Jessica Ellis
April 02, 2017 11:45 am

Tampons may be the gold-standard in period management these days, but they’re not for everyone. Some women are anxious about, or prone to, the potentially-fatal Toxic Shock Syndrome, or just find tampons plain uncomfortable. While there are alternatives like the menstrual cup, most non-tampon users prefer your basic pad, and more power to them (or us. This writer is one of them!)

BUT. That doesn’t mean pads are a perfect solution. We pad-users know that our choice of menstrual soaker-upper comes with its own problems, and they can suck. With the greatest of empathy, here are 7 problems you only get if you’re a pad-wearer.

1 Hey, what’s that noise?

On heavy days when you break out those super-absorbers, you might as well be wearing a plastic-covered pillow in your pants. Effective? Yes. Squeaky? ALSO YES.

2Why is everything scented? Why?

Listen, it’s not like we love how period blood smells, but do 90% of all pads need to smell like you’re giving birth to a lavender bush?! Why is it so hard to find unscented pads, especially when some experts suggest scented menstrual products cause yeast infections.

3No, I’ll just sit poolside with a magazine. Yes, I see that it’s 105 degrees.

Pads can be versatile, but they ain’t waterproof. While there are a few cool new swimsuit bottoms that can allow you to insert a reusable pad, they really are only designed for light days. So yes, our tampon-bedecked gal-pals, we are jealous that you can frolic in the pool while we guard the lounge chairs like faithful Labradors. Oh well, at least we get the mai-tais.

4Oh good, airports needed to be a little worse.

Nattanan Zia/Shutterstock

In this really scary case, a woman was recently given an invasive pat-down because she was wearing a panty-liner. While there don’t seem to have been many reports of pad-wearers being singled out by TSA, it’s a scary thought that women going through a basic bodily function could be subjected to extra scrutiny.

5Oops, I stained it again.

Pads do protect you from that sudden overwhelming leak, but they can also shift around. Many pad-wearers know the devastation of blood staining right above the pad on your cute cosmic panties if your pad shifts downward during the day. Eventually you give up and just save the stained ones for period week.

6Ch-ch-ch-chafing.

Hot day? Check. Heavy flow? Check. Going for a healthy hike in the woods? Check.

Can you die from chafing? You’re about to find out.

7She’s gonna blow!

One thing we will give super-absorbent tampons, they do prevent Mount Flo from erupting into your spring dress. Even after years of pad expertise, there are those heavy flow days where whatever you’re doing is interrupted by sudden rush of fluids and the total panic that your pad can’t handle it. You’ve never run to the bathroom faster.

So clearly, pads come with problems, but we who use them are generally masters of the downsides. For one thing, we never, ever have to worry about losing a giant cotton plug inside our bodies, so, on the whole, we good.

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