Sanitary pads: a necessity you can’t escape and yet can’t do without. Every girl understands the challenges they bring. Extended wear leads to discomforts like rashes and itching while wearing them overnight often results in leaks. So, how can we tackle these issues? Join us in this edition of Curiosity Central to discover the solutions!
Let’s talk pad
What’s a sanitary pad, you ask? Well, it’s like a super-absorbent, comfy rectangle that nestles into your undies like a pro. Some even come with wings – not the feathered kind, mind you, but protective flaps that say, “No leaks on my watch!” Pads go by many names, like sanitary pads or sanitary napkins – basically, your period’s trusty sidekick.
In the Indian market, various types of sanitary pads cater to different preferences and needs. Here are some common types:
- Disposable Sanitary Pads: These are widely used and available in different sizes and absorbencies. They have an adhesive backing to secure them to underwear. They also come in various lengths and widths catering to different flows of period blood. Ultra-thin pads are designed to be thin and discreet, suitable for lighter flow days while maxi pads are suitable for heavier flow days or overnight use. They also can come with and without wings. Pads with wings have side flaps that fold over the sides of underwear for added leak protection. Some pads are available without wings for those who prefer them.
- Washable Cloth Pads: Eco-friendly options made from cloth that can be washed and reused. They come in various sizes and are suitable for those looking to reduce waste.
- Biodegradable Pads: Environmentally conscious pads made from biodegradable materials like bamboo or banana fiber. They are designed for one-time use and have a lower impact on the environment.
- Panty liners: Very thin pads for light discharge or as backup protection with tampons or menstrual cups.
How to use the sanitary pad like a pro
Using a disposable sanitary pad is simple and straightforward. Here’s a step-by-step guide:
- Prepare: Start by washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water to maintain hygiene.
- Unwrap the pad: Open the packaging of the disposable sanitary pad carefully. Make sure not to tear the pad itself.
- Position the pad: The side of the pad with the adhesive backing is the side that goes against your underwear. Peel off the paper backing from the adhesive side.
- Secure to underwear: Position the pad in the center of your underwear where you’d like it to sit. Press down on the adhesive side to stick it firmly to your underwear. If the pad has wings (side flaps), fold them over the sides of your underwear for added protection against leaks.
- Adjust and comfort: Once the pad is properly positioned and secured, gently press down along the entire length to ensure it’s adhered well and won’t move around.
- Dispose properly: After wearing the pad for the recommended time (usually a few hours or when it’s saturated), remove it by gently peeling it off your underwear. Roll or fold the used pad and wrap it in the packaging or a tissue. Dispose of it in a sanitary waste bin, not in the regular trash.
- Wash your hands: After removing and disposing of the used pad, wash your hands thoroughly again.
- Change regularly: Remember to change your disposable sanitary pad every few hours to maintain cleanliness and avoid discomfort.
How to manage rashes and itching?
Experiencing rashes during your period can be uncomfortable, but there are steps you can take to manage and prevent them. Here’s what you can do:
- Choose the right pad: Opt for pads that are made from breathable and hypoallergenic materials. Look for pads without synthetic fragrances or dyes, as these can potentially irritate your skin.
- Change frequently: Change your pad regularly, ideally every 4-6 hours or when it becomes saturated. Prolonged use of a wet pad can increase the likelihood of rashes.
- Maintain hygiene: Keep your genital area clean and dry. Gently clean the area with water and a mild, fragrance-free soap. Pat the area dry using a soft, clean towel after washing.
- Avoid harsh soaps and wipes: Avoid using harsh soaps or scented wipes in your genital area, as they can disrupt the natural pH balance and lead to irritation.
- Use unscented products: Choose unscented or fragrance-free sanitary pads, soaps, and body washes to reduce the risk of irritation.
- Stay dry: If possible, wear cotton underwear, as it allows your skin to breathe and helps in keeping the area dry. Avoid tight-fitting underwear and clothing that might trap moisture.
- Apply barrier cream: Before wearing a pad, consider applying a thin layer of gentle barrier cream or petroleum jelly to your skin. This can create a protective barrier and reduce friction.
- Avoid tight clothing: Wear loose-fitting clothing, especially during your period, to reduce friction and allow air circulation. Remember, everyone’s skin is different, so it might take some trial and error to find the best solution for your specific situation. If the rashes continue or worsen it’s advisable to consult a doctor. They can provide personalized advice and recommend suitable treatments if needed.
Oops, leakage – how to avoid period blood stains!
Leakages in pads can occur due to incorrect pad size, inadequate absorbency, improper positioning, prolonged use, or intense physical activity. To avoid leaks, choose the right pad size and absorbency level for your flow ( like XXL, Maxi pads or pads with more width at the back).
Ensure proper placement and adherence, change pads regularly, especially on heavier flow days, and consider using overnight pads for added protection during nighttime. Wings on pads can also help prevent leaks, as can exploring alternative menstrual products like tampons or menstrual cups for better coverage.
Stain on school skirt
And even if, despite all your efforts, your clothes get stained, it’s totally okay. Don’t worry, girl! It’s just a stain, and there’s no need to feel embarrassed. If you’re at school, simply turn your skirt around so the stain in the back is now in front; and use a bit of chalk to cover it up. During colder months, wrap your sweater around your waist. Alternatively, you can keep an extra pair of panties or a skirt in your school bag for such situations. And remember, if all else fails, take a deep breath and relax. Chances are, you’re more concerned about it than anyone else around you!
Photo: Shutterstock/Person in the photo is a model, names changed.
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