Periodic protection: which one to choose for your period?

There are many types of sanitary protection on the market. Which one should you choose?



What is a periodical protection?

In the minds of women, they are the friends and enemies of daily life, and are intimately linked to the menstrual cycle, periods, white discharge, pregnancy and also to gynaecological diseases such as endometriosis.
On average, a woman will menstruate nearly 400 times in her life, i.e. nearly 2,400 days. On average, around 1,500 disposable pads are used every second in the world, which means that nearly 45 billion are used every year.
Brands and manufacturers offer durable, disposable alternatives with various compositions. Protecting oneself during one's menstrual flow is a societal issue that guarantees well-being and confidence for menstruating women. They have not been a matter of course throughout history and still today!

The history of sanitary protection: from the Middle Ages to today

We propose you a small historical frieze of thehistory of the hygienic protections to evaluate the evolution of our choices. Before theindustrialization of sanitary protection, women have always found "home-made" solutions to protect themselves from menstruation. Generally, women, in a situation of menstrual precariousness, made them themselves with fabrics, wood or other more or less hygienic materials.

The first traces of sanitary protection go back to Antiquity:

  • Premises of the tampon are found in 1950 before Jesus-Christ
  • The Egyptians used rolled up wadded strips to be introduced into the vaginal canal
  • As for the Romans, they used papyrus, grass or wool compresses wrapped around pieces of wood.


Finally, it was not until the beginning of the 19th century that the work of Pasteur showed the importance ofintimate hygiene. From then on, it was recommended to use underwear and adapted hygienic devices, and the first menstrual panties appeared! Modern tampons were not introduced until 1929.

What are the different types of menstrual protection?

There are various types on the market: we propose you a small panorama of the most widespread.

The menstrual panties

The menstrual panties are our favorite choice at Elia! It is a real revolution that has touched the feminine hygiene sector for a few years. It is a hygienic lingerie with a very simple use which will replace or come in complement of a traditional hygienic device. The menstrual panties are put on like a classic lingerie and will absorb and dry the blood of menstruation during nearly 12 hours. Thanks to theingenious assembly of fabrics which makes only a few millimetres of thickness! It is a soft, healthy, non-intrusive protection which is very economic for the woman since a menstrual panties keeps nearly 7 years. The menstrual panties are an ideal hygienic system for the night, in particular for those which have abundant bleedings. Of an unequalled comfort, it is common that their users almost forget their period!

The tampon

The tampon is the absorbent protection that has created a real revolution in the lives of women and menstruating people. It is an intra-vaginal system that slipsinside the vagina to absorb the menstrual flow. Menstrual blood is absorbed and retained inside for a few hours. Very practical, tampons can be used at any time during the period. It is a good intimate solution for the practice of the sport and in particular of the swimming pool or the bathe, on the other hand much less easy of use for the first periods. Some recommendations are nevertheless to be taken into account at all costs to avoid infections and TSS, the toxic shock syndrome, like the duration of wearing and the washing of the hands before and after.

Sanitary napkins and panty liners (washable or disposable)

Sanitary napkins are solutions that absorb menstrual blood. As with tampons, there are different levels of absorption: pads for medium to heavy bleeding, panty liners for lighter bleeding or spotting. Very practical, pads are placed at the bottom of the panties and ensure absorption for a few hours. The sanitary napkin is a good solution for all those who wish to avoid internal sanitary protection. It is the most widely used option in the world today. It can be washable or disposable, and in any case it should be made of the most natural and least processed materials possible.

The menstrual cup

The menstrual cup is anintravaginal protection , like the tampon but with different properties. It is a biomedical silicone cup that will collect and not absorb menstrual blood. Once the cup is full, you have to remove it from your vagina, empty the blood, clean it and replace it. This is a low-cost and sustainable solution that has gained many followers, especially in precarious student situations. Putting on and taking off the cup requires time to adapt. There are different sizes of cups that adapt to the abundance of menstruation. Nevertheless, be careful to respect some rules: do not wear your cup more than 4 hours, wash your hands and above all sterilize it every day!

The menstrual sponge

Themenstrual sponge is a periodical protection very little used in France. It is a sponge of sea that one will place as the tampon and the cupinside the vagina. It will absorb and retain menstruation for a few hours. It is a durable solution by its manufacture but also by its longevity. This small sponge is changed every 3 to 5 months. Be careful not to keep it more than 4 hours and to wash it well after each use. This absorbent protection could be at the origin of infections and irritations.

The instinctive flow

The free instinctive flow is not a protection in the strict sense of the term. It is a technique that allows you to hold your menstrual period in the back of your vagina while you flush it downthe toilet. The instinctive flow consists in controlling the flow of menstruation thanks to the muscles of her perineum in particular. Few women practice it: in fact, it is easier to apply the instinctive flow method if your perineum is muscular and if you have light losses than the opposite. Beware of running to the bathroom or staining your pants for those who have not yet mastered the technique!Learning the free instinctive flow is done over several cycles. Do not hesitate to use periodical protections like menstrual panties to prevent small inconveniences.

How to choose your periodical protections?

Today there are different protections to collect bleeding and each menstruating person can easily make a choice. However, not all intimate solutions are equal in terms ofabsorption, durability and resistance over time. It is important to know the differences and the composition of the products in order to avoid disappointment during use and potentially endangering your health.

To avoid: polluting sanitary products

Today, we have a responsibility towards theenvironment andecology. We recommend that, whatever your choice, you do not use polluting sanitary protection. Both for your body but also for our planet! They are a source of enormous waste and take between 500 and 800 years to decompose in nature.
Here are some examples of toxic substances to avoid because of the risk to your health:

  • Pesticides, dioxins, phthalates, halogen derivatives
  • Non-OEKO-TEX dyes or colorants
  • Perfumes or other additives
  • Silver or copper nanoparticles
  • Non-breathable synthetic materials


All of these polluting substances contain endocrine disruptors that can be carcinogenic to the body. Some intravaginal solutions such as tampons can also shed fibers during use and especially during removal. This can causeirritation, repeated infections and even fungus!

Healthy and natural protection is the way to go

Choose healthy and natural options for your underwear and sanitary protection! A few criteria to keep in mind when making your choice:

  • Natural materials such as cotton (organic if possible)
  • As soon as possible external devices and not internal ones
  • Products with clear labels and composition
  • Products with external certifications
  • Transparency of the brand towards its consumers
  • Price and long term savings, especially if you are a student on a budget

FAQ's about menstrual hygiene protection

How to choose your sanitary protection?

Choosing your sanitary protection has never been easier. Consumers have a choice of different solutions to protect themselves during their period. Choose what suits you best according to your budget, your sensitivity, your comfort or theabundance of your periods. You can also choose a sustainable solution to make a significant impact on your budget, the environment and move towards the healthiest organic cotton periodical option possible.

What is the best periodic protection?

The best option is the one in which we feel the best and with which we are the most in adequacy on the budget, the composition and the manufacture! Depending on your needs (night, sport, swimming pool, active day...) and your flow, the most suitable protection will not be the same!

Why choose Elia Lingerie's menstrual panties as periodical protection?

Elia menstrual panties are a real revolution and tick all the economic, ethical, environmental and health boxes!

What are chemical-free menstrual protections?

Chemical-free menstrual protection does not contain endocrine disruptors, pesticides, glysophates, chemical dyes or chlorine. Favored to buy with GOTS, OEKOTEX certifications that guarantee traceability and harmlessness of the product towards the body and the environment.



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