Everyone manages their periods differently, which includes different period products. Period products are categorized into two types – external products and internal products. External products go outside of the vagina and catch the flow as it comes. Internal products go in the vagina to manage the flow from the inside.
The most common external products are menstrual pads, also called sanitary napkins, and are generally one of the first products people use when starting their period. They come in many different absorbencies, styles, and materials. Another option for external products is to use period undergarments. These fit and feel like regular underwear but have layers that absorb a period’s flow and wick it away from the user.
When it comes to internal products, tampons are the most common. Tampons go inside the vagina and absorb the user’s flow over time. It is important to choose a tampon that matches the level of your flow to ensure safety and effectiveness. Another category of internal products is menstrual cups or discs, which come in many shapes, sizes, and styles. These work by capturing the flow with medical-grade plastic, rubber, or silicone, staying in place with light suction. Menstrual cups or discs act as collection vessels and are emptied when full.
There are no right or wrong options when choosing the best product for your period, and you should choose what makes you the most comfortable. If you have trouble finding period products that work well for you or have any questions, reach out to your gynecologist for guidance.