Alright, Betties, this blog is going to be a heavy one, period. Ha, get it? *knee slaps* ??
But seriously, the average Betty sheds between 30 and 50 milliliters of blood a day on their period—or about 2 to 3 ½ tablespoons (Don’t worry, it can be normal for that to vary a little more or less). Whatever your flow is, you want a menstrual product that matches it. So, we’re here to give you a Period Product 101, chock-full of tips to help Betties make the best decisions for their bodies.
Before we break down the various types of period products out there (did you know there’s a world of options beyond pads and tampons?!), we have an important notice: nothing should ever be forced into or around your vagina. Ultimately, deciding which period products to use really comes down to your personal preferences and comfort.
Ok, we know wearing a pad might feel a little like a diaper, but pads have your back on heavy flow days. These babies are designed to hold about 15 milliliters of liquid!
Just a word of caution: don’t wear a soaked pad for too long to avoid skin irritation. Instead, try out a high-absorbency option. Once the pad is soaked through, simply dispose of it by wrapping it up in tissue or toilet paper and tossing it into a trash can! For Betties who are trying to be eco-friendly, there are also washable fabric pads available!
One more thing, which really applies to anything that goes around that vajayjay of yours: be wary of fragranced products as they may also lead to irritation.
First things first: tampons are available in a few sizes – Light, Regular, Super, and Super Plus. These differing tampon sizes refer to their absorbency, or how much blood the tampon can hold. It has nothing to do with the size or shape of a Betty’s vagina!
A Regular tampon holds between 6 and 9 milliliters of blood, while a Super usually holds between 9 and 12 milliliters. These suckers sure can pack a punch!
Another important factor to consider when selecting a tampon is its material. The majority of tampons are made of rayon, or a blend of rayon and cotton. Tampons that are made of cotton alone may be more prone to leakage, so if you’re going with one of these, you might want to wear a pantyliner or keep one on hand for backup support. Importantly, rayon and cotton tampons – and their blended forms– are equally safe according to ongoing gynecological research.
So we’ve covered absorbency (✅) and material (✅), but, uhh how do I actually insert the darn thing? TBH, inserting a tampon is one of the most frequently asked questions here at Betty’s Co. Because of that, we created a quick rundown that you can read HERE!
Remember, inserting or removing a tampon should never be painful. But if that’s the case, try decreasing the absorbency level of the tampon (i.e. from “Super” to “Regular”, “Regular” to “Light,” etc). You should always begin with the lowest-absorbency tampon option that still supports your flow. As you become more comfortable with tampons, you can transition to a higher-absorbency option.
Also, some?Betty’s Tampon Safety?: you must swap your tampon for a fresh one every eight hours, at least. This is v important because toxic shock syndrome is a very real and very scary – potentially deadly – illness caused by bacterial toxins which may develop from excess tampon use. Set a timer or calendar reminder so that you won’t forget!
What’s that? Menstrual cups are cup-shaped products made of soft, medical-grade silicone. They’re designed to hold between 15 and 25 milliliters of blood! You’re going to want to change it every 8 to 12 hours and clean it with soap or boil it in water between uses. Most menstrual cups come in a convenient two-pack, so you can use the second cup until you properly clean the first.?
If you decide to go with a menstrual cup, keep some type of sanitary bag that you can put the used cup into once you remove it, or simply wash it out in the sink — just be sure to clean up all of your blood. Also, you’re probs going to get some blood on your hand, so keep a hand wipe nearby or prepare to work one-handed to readjust your clothes after removing it. (Warning: Which is why menstrual cup cleanout miiiiight elicit some stares in public restrooms.?) But hey, menstrual cups are one of the most eco-friendly period care options, so they may be worth the mess for some Betties.♻️✨
Like cups, menstrual discs are inserted into the vagina to collect blood. Menstrual discs can be worn up to 12 hours, but they may need to be changed more often depending on your flow. Most are disposable and are not meant to be reused. TBH, they are a tad bit messier to remove than menstrual cups. Once full, reach up into your vagina to remove the disc, empty the contents into the toilet, wrap the remaining disc in toilet paper and toss it in the trash! (?Hot Tip: You may want to wear a pantyliner with your disc in case of leakage!)
Unlike your ole’ regular, cotton panties, period undies come with a super-absorbent lining, able to hold between 5 and 25 milliliters, depending on the brand. Period underwear is cleaned by throwing them in the washer and air drying.
Period panties may run you anywhere from $20 to upwards of $80, but there is also the advantage of sustainability to consider. By cleaning and re-wearing the same undergarment, you will be significantly decreasing your waste compared to disposable period products like sanitary napkins or tampons. ??
Although the upfront costs of this period option may seem on the expensive side, you might actually find yourself saving a pretty penny. Not only can you cut your monthly spend on pads and tampons, but you may even be able to salvage all of the normal underwear that becomes stained and tossed out.
Period underwear is still fairly new to the menstruation market, so we can’t report any well-documented complaints about irritation or discomfort at this time. In that case, if the panty fits, by all means!
The Bottom Line
As far as period products go, we’re living in an age wayyyy beyond tampons versus pads. This means Betties have a ton of options to choose from when Aunt Flo comes to town. If one isn’t right for you, switch it up and choose the next best thing!