Pads vs. Tampons


Did you know that the average woman uses approximately 10,000 sanitary products over the course of her lifetime?1 From around age 12 to their late 40s or early 50s, most women will spend a significant amount of time choosing a way to stay fresh and dry during that time of the month. 

In the world of feminine hygiene, two types of products tend to be the most popular: pads, aka. “period pads”, and tampons. There are many reasons why pads and tampons differ, and though either can be used depending on the situation, it really comes down to personal preference. 

If you've ever found yourself asking "do I need a pad or a tampon?", below are some of the pros and cons of using both.

What Are Menstrual Pads?

Pads, also known as sanitary napkins, are made of absorbent material and cling to the lining of the underwear using adhesive. Pads stay outside the body, creating a protective layer that's convenient anywhere, any time. Available in a wide range of sizes and shapes, from thinner liners that can be worn on light flow days to thicker pads ideal for overnight or during heavier periods, pads are a ubiquitous part of womanhood.2

The Advantages of Pads

Pads offer plenty of benefits to users, boasting a safe and effective way to deal with your body’s changing needs. They're also simple to change - and easier to determine when changing is necessary - leading to leak-proof protection on even your heaviest days. Pads also offer plenty of diversity in use; with so many styles, there’s a perfect fit for any occasion. Stayfree® pads are available in a full range of sizes providing comfort, no matter where life takes you. While most commonly used for menstruation, some women also experience light bladder leakage (especially after childbirth), or are concerned with odors and discharge.3 The new Stayfree® hybrid technology is designed to meet the needs of every woman, offering a Super Absorbent Polymer blend that can stand up to periods, leaks and everything in between.

With All-in-One protection, no matter what your feminine care needs, pads make it possible to stay dry during your period - and on any other occasion.

What Are Tampons?

Unlike pads, tampons are worn inside the vagina, offering an inconspicuous alternative. Made of absorbent materials packed into a narrow cylinder, tampons are inserted via a plastic or cardboard applicator or using the fingers. Similar to pads, tampons come in a few different varieties including light, medium, and heavy flow.2

Pros and Cons

For many women, tampons are favored for their invisible nature; once they are placed inside the body, they are virtually undetectable and can be worn while swimming or playing sports. However, this can be both a blessing and a curse: when a tampon is in place, it can be difficult to identify when it needs to be changed, putting women at risk for leaks or discomfort. In addition, tampons are designed almost exclusively as a menstrual hygiene product and are not appropriate for functions like bladder leakage, perspiration, or heavy discharge.2

Tampons must also be changed every eight hours or less due to a risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS).4 While very rare - TSS affects 1 per 100,000 women aged 15 to 44 - this condition can be extremely dangerous, leading to fever, tissue damage, and, in rare cases, death.5

Ultimately, it's up to you to choose which tool you'll use to stay confident and protected through the realities of womanhood. Stayfree® pads can help you embrace the utmost in comfort both day and night, offering up to eight hours of protection and exceptional dryness.

Note: This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. 


1. Flow: The Cultural Story of Menstruation (book)






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