Tampons vs. Sanitary napkins: Which is the best choice for you?

That time of the month can be very taxing in every woman’s life, which makes choosing the right sanitary wear for your needs that much more important. Here’s a look at the pros and cons of both tampons and sanitary napkins to help you decide.Tampoons Vs Sanitary Pads

Sanitary napkins


  • Sanitary napkins are easy to use and are very simple to change.
  • The absorbent material used allows you to keep them on for 2-8 hours(depending on your flow)with no hassle.
  • Application is not messy i.e. they don’t need to go inside your body and changing doesn’t require much time. ( it’s a quick fix)
  • You can be sure you have the right size and absorbency before you leave the store based on your body
  • You’ll know exactly when the pad is soaked
  • They work with all body types
  • They are more comfortable to sleep in


  • There’s always a fear of staining on heavy flow days.
  • Restricts you from doing rigorous exercise, due to the possibility that the pad may move.
  • You can’t go swimming.
  • It can be uncomfortable to wear at all times.
  • Tends to develop a bad odour.
  • There have been complaints of skin irritation and allergic reactions.



  • It is very comfortable once you place it right, with tampons you are able to stay active without worrying about it “falling” out of place.
  • The probability of leaks or staining is very less.
  • Allows you to do any sort of physical exercise including swimming.
  • Let’s you wear the appropriate underwear for the outfit you want to wear.
  • With tampons there is not much of a mess to clean up (as long as you have the right size) and it does not have a bad odour.


  • Inserting a tampon needs getting used to and many women find the entire process uncomfortable (as you have to either squat or stand and position the tampon a certain way).
  • You may need to experiment with a few different kinds of tampons before you find the right one for you.
  • You can never be exactly sure when your tampon is completely soaked.
  • Women with a retroverted uterus (a uterus that is tilted backwards) find inserting a tampon very difficult.
  • A tampon needs to be changed every 2-4 hours irrespective of your flow due to the possibility of it causing Toxic Shock Syndrome*

*Toxic Shock Syndrome was first found in the 1970s when women using tampons were reported to develop a severe bacterial infection due to the highly absorbent material of the tampon serving as a breeding ground. It is potentially fatal and starts off with symptoms like high fever, diarrhea, headache, muscle aches, vomiting and sun-burn like rash on palms and feet with muscle ache. Please note that it is now rare with only 3 cases being reported per 10,000 women.

Using both tampons and sanitary napkins is also a very valid choice that many women opt for, switching between the two depending on what they have in store for them on that particular day. Whatever your choice maybe it all comes down to your comfort, the more comfortable you feel with your option the more you ensure smooth sailing on those tricky couple of days.

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Written by Kirtana Ponnuswamy

Doctor by profession, ardent animal lover by choice; she finds writing to be therapeutic. She loves meeting new people, hopes to travel the world and has karaoking with Oprah on top of her bucket list. @kirtana_ponnuswamy

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