Photo from unsplash by Monika Kozub
Menarche is a sign of a girl entering her final stage of puberty. More commonly known as period, this is caused by the uterine lining breaking down and leaving the body once a month. The lining is made up of blood, tissue and nutrition and its development represents the body’s preparation for pregnancy. When a sperm fails to fertilise a woman’s egg, hormones tell her body to shed the lining she’s built up over the preceding 28 days (on average), resulting in periods that vary in length from each woman. When your period is at its thickest, the blood will be red, but it can also be pink, brown or black on lighter days. Women typically shed 30 to 40 ml (4 to 6 tablespoons) of blood during their period, while some women bleed more heavily depending on their body types. When women get their periods, they’ll need something to soak up the menstrual blood. There are numerous products to choose from that can aid with this. It may take some time to figure out what works best for you, but understanding the fundamentals of each option is critical to making the best decision possible.
A number of products are available to aid in the absorption of menstrual blood. One of the most common examples is a sanitary pad. Pads are absorbent rectangles sewn into underwear that absorbs blood as it passes through the body. “Wings” are extra pieces of material that can be seen on the sides of some pads. The “wings” help keep the pad in place and prevent leaking by wrapping over the underwear’s edges. Different sizes are used to prevent leaking depending on whether the ladies are having lighter or heavier days. The material of pads is also extremely absorbent. The shapes and sizes available include super slim, overnight, perfumed, maxi and small. Since pads do not need entry into the vaginal canal and are easy to use, many women start using them when their periods begin. Although there are clear disadvantages to using sanitary pads, such as the waste of cotton and the sweltering discomfort they sometimes create, they remain the most practical option for women.
Tampons are cylinder-shaped vaginal inserts made of cotton, rayon or a combination of the two materials. To penetrate the vaginal canal, tampons can be used with or without an applicator. One of the most significant advantages that tampons have over pads and other menstrual products is its tiny and portable size. It's easy to put them into a pocket or handbag and carry them around on a regular basis. However, tampons need to be replaced every 4–6 hours or when they get saturated with blood, just like sanitary pads. The end of a tampon's string is kept out of a woman's body. Once inside the vaginal canal, the tampon absorbs blood and when it’s time to remove it, simply tug on the dangling rope. When you’re done with the tampon, draw it out carefully with the string, wrap it in toilet paper and throw it away. Some people are not willing to use tampons because they are concerned that the tampons will cause the hymen to rupture. Because the hymen is an elastic tissue, its opening is around 2.5 cm in diameter, hence the tampon will not cause injury to the hymen if used correctly.
Menstrual cups are more advanced than sanitary pads and tampons, but unlike the two, the lunar cup allows the menstrual blood to be caught rather than absorbed. The silicone and latex menstrual cup can be inserted into the vaginal canal. It's supple and stretchy. It has a short shank underneath and is often bell-shaped. The bell-shaped section gathers menstrual blood as it flows from the uterus to the vagina, while the short handle keeps the menstrual cup balanced in the vagina and makes it easier for removal. Yet, many beginners have had difficulty removing the menstrual cup. However, when removing the cup, the body must be relaxed, as tense muscles are compressed. Not only will it be difficult to remove the menstrual cup if the body is not relaxed, but it may also cause it to travel deep into the vagina. There’s no need to worry about the menstrual cup falling into the uterus because the cervix linking the vagina and the uterus is blocked in the middle, effectively preventing the menstrual cup from falling into the uterus. After removing the menstrual cup, immediately pour out the blood and don’t forget to wash and dry it before using it again. Many people are aware that the large amount of trash generated by sanitary napkins and tampons has a negative impact on the environment and the menstrual cup can be used for an average of ten years if used properly. It can be considered the most ecologically friendly menstrual period product available today.
In addition, here is a tip to help women who may have doubts about choosing the right menstrual cup. When using a menstrual cup, people should consider their personal circumstances and monthly blood volume to choose the suitable specs, as there is no evidence that a larger menstrual cup is better. Before using the menstrual cup, individuals should conduct an evaluation of their bodies. The goal is to find the optimal size to fit within the vagina while selecting a cup height that is appropriate for each individual’s cervix condition.
Overall, the menstrual cup is quite long-lasting. It should last for about 5-10 years if users take proper care of it. As a result, it is not only cheap but more environmentally friendly than sanitary pads and tampons. Menstrual cups are not for all women and they are not required to use them. The most essential aspect is determining their degree of satisfaction with the product used.
By: Leng Jia Wen