Sanitary towels: everything you need to know to use them properly!

The sanitary napkin is one of the easiest sanitary pads to use, if not THE easiest! Today, alternatives to this sanitary protection for menstruation are being developed, and we're even talking about washable pads. But how do you put a sanitary napkin on? And how long can you keep a sanitary towel on?

What are sanitary pads?

They are sanitary pads that absorb the flow of urine during menstruation. They are external sanitary protection, unlike tampons or cups, which are internal. It attaches directly to the undergarment. It's a highly popular form of protection for women, and has been around since the 1960s. There are several types, depending on the flow. Sanitary towels can also be used for bladder weakness, during a return from child birth or for any blood flow.

How to choose the right sanitary pad?

As with tampons, there are several types: for different flows, in their composition, but also disposable and washable.

Thick or thin

You need to choose the right model for your flow. For example, if you have a light to medium flow, a normal flow pad will do. But if you have a heavier flow, you'll need a heavy flow pad. Absorbency is indicated by the droplet pictograms on the packaging. They have different absorption capacities depending on the flow you choose, and the size (width) you select.

There are also night-time sizes, which are much thicker and have a wider absorption zone at the back for maximum protection when lying down.

Sanitary towels may not be optimally formulated, as some contain chemicals such as chlorine, perfume or products supposed to neutralize odors. These products promote irritation, vaginal dryness and itching by upsetting the vaginal pH. So prefer one made from certified organic cotton, better for your body.

With or without wings

Sanitary pads are available with or without wings. These flaps fold down under the sides of the underwear for better support and enhanced protection against leakage.

Washable sanitary towels

These are a more ecological and economical alternative to disposable pads, as they are reusable.
Washable pads work in the same way as disposables: you just need to choose one that suits your flow. They have the same level of absorption as the disposable version. So, if you use 4 disposable pads a day, you'll need 4 reusables a day. To give you some leeway between wash cycles, it's advisable to have enough for the equivalent of 3 days.

How do I use a sanitary napkin?

It's a very simple means of protection to use. All you have to do is remove the sanitary napkin from its packaging, and peel off the adhesive strip. Then stick the sticky part (for disposables) on your underwear, or clip the clips/buttons of the reusable one under your underwear. For disposables, simply fold the tabs down on either side and stick them in place.

How long can I keep a sanitary towel?

On average, a sanitary pad should be changed every 4 hours, or even sooner if you have a heavy flow, to avoid bacteria proliferation or overflow. At night, it is of course possible to keep it on for more than 4 hours!
The composition of a sanitary napkin will entail greater or lesser risks in terms of irritation, burning or allergy. However, unlike tampons, no link between prolonged wear and TSS has been established. The risk is even lower if you choose a sanitary protection made from organic cotton, fragrance-free and unbleached with chlorine.

What about at night?

As explained above, you can use your pad at night for up to 12 hours without fear. Since blood doesn't pool inside the vagina, there's no risk of developing toxic shock syndrome. If you're sensitive and often prone to infections, mycoses or irritations, then opt for a washable version made from fabrics that respect your intimate flora.
As with all products that come into contact with a sensitive area such as the intimate zone, it's important to be aware of their composition.

What are the best alternatives to sanitary towels?

There are alternatives to sanitary towels, which are both more ecological and more economical. If you want to continue using them, you can opt for the washable version. They work in the same way as conventional sanitary towels, changing every 4 hours. Opt for a washable pad with a healthy organic cotton composition to give your intimate area the very best.

Another eco-friendly alternative are Elia menstrual pants. They're made from organic cotton, a breathable, antibacterial material that prevents irritation or bacterial growth. There are no unpleasant odors either!
They adapt to all flows and needs during your cycle. The absorbent zone is made from eucalyptus fiber, a natural, eco-friendly material, compared with bamboo, which is responsible for deforestation today.
The advantage of menstrual panties is that you can keep them on for up to 12 hours, so they're even more practical: you put them on in the morning and take them off in the evening! It couldn't be simpler!

FAQ about sanitary towels

When should I use a sanitary napkin?

It's a sanitary protection designed to be used during menstruation. But you can also use it at other times in your cycle, such as during spotting or heavy white discharge, by using a thin layer.

Are sanitary towels dangerous?

There is no proven link between toxic shock syndrome and the use of sanitary towels. To avoid any risk of infection or irritation, choose products with the healthiest possible composition: certified organic, with no chemical substances harmful to health.

How do I know when to change my sanitary pad?

We recommend changing every 4 hours, even earlier if you have a heavier flow. When the sanitary pad is full and you feel a sensation of wetness, it's time to change it!

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