Tampons vs. Pads: We Weigh The Pros And Cons Of Each

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Thinking of switching to the other side? Here's what you need to know.

We all know that periods are no fun, but it’s just something that almost every woman out there is forced to deal with on a monthly (more or less) basis. Exactly how we deal with that time of the month — now that’s something a little more under our control. But what are the best feminine hygiene products for periods? Here, we look at the tampon vs pad debate, weighing the pros and cons of each side, to help you decide which is best for your needs.

Tampon vs Pad: The Pros and Cons

While there are plenty of other feminine hygiene products apart from tampons and pads, we’ll be focusing on these two, as they’re the most popular and accessible.

Here we go.

1. Which better protects your underwear from stains?

While leaks do happen with pads, you’re less likely to stain your underwear with them, as a tampon on a heavy day can start leaking sooner than you think, resulting in red spots in your undies.

2. Which is more discrete?

Pads are harder to hide when you’re wearing super tight clothing. But unless you go around wearing nothing but leotards on the regular, this shouldn’t be a huge problem. 

3. Which is more comfortable?

When inserted properly, you can’t feel tampons at all. You can move around as freely as you want, and can even swim in them! Pads, on the other hand, can feel sticky, and don’t give you as much freedom of movement.

tampon vs pad

Image: Unsplash

4. Which is easier to use?

Pads are hands-down easier to use than tampons. You just stick them onto your panties and go. Then when you’re done, you just take the pad off, roll it up, and throw it in the bin. The same can’t be said about tampons.

It’s more difficult to gauge what kind of tampon you should be using, as they come in different shapes, sizes, and even insertion methods. Pads, on the other hand, come in different sizes that kind of speak for themselves. It’s easy to check when your pad is full, while tampons pretty much let you know that they’re full when it’s already too late.

Plus, not everyone is up for inserting foreign objects up their vagina in the name of female hygiene, so if this sounds like you, pads are great.

5. Which is safer?

When used properly, both pads and tampons are perfectly safe. However, if you don’t change your tampon frequently enough (every 4-8 hours), you could get toxic shock syndrome, which can cause fever, swelling, and even death. And because you can’t feel tampons once they’re inside, they’re easier to forget about.

Pads, on the other hand, also need to be changed frequently to avoid infections, but pads aren’t linked to toxic shock syndrome.

6. Which can be worn overnight?

Because tampons need to be changed every 4-8 hours, they require you to get up in the middle of the night and change. That’s why plenty of women who use tampons during the day still sleep with pads during the night. 

7. Which forces you to use granny panties?

Unfortunately for the pad-wearing contingent of the female population, they’re pretty much forced to wear nothing but granny panties while they’re on their period. Tampon-wearers, on the other hand, have more freedom of choice.

Tampon vs Pad: And the winner is…

Every woman is different, and we all experience periods differently. There is no right and wrong answer here — it all depends on your needs at any particular time. You could wear pads most of the time and only use tampons when you want to go for a swim. You could wear tampons most of the time and switch to pads at night. Some people wear tampons AND pads because their flows are just so heavy!

Find what works for you, or even try something else entirely — like menstrual cups or even absorbent underwear! The world is your oyster.

So, tampon vs pad: Are you #TeamPad or #TeamTampon? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

READ: Is Sex Better On Your Period?

(Featured image: Shutterstock)