It can be quite confusing; the pads vs. tampons debate. And to add to that confusion, the more recently popular menstrual cup (but more about that in another post). Most people start off using pads when they first get their periods and transition to tampons after a couple of years. But many people also swear by pads and have never used a tampon in their lives! So, what really is the difference? Is one better for you? Let’s break it down with some facts.
A pack of 14 pads costs on average £1.50 whilst a pack of 18 tampons around £2.60. In terms of physical appearance, tampons are obviously much smaller and travel friendly as compared to pads which vary in size, from thinner panty liners to thick heavy flow pads with wings. Tampons also feel less apparent when they’re fitted properly, as compared to pads which can feel bulky and damp at times.
However, there is higher risk of toxic shock syndrome (TSS) with tampons because of its high absorbency, although still very rare. TSS is a serious illness that develops when certain types of bacteria enter the bloodstream and produce toxins which affect vital organs in the body, making it a life-threatening illness. Tampons can also be difficult to insert for first timers and finding the right size may take some trial and error, whereas pads are a safe option for those new to menstruation. They can be worn overnight and carry almost no risk of TSS. Yet, we all love a dip in the pool and pads cannot be worn whilst swimming in contrast to tampons.
Overall, they both have their pros and cons and the best choice for each individual will vary based on lifestyle, preferences and stage of life. For times where you need a more discrete and well-fitting option, for example when playing sports, tampons might be the better option whilst during heavier flows and for overnight use, pads might be best. More environmentally friendly options are now widely available on the market too such as with the aforementioned menstrual cup, and also reusable cloth menstrual pads. Amazing times we live in! So are you a pad or tampon type of girl? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!
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