I struggle to be on friendly terms with what is commonly referred to as maxi pads. Although it’s been many years since I’ve used one, I remember why I began disliking pads—they felt like diapers for adults, only instead of urine & fecal matter, I was sitting in menstrual fluids.
My issue with pads began while I was in high school. I was in the middle of class, had just changed my pad, yet I felt warm liquid working its way up my crack. I knew if I didn’t catch it, I would leak, so I excused myself to the bathroom for maintenance. Sure enough, my pad wasn’t catching the menstrual fluids. I thought if I’d used 2 super, extra long maxis with wings that my problem would be solved, but that didn’t help either. The menstrual fluid would just travel up, missing the pad altogether. Also, the size of the pads made me feel like I was sitting on a pillow, or wearing a diaper. I’d had it with pads, so I decided to try tampons. I was in love! Leakage was rare, I didn’t feel like I was wearing a diaper, and I wasn’t sitting in my own fluid. Also, I could SWIM—which I loved to do—so I was sold. I have been using tampons for years ever since.
Currently, with awareness spreading about Toxic Shock Syndrome, I am looking for new products to use during my period. I refuse to use pads because I cannot imagine sitting in my own fluids again, and I desperately want to stop using tampons because at times my vagina needs a break from having a foreign object lodged up there, even if it is temporary. I haven’t been brave enough to try something new, but with new articles being written about the chemicals used in tampons, my vaginal health comes before comfort. One thing is certain: I will never use pads again.