Whether your menstrual cycle remains regular, seems to come and go as it pleases or you’re anticipating menopause, there’s a lot you may not know about your period. Specifically, the best way to cope with it.

Many women think their only options for menstrual products are pads and tampons. But the market is continuing to change with the introduction of innovative alternatives to these tried-and-true products.

There are many reasons someone may choose to forgo pads and tampons. From health concerns over bleached cotton to the overall comfortability, you may uncover benefits you hadn’t considered. One of those advantages includes the fact many pad and tampon alternatives are reusable, allowing you to reduce waste and save money. Here are some tips to finding the right menstrual product for you.


Check labels

If you have an “if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it” mentality and are happy with the performance of your pads and tampons, start getting acquainted with the ingredients list. Ensure your product of choice doesn’t contain chlorine, rayon or fragrance which can disrupt the chemical balance of your vagina and increase risk of toxic shock syndrome (TSS). Instead, opt for products that are all natural and made with 100% cotton.


Consider menstrual cups

This product has gained a lot of traction in recent years for a number of reasons. One is that you can go up to 12 hours without emptying the cup. Plus there is no risk of developing TSS. You can also reuse menstrual cups for up to five years. There is a bit of a learning curve for insertion and removal, but many women swear by them once you get the hang of it. Many brands carry various cup designs that range in size, shape and stem length. Read product reviews and follow recommendations from companies in order to find a fit that works best for your body.


Try menstrual discs

If you’re tired of visiting the bathroom every four to six hours to change your tampon, menstrual discs may be a great option to reduce your number of trips. Like menstrual cups, menstrual discs can be inserted for up to 12 hours. However, discs are disposable, meaning there’s no fear of having to empty and reinsert them in a public restroom. Some women claim that using menstrual discs has minimized menstrual cramps as well.


Update your wardrobe

New products on the market include underwear and leggings that look like normal garments but contain high-absorption properties. They’re surprisingly sleek in design and won’t have you feeling like you’re wearing a diaper. Towards the end of your period or if you have a lighter flow, you may choose to wear them as your main coverage. But you can also use them for backup protection if your period is heavy.

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