Getting your period as a lady is not usually a particularly exciting occurrence… well, except in some few cases. Most times finding that small red stain on your underwear signals the beginning of 4 or more days of a variety of sometimes unpleasant changes in your body.
Some of these may include explosive diarrhoea, period cramps, headaches, loss of appetite, craving weird food, and a few other choice symptoms from hell.
Whether you are one of the chosen few with mild period symptoms. Or you belong to the majority that almost wishes they were pregnant just so they don’t have to go through period craziness every month, one thing is necessary – good period hygiene.
ALSO READ: 5 common myths about a woman’s menstrual cycle
Menstrual hygiene products for the modern lady
Blood can be very messy. It is difficult to get blood stains out, it could smell bad if not cleaned well, and it can be quite unsightly. So it makes sense to keep everywhere as clean as you can manage and also to use the right feminine hygiene products. There are quite a few in the market, though, so which should you go for? Let’s see what the options are, shall we?
Sanitary pads are probably the most popular feminine hygiene products in the Nigerian market. Because of this, there are lots of brands available. Always by Procter and Gamble seems to be the most popular, although it can be pricey. Other brands include Kotex and Molped (relative new comers that are gaining some ground), diva, Ladycare, LadySept, Everyday and a few others.
Lots of choices huh? Well, you might have to do some trial and error to find the right fit for you. Think comfortability, affordability, and availability, you won’t go wrong.
This is one product that has not permeated the Nigerian market. Many ladies find the idea of a phallic foreign substance lodged in there to be too much of an ask. Others find not being able to take a peek and check how full it is to be a disadvantage.
Having said this, you should note that the women that love tampons are ardent fans and think it is the best thing since sliced bread. To them, tampons are super comfortable and are less visible than pads. It is all about preference when you come right down to it.
Despite all that, it does seem like there may be a rise in the use of tampons in the country even though they come with a heavy price tag. They go for about N1,000 – 2,000 for a pack of 20, depending on the brand.
Menstrual cups are simply that, a cup-like device that you shove into your vagina to collect blood during your period. When it is full (which is usually not easy to gauge), you remove it, empty the cup, and put it in again.
They are less common than either pads or tampons. They can be a bother to empty and put in, though, and if you do not like the sight of blood, this one is not for you.
But they are good for the environment. Unlike pads and tampons that you have to trash, and which will most likely end up polluting one landfill somewhere, you can flush the contents of a mesntrual cup down the toilet.
Menstrual cups are also generally cheap, you can get one for about N2,000 and you can typically use it for 3 years.
These are like regular pads, except you can wash them out and then use them again. You end up saving a lot of money as you would not need to go through several regular pads a day. Oh, you are also giving mother nature a hug and a pat on the head when you use this (less pollution).
On the flip side, the process of rinsing your menstrual blood out of a pad can be gross. And you would need to always have access to an unlimited and clean source of water. This is, of course, not always possible in Nigeria.
To Pad or not to Pad? That is the question
The truth is you have a lot of options as far as feminine hygiene products go. This is not a case of one size fits all, though, you have to do your research and try out a few of all these products to find out which one is the yin to your yang. Whatever your choice is, make sure you keep safe and clean out there