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Fun fact…sanitary pads for monthly menstruation came out in stores in 1921. Before the invention of sanitary pads, women used homemade pads made from cloth. During this time, periods were not openly talked about. Women kept menstruation and how to deal with it to themselves. The release of sanitary pads in 1921 made it easier for women to carry on with their everyday lives during their period. Luckily, nowadays we have more open communication about periods and more access to an array of period products. Let’s break down what period products are on the market today.

1. Pads

Pads are a very popular option for women of all ages. They are easy to use and can be found at grocery, drug stores, and online. There are one-time-use disposable pads or reusable cloth pads depending on your preference. Pads come in different absorbances to fit how heavy your period flow is.

2. Tampons

Tampons are used by many women but are a little more complicated. They are inserted into the vagina and if you have never done this before it may take some practice. If you use tampons you must remember to change them every 4 to 6 hours because leaving a tampon in too long could lead to toxic shock syndrome. They come in different absorbances depending on how heavy your flow is.

3. Menstrual Cup

A menstrual cup is a small cup made out of silicone or rubber. You insert it into the vagina and it collects the blood from your period. They need to be taken out, emptied, and washed every 8 to 12 hours. These are environmentally friendly but they can be tricky for a beginner to use.

4. Period Underwear

Recently period underwear has become popular. Period underwear looks like any other pair of underwear but they are made with absorbent material to hold your period blood. They can be expensive upfront but they are washable and reusable.

Ultimately the decision of what kind of period product to use is up to you. Just because your friends might use a certain product doesn’t mean you have to. It may take some trial and error but find what product fits your needs and preferences.