Menstruation is something that every woman has to endure once a month for many, many years of her life. Of course there are birth control methods out there that have made some uncomfortable period symptoms less of a hassle, but having a period is still a part of life. We all remember the first time we got our periods and had to wear a giant, uncomfortable maxi pad that resembled a diaper. Luckily, tampons are a great alternative to pads.
With tampons you can still go swimming, you don't have to worry as much about leakage, and they don't make you feel like you're wearing an adult diaper. But they aren't for everyone. Some people still aren't comfortable using tampons, so they make maxi pads work. Usually a mix of both is what most of us end up doing, but the pad days are still the worst. Here are 15 reasons you wish you never had to use a maxi pad again.
15 They're bulky
If you're wearing leggings for example, you probably feel like everyone can tell you're wearing a pad. Logically you know that no one is looking at your crotch, but what if they just glance down and happen to notice the diaper like outline in your underwear? Granted, you shouldn't be wearing leggings as pants anyway, but we all do it once in a while. You just want to pop down to the store in your leggings, but you can't because everyone will see the outline of your pad and know you're on your period.
14 They leak
The number one paranoia of every woman on her period is that blood will leak right through her clothes, leave a stain, and announce to the world that she's on her period. We all know a girl who wore white pants on a heavy flow day and ended up with a big red blotch on her butt. Since pads allow you to bleed freely, there is really no guarantee that it will all stay where it's supposed to. At least with a tampon any leakage would be minimal and unlikely to soak through your clothes.
13 They feel like diapers
In addition to the fact that pads look bulky, they feel like you're wearing a diaper. Women generally wear pretty tight pants, and all that extra bulk crammed into your underwear isn't going to be comfortable. The extra weight only increases as hours pass, and you feel like you have to change into a fresh pad every hour or else you're walking around with a full diaper which is another reason not to wear pads all on its own.
12 You have to wear specific underwear
Sure, they have those pads that you can wear with thongs, but you're pretty much inviting leakage to your doorstep if you wear one of those on a heavy day. So not only do you have to wear a diaper-like pad, but you have to wear granny panties in order to accommodate the size of that pad. They're probably already stained too, because no one likes losing a brand new pair of underwear because a pad wasn't up to the job. You feel bloated and un-sexy as it is, and wearing your most unflattering underwear definitely doesn't help.
11 They smell
Tampons help keep most of the unpleasant aspects of your period out of sight (and smell) the majority of the time. With a pad, everything is out in the open, and that means you're going to have to put up with some smells. It's all perfectly natural of course, and nothing to be ashamed of, but that doesn't mean it's enjoyable. Whether you use a tampon or a internal, reusable cup such as the Diva Cup, at the very least it ends up smelling a lot more sanitary than pads.
10 That gross wet feeling
You're bleeding all day long and you probably don't have time to change your pad every hour. That means you're walking around with that feeling of uncertainty. That also means you're keenly aware that you're on your period every second of the day. There's no chance of forgetting for a few hours because you can always feel it, and that means constant paranoia, wondering if it's time to chance your pad yet, and wishing the time would go faster so you could be done with this for another month.
9 They stick to you
Pads have come a long way since the plastic ones that used to leave a lot to be desired when it came to their main function-- absorbancy. These days pads are a little better. Thinner, more absorbent, and made out of a more cloth-like material. But once they get wet and "full", they still get sticky. The wings stick to your legs and you're always getting pad wedgies that you have to run to the washroom to fix. But you'll inevitably end up walking around with a pad stuck to you some of the time because there's no privacy in sight.
8 Carrying spare pads in your purse isn't very discreet
Needless to say, pads are a lot bigger than tampons. They aren't as easy to hide, and it's very obvious what they are, even if companies try to camouflage the packages with floral designs. A tampon is no bigger than your finger, and you can tuck it into your wallet if you need to. Most women bury their spare pads in a secret pocket in their purse that is never opened expect for in a period emergency. But still, wouldn't it be nice to not have to carry pads around everywhere you go?
7 You can't go swimming
Not only is it a bad idea to wear a pad in a bathing suit, but it's a really bad idea to jump in the water if you're wearing a pad. All the things that could go wrong are terror-inducing. The pad will get soaked and it could fall out and float to the surface. Blood could leak everywhere and you'll scare everyone away and attract sharks. Tampons allow you to keep your period a secret, wear a bathing suit comfortably, and even go swimming if you really want to.
6 You can't exercise comfortably
All the running, sweating, and general physical activity is not going to work for that pad in your underwear. They generally aren't very flexible, and it will probably get all twisted, and lead to a lot of leakage. Not to mention blood and sweat mixed together is absolutely disgusting. All the bad things about pads are combined to make them even worse when you're engaging in any kind of physical activity. At least with a tampon you won't be able to feel it shifting around as you run.
5 Fooling around could get really awkward
Sometimes you don't want to turn down the opportunity to fool around a lit bit even if you're on your period, and you shouldn't have to. But if you don't want to tell you're partner exactly why you'll be keeping your pants on, that's okay too. Unfortunately, if you're wearing a pad, all your partner has to do is run their hand over the no-fly zone and they'll know exactly what the deal is. At least with a tampon, you can be a little more subtle about your secret and your pad-diaper won't completely ruin the mood.
4 No spontaneous hot tub dips
You go to a party one night and, surprise, they have a hot tub! Every one else is stripping down to their underwear and hopping in. But you definitely can't do that because you're currently wearing a pad. Not only will you have to make up some excuse that no one will believe as to why you're sitting timidly on the edge of the tub, but at least one person will probably offer you a tampon and insist it will be fine. But the leak paranoia is real, and there's no way you'll take that risk without a thorough shower first.
3 Leak paranoia
Since you're well aware that pads are prone to allowing leakage, there's never a time when you're using a pad that you aren't irrationally paranoid that a leak could be happening right now. Most of the time the paranoia is a lot worse than the actual leak, but at the same time that paranoia is probably protecting your from enduring one of the most embarrassing period-related mishaps. If you're vigilant, leaks can be kept to a minimum, but the stress of it possibly happening is still the worst.
2 Irritated skin
Some people with really sensitive skin might have a problem wearing pads because the plastic will be rubbing against their skin all day long and cause a rash. The wings go around the outside of your underwear, so they probably rub against the inside of your legs and irritate the skin. The wetness can't help either, and for some people it could cause something similar to diaper rash. Those things just make it even more important to change your pad regularly, and make the paranoia and constant awareness of your period even stronger.
1 People are more likely to have a spare tampon
Getting a surprise period and having nothing with you is something most women try to avoid by always carrying a spare. But sometimes you aren't as prepared as you thought you were and you have to ask a friend, or even a stranger if they can help you out. A lot of people are more than willing to offer a tampon, but not as many will have a pad. Luckily you can probably use some toilet paper in a real pinch, but that likelihood of that soaking through is pretty high.