Pads, Tampons or Menstrual Cups – Which is Better for You?

With so many choices of pads, tampons and menstrual cups, where does that leave us – other than confused! Which is best for me?


4/17/20235 min read

Pads, Tampons or Menstrual Cups – Which is Better for You?

With so many choices of pads, tampons and menstrual cups, where does that leave us – other than confused! Which is best for me?

Let’s have a look at the pros and cons of the three and decide for ourselves, shall we?

Sanitary Pads

Don’t like the feeling of shoving anything up your precious hoo-ha, then let’s see you nod yes for pads.

sanitary pads
sanitary pads


1. No Painful Insertion

A lot of women do not like the idea of having anything ‘artificial’ going up their vaginas. Yes, even women who have had giant babies come out of them are a bit iffy with the idea of soaking up period blood from the inside. This is one main reason that pads are still ruling the sanitary hygiene market.

2. No Staining

Well, if you wear your pad for like a day and a half or if you wear underwear that doesn’t hold it in place, you could expect some staining. But pads are meant to cover the crotch-area of your panty, keeping stains away. Plus, they definitely absorb more and better than cloth pads of the same size and/or thickness.

3. No TSS

Pads do not pose the risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome as they do not absorb the lubrication from your vagina and allows for the natural flow of menstrual blood. Toxic Shock Syndrome is a bacterial Infection that can be caused if a tampon is left inside for too long, absorbing the natural lubricants that protect your vagina from infections.


1. Bleach

Pads contain bleach which could lead to cancer. Of course, you don’t get cancer right away but if you are going to be using pads for 20-30 years, the low levels of chemical contaminants like dioxin could lead to cervical cancer or ovarian cancer down the line

2. Risk of Infection

If not changed often, you could develop an infection.

3. Rash

If you are physically active throughout the day, the constant chafing between your legs could give you a pesky rash.

4. Not Environment-friendly

Pads are not biodegradable and take about 500 years to fully decompose!

Did you know: The average woman uses approximately 10,000 sanitary pads during her lifetime!


If you are the kind that refuses to let your period control you and would much rather go for a swim or wear those thongs during your period, you are most likely to steer towards tampons. 

Don’t mind the initial discomfort on insertion if it means not feeling like you are wearing a diaper for 5 days?



1. No Blood Outside

If you are squeamish about blood, you’d appreciate that tampons soak up blood before it has the chance to come out of your vagina.

This way you do not have to deal with period blood in your panties every time you need to pee or change.

2. Discreet

Not like you should be ashamed of your period but tampons are so sleek and small that they can be carried around easily. Especially when you need to sneak past co-workers to change them. They can easily be put into your pocket.

3. Comfort

Tampons once inserted, can hardly be felt, according to women who use them. You can easily go about your tasks, rest assured that little bullet shaped thing inside of you is soaking up all your menstrual blood. Just don’t forget about them completely!

4. Lesser Period Days

A lot of women claim that using tampons reduces bleeding days. This is perhaps because it soaks up the blood as soon as it drains from the cervix. A liner is all you need on the 4th day.


1. TSS

One of the biggest deal breakers of tampons is that they may lead to TSS. This is because they could potentially soak up your vagina’s natural lubrication, causing dryness or even UTI’S (Urinary Tract Infections).

2. First-time Struggle

First-time tampon users may find it hard to insert them, even after squatting, lying down or lunging to find the right way to insert them. Some women also feel discomfort or pain during insertion.

3. Peeing Struggle

While tampons are in your vagina and in no way should block your urethra, a full tampon may sometimes push against your vaginal wall, making your pee stream a little thinner. Not a real problem but it happens!

4. Contains Bleach

Tampons, like pads, contain bleach which could be harmful. They also have layers of absorbent material that could shred and stick to the lining of the vaginal walls.

Menstrual Cups

Don’t want the constant reminder that your period is on but also want to be environment-friendly and save yourself from infection? You may want to try using menstrual cups.

Menstrual Cups
Menstrual Cups


1. No TSS

Unlike tampons, menstrual cups do not soak up anything, they merely collect period blood getting drained from the cervix.

2. No Chemicals

Menstrual cups contain no bleaches or chemicals or fibres, making them less of a risk than pads and tampons.

3. Fewer Changes

Women that use menstrual cups said they had to change them less than while using pads and tampons. This is because the cup has a capacity to collect about 30 ml of blood. The average woman bleeds about 40-60 ml of blood per period.

4. Environment- Friendly

Because one cup can be used for at least 6 -10 months, menstrual cups are the most environment-friendly sanitary product.


1. Insertion

Many women shied away from using menstrual cups because they found that insertion is more difficult than tampons. However, the cups are made from soft, flexible material and with the right education can be inserted easily.

2. Cleaning

Cleaning menstrual cups is a little cumbersome considering one needs to sterilize the cup after every change to avoid any chance of infection. Besides, using soap is not recommended for an easy way out.

How to Choose a Menstrual Hygiene Product

There! Now you have everything in front of you, all you need to do is make the choice!

Here are a few quick considerations that can help you make the decision:

  • If you are going to indulge in any physical activity such as swimming or exercising, pads may not be the most comfortable choice. Consider using a tampon or a cup based on how comfortable you feel.

  • If your flow is heavy, you may want to consider menstrual cups instead of using several pads as cups collect up to 30 ml of period blood.

  • If you are travelling and will not be able to change easily, a tampon or a menstrual cup may serve you better than pads.

  • If you are already suffering from an infection like vaginismus, inserting a cup or tampon may be difficult, or painful. In such a case, pads may be better.

  • A lot of women feel that menstrual cups are too expensive. However, if you consider that you will be using just one cup for 6-10 months, they are actually cheaper than pads or tampons. 

  • However, if you prefer spending your money in small bursts instead of a larger amount at once, pads and tampons may be your choice.

Whatever you do choose, make sure that you wash your hands before and after changing to keep infections and illnesses away.