Tampons, Pads or Menstrual Cups, What's Right for You?

Tampons, Pads or Menstrual Cups, What's Right for You?


Menstrual hygiene is crucial to maintain during menstruation. You can use tampons, sanitary pads, or menstrual cups. However, an abundance of options in the market can baffle you in deciding which one to choose according to your comfort and lifestyle. They have their own advantages and disadvantages. So, here’s a brief guide for you to help you choose the right fit for you:

Sanitary Pads

Sanitary Pads are the most common menstrual products that are widely used. They are made up of absorbent materials that soak up the menstrual fluid. Sanitary pads are generally disposable unless they are reusable sanitary pads which are made up of antibacterial cloth and can be used for up to 1 year.

Here are the advantages and disadvantages of using a pad:


  • Easy to use: They are easy to use as you just have to stick them in the center of your underwear.
  • Easily available: They are easily available in the market.
  • Fewer chances of infection: If changed regularly or as and when required, sanitary pads are one of the safest products to use.


  • Environmental pollution: They contribute heavily to the degradation of the environment because they contain plastic, which takes almost about 500 years to decompose. Reusable pads also exist, however, they are not widely used by people. A large number of people prefer wearing disposable sanitary pads.
  • Causes rashes: They may cause rashes and discomfort if not changed regularly.
  • Sanitary pads cannot be worn during swimming.


Tampons are cylindrical-shaped menstrual products that absorb menstrual fluid. They are meant to be inserted into the vagina. After they have absorbed the fluid, you can remove them by pulling out the attached string to its end. 

Biodegradable Tampons not only absorb a good amount of blood but are also great in terms of hygiene. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of using tampons:


  • Rash-free: They do not cause any rashes as they are inserted in the vagina. 
  • Swim-friendly: As tampons are inserted in the vagina, they are suitable for sports activities like swimming.
  • Travel-friendly: They are travel-friendly because of their small size.


  • Insertion: You may find it difficult to insert.
  • Irritation: Tampons may cause irritation as they may dry out your vagina because of their absorbing nature.
  • Toxic Shock Syndrome: Toxic shock syndrome (TSS) is a rare and serious condition caused by toxins released by certain bacteria. It can happen when using tampons, but it's rare. It can be prevented by practicing good hygiene and changing tampons as and when required.

Menstrual Cup

A menstrual cup is made up of medical-grade silicone which collects the menstrual fluid for up to 30 ml. They are also meant to be inserted into the vagina. Menstrual cups do not cause leakage if inserted properly and can provide you protection for up to 12 hours.

Here are the advantages and disadvantages of using menstrual cups:


  • Reusable: They can be used for up to 5 years, making them a sustainable choice as compared to disposable products.
  • Sports: They are suitable for all kinds of sports activities as once inserted properly, they are very comfortable and do not need to be adjusted or changed frequently if not required.
  • Cost-effective: Menstrual cups are a one-time investment as they are reusable for up to 5 years.
  • Long-hour application: They can be worn for up to 12 hours.


  • Insertion: You may find it a little difficult to insert initially, but once habitual, the whole process is just a breeze!
  • Regular cleaning: Requires sterilization after every cycle and washing after every use.

These menstrual products come with several pros and cons. Menstrual pads are widely used and have easy application. Tampons are travel-friendly and rash-free. Whereas menstrual cups are cost-effective and great for long working hours. Ultimately, you can decide on the right product for you as per your comfort and lifestyle by trying, testing, and experimenting.


✍️ This article was curated by Komal Gupta


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