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Which Absorbency is Right for Me?

by Nancy Redd

From one day to the next, and even from morning to evening, the amount of menstrual blood your body sheds changes. Learn how to pick the right absorbency for your period.

Your period lasts for 3-7 days on average, but that doesn’t mean that menstrual blood is flowing freely the entire time! From one day to the next, and even from morning to evening, the amount of menstrual blood your body sheds fluctuates, which is a fancy way of saying it changes.

For example, some girls say that the first day of their period consists of little more than light spotting, but that the next day is very heavy, while for other girls the very first day might be the heaviest flow day. Some find that their flow increases while they sleep, while a few feel like their menstrual blood’s busy time happens in the morning. Every body’s different, and that’s totally okay!

Menstrual flow fluctuations are exactly why liners, pads and tampons come in different absorbencies -- so you can truly go with the flow! The more absorbent something is, the more liquid it can soak up. The heavier your flow happens to be, the better off you are with a pad or tampon that is more absorbent. “But why wouldn’t I just wear the most absorbent size all the time, just in case?” The answer is that you should wear the proper absorbency tampon for your flow to decrease any chance of infection. With pads, it doesn’t matter – you can! The positive side of sticking with the most absorbent pad is that you never have to worry about whether or not you’re prepared if your body decides to increase menstrual flow unexpectedly. The downside of this is that more absorbent pads are usually slightly bulkier. For tampons always use the lowest absorbency for your needs and pack a spare in your purse.

Liners, pads and tampons of all absorbencies are specifically designed to be as thin as possible without shifting around, while absorbing menstrual blood to keep you dry, clean, and odor free. In order of absorbency, click here for the U by Kotex* options, and the type of flow that each product is best suited for. While more absorbent tampons do hold more menstrual blood, that doesn’t mean you need them for your entire period - maybe not even at all! Even on light days, never go longer than 8 hours (preferably 4-8) without changing your product, for reasons of odor, hygiene, and, especially with tampons, health. If your flow is very heavy, you may need to change every couple of hours or you’ll find yourself leaking because of a soaked-through tampon. If this is often the case for you, and you’re not using the strongest absorbency, consider ramping up your pad or tampon absorbency. If you are using the highest absorbency, and you’re soaking through a pad or tampon every hour or two for more than a few hours, you should make an appointment with your healthcare provider.

No matter what your flow may be, don’t forget to protect your panties! No tampon of any size or absorbency is 100% leak-proof, so keep your underwear stain-free and always pair products together, wearing a liner with your tampon unless you’re sure that it’s going to be an extremely light day. Many girls like to wear liners the entire month not just to be prepared for an early period but to catch the random other discharge that is natural and normal.

Whether you’re a super-plus tampon or a liner lady, you’re in luck! All of the U by Kotex* products come in the same gorgeous bright colors, so get the absorbencies that are right for you and get ready to have your friends give you compliments on your stash! Who knew that would ever be a possibility?

Edited by U by Kotex

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This is not intended to be medical advice. Everybody is different so please make sure to consult your physician if you're having issues. Do not delay or refrain from seeking professional medical advice from your physician because of something you have read on this site.