You know what’s almost as annoying as not being prepared for your period at all? Being prepared but with the wrong kind of product! On light days, a tampon designed to catch a heavy flow can feel scratchy and uncomfortable, while wearing only a panty liner on your heaviest days can cause you to need to change your product too frequently, constantly checking the back of your pants.
After figuring out when to expect your period each month, learning your body’s menstrual flow pattern is the next step in staying prepared. Every body is different: some women’s periods begin with a day of spotting followed by a few days of heavy flow and a final day of spotting. Other women find that their period starts off as heavy as it’s going to get and tapers down to a light trickle over the next few days. You’ll never know your flow unless you pay attention, so start keeping track this month. Your first few periods may be very light and short, and your cycle may change over the years, but knowing the general gist of your pattern will always be helpful.
When keeping track, get used to describing your flow in one of three ways: heavy, medium, and light. The way you can determine your flow is by how fast you need to change your product. On regular (medium) days, you should feel the need to change a pad or tampon with regular absorbency about every four hours. If four hours pass and you find your pad or tampon to still be mostly white, then that’s considered to be a light day, and on these days you might want to switch over to a panty liner or a pad/tampon with light absorbency – especially if you find it hurts to take out your tampon because it’s dry. If you check your product before four hours have passed and you feel like your pad or tampon (or both) needs to be changed sooner, then that’s considered a heavy day, and you would be better off with a super, super plus, or max absorbency pad or tampon. On your heaviest days, you can avoid accidents and overflow by wearing a pad or liner with your tampon, and perhaps you’ll want to sleep in our overnight pads with max protection so you don’t have to worry about staining your sheets.
By learning how to go with your flow, you’re guaranteed to feel better and more in control of your cycle. Knowing what to expect means that you won’t waste product on light days and you won’t ruin clothes on heavier days – a win-win no matter what!
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