, it’s okay to try different products before finding the one that suits you best. After all, comfort and convenience during your period are what matters most.

Ultimately, the evolution of menstrual products means that there’s something out there for everyone. It’s all about exploring your options and finding what works best for your body and your lifestyle.



We are excited to announce our physical therapist, Molly, is now located in our 11th location in Columbus, OH. Now scheduling new patients- call (510) 922-9836 to book! 

Are you unable to come see us in person in the Bay Area, Southern California or New England?  We offer virtual physical therapy appointments too!

Virtual sessions are available with PHRC pelvic floor physical therapists via our video platform, Zoom, or via phone. For more information and to schedule, please visit our digital healthcare page.

Melissa Patrick is a certified yoga instructor and meditation teacher and is also available virtually to help, for more information please visit our therapeutic yoga page

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