Do you flinch when someone around you talks about periods? Why is something so normal, regular, experienced by every woman in the world, still a tabooed topic or brings discomfort? This is because there is still a lot of stigmas attached to it and prevents spreading awareness on safe hygienic practices. Every year, a World Menstrual Hygiene Day is thus observed on May 28th. The main aim of this observance is to challenge and change this stigma around periods. It also aims to create awareness about menstrual hygiene to girls and women worldwide. The most common menstrual product is sanitary pads/napkins. Not many still have access to tampons and menstrual cups. On World Menstrual Hygiene Day 2020, we look at the pros and cons of these menstrual products.

Sanitary Pads

Sanitary pads are the most common and widely used menstrual hygiene products by women everywhere. Also called as the sanitary napkin or menstrual pad, it is worn externally unlike the other two products meant to absorb period blood. They are made with rayon and also use polymer at the side. There are some reusable ones made with cloth too. Period Problems: Scary Things That Happen When You Don't Change the Sanitary Napkin or the Tampon For Too Long During Menstruation.


  • They are very easy to use and available in so many varieties, shapes and sizes. Depending on your flow, you can use different ones.
  • It is easier to determine when you have to change the pad and you can easily wrap it off and dispose of it. Changing is not messy.
  • They can be easily used overnight. You can even use them when you are just light leaking before the period.


  • Since they are externally sticking on to your underwear, they can shift if you are engaging in much physical activity.
  • You can develop rashes around your vagina because of the plastic material that rubs on to your skin all day long.
  • They are not biodegradable and contribute to lot of waste in the environment.


A tampon is another menstrual hygiene product made of rayon, or a blend of rayon and cotton meant to absorb period blood. It has to be inserted in vagina during menstruation. It expands as it soaks up the period blood. Can You Pee With a Tampon In? Does it Affect with the Urine Flow?


  • Tampons are more comfortable as it allows you to freely move and there is no worry of it going out of place.
  • Tampons allow you to swim while you are on your period. You can also play a lot of sports and games without having to worry about it moving.
  • It is a compact product, so you can easily carry a bunch of them together, even in your small purse or pocket, if need be.


  • There is no definite way of knowing when you should change a tampon. It also depends on the flow. You will have to remove it and see if it needs a change.
  • Tampons are not eco-friendly. The material of a tampon is not biodegradable.
  • If you are uncomfortable with having to 'insert' an object in your vagina, then tampons are not the product for you.

Menstrual Cups

Menstrual cups are made of silicone, latex or rubber. These cups are designed to collect blood. These do not absorb any blood but just collect it and you have to empty it at regular intervals (4 to 8 hours, depending on your flow). Menstrual Cup: Safe, Practical and Inexpensive, Why it’s Better than Sanitary Pads and Tampons.


  • Menstrual cups are much affordable compared to your regular sanitary pad packets. One menstrual cup costs somewhere in the range of Rs 400 to Rs 800 and it can be used for years! It is more like an investment.
  • The best part about this product is that it's eco-friendly.
  • They are odourless, unlike pads which are heavily scented. So it does not leave you stinking later.


  • It can be messy to use because it has to be emptied from time to time. If you are not used to it, it can get messier to clean.
  • If you have a rubber or latex allergy, then this is definitely not the option for you.

We have listed down some of the pros and cons of these menstrual products. Those who use pads, tampons or menstrual cups would be aware of what feels comfortable to them. Most people start using pads as they are the most common.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on May 28, 2020 11:22 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website