Question: When I use a pad I have to clean my vaginal area a lot and it takes up time, but sometimes I'm not in the mood to wear a tampon. How do you keep the vaginal area clean while wearing a pad?

  • Peer peer Answer
    Mai Nguyen provides information about vaginal care.
    Laura Martin
  • Mom mom Answer
    Gretchen Van-Monette answers your questions about your feminine care.
    Gretchen Van-Monette
  • Health Expert health expert Answer
    Molly O’Shea is a health advocate here to help you with your period.
    Molly O'Shea
  • Ah, the disadvantage of pads -- the requirement for more frequent and excessive cleaning. The reason why pads (versus tampons) make more of a mess is because, if you think about it, your vagina is literally resting against a soiled pad for hours on end. So, for those times when you’re not in the mood to wear a tampon, I highly recommend wet wipes and making sure you avoid letting one pad sit too long. I am in love with wet wipes. I might even love them more than my boyfriend. Whenever you use the restroom or change your pad, use a wet wipe or two to quickly wipe and clean your vagina. You’ll notice the difference immediately mostly because you’ll feel so much fresher after using them. Your vaginal area will go from feeling like a puddle on a dirty street to a bed of flowers.

  • I know what you are talking about. I can’t stand that icky feeling that comes with wearing a pad but, just like you, sometimes I just don’t want to use a tampon. My tip -- baby wipes. I figure if it’s good enough for my kid’s tush, then it’s okay for my vagina.  And since they’re moist, I feel they clean better than with regular toilet paper. I dispose of them as I would any other feminine product. I also change my pad often so I’m not so close to the source of my discomfort.

  • That's a tough one. Depending on how heavy your flow is and how your labia are shaped, there's probably not much you can do other than changing your pad frequently so blood doesn't pool there. It may help to carry along some flushable wipes to wipe yourself with when you are on your period and that can help you feel clean too when you change your pad.

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