So, what's the real difference between pads and tampons?
With shelves and shelves of different options, it can be hard to figure out whether tampons or pads are better for you. The truth is, neither one is better or worse—it all completely depends on what you are most comfortable with and what makes you feel the most confident. Each have pros and cons, though, and knowing the differences between them can help you figure out which one is best for you.
• Comfort. When worn correctly, tampons are nearly impossible to feel once they’re inside of you. So long as you remember to change them frequently, you can wear it and not have to think about it for a couple of hours at a time.
• Staying active. Tampons are great for sports and other happenings that require physical activity, particularly swimming in the summer. If your tampon is secure, you never have to let your period stop you from hopping in the water.
• Hygiene. Many women feel like tampons make them feel cleaner and like not having to deal with the “mess.”
• Toxic Shock Syndrome. Though it is rare, super absorbent tampons left in too long can sometimes cause a life threatening condition called Toxic Shock Syndrome, making them potentially dangerous to wear overnight while you sleep. TSS is scary, but also super preventable. As long as you’re changing your tampons every 4-6 hours (though you can leave it in up to 8 hours), you’ll be totally fine. You can also avoid TSS by sticking to lower-absorbency tampons and changing them more often.
• Leaks. Tampons can sometimes leak if they aren’t well made or when your flow is heavy. If you’re worried about it, you can always stick a liner or light pad in your panties to ensure you’re always protected, and make sure you’re changing your tampon every few hours or as often as you need to.
• Harder to use. A lot of women have a hard time using tampons or just aren’t comfortable putting something inside of their bodies, and that’s perfectly okay.
• Preventing TSS. Wearing pads completely eliminates the possibility of getting TSS. You can wear them all night and change them in the morning without ever having to worry.
• Easier to use. Wearing pads is easy as could be. All you have to do is unwrap it and stick it in your panties and you’re good to go. If you have a hard time using tampons, pads are a much easier alternative.
• You know when to change them. Tampons can make it hard to tell since you can’t actually see them when they’re inside of you, but with pads you know exactly when it’s time for a new one.
• You can't swim in them. Pads are harder to wear when playing sports and can’t be worn for swimming at all for sanitary reasons. Sitting out of a pool party just because you have your period is no fun at all.
• Subtlety. Pads aren’t exactly discreet when you’re unwrapping them, and can sometimes even be seen through tight clothing. While that's nothing to be embarrassed about, if you’d like to avoid the crinkling wrapper and the awkward pad line, tampons might be the better option.
• Comfort. Many women prefer to use tampons over pads because they don’t like the feeling of having a pad in their underwear or feeling sticky all day. Pads are also more likely to shift a bit while you wear them, whereas tampons are pretty much guaranteed to stay in one place.
No matter what you wear, remember: every woman is different and has different preferences. Some women prefer one over the other and some like to use a combination of both. Getting your period is a drag, so wear whatever makes you feel the most comfortable and confident during that time of the month.
Do you prefer using pads or tampons? Tell us in the comments below!
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