Can We Talk About Periods?

As analytics show, many of you are menstruating women. Or identify as women, and are interested in topics like this. So, if it’s okay to ask, what are you using for your period?

For the past couple of years, I’ve solely relied on pads, which I often feel sheepish admitting. I’m not sure why I’m afraid to share that after using tampons most of my late teen and adult cycle, I’ve stopped. Cold turkey, grab the tissue and stock the pads, kind of stop. It feels like some part of the transition was going back to a younger version of myself I didn’t want to identify with. Or worse, that choosing to wear them again made me less of a woman. So silly, right? Of course, these are all the strange and familiar voices in my head. They aren’t real or representative of how empowered I feel by giving up my use of tampons just because I felt like it was time for me to do so.

The change started with an artical about tampons and toxic shock syndrome (and sitting with my natural forgetfullness). And before the artical, there was a cup sent to me in the mail to try. One that I attempted, and failed, and attempted again. But kept just in case I grew comfortable. The space between the two events, had me standing square in-between two aisles at the grocery store, sorting through female hygiene like some pubescent teen. There I was, scooting over boxes, reading labels, checking for thickness and length. Wings? No wings? And after a while I just grabbed the one that seemed to have the least amount of fuss and happened to be organic.

Shortly after, I stocked up on Lola pads, wipes, and even tampons (if I should change my mind). And for the trickles or odd early or late period days, I used the Natracare liners. In a pinch, the corner store always has the pad versions regulary stocked as well.

And of course there are no shortage of period panties like Knix , Thinx and Ruby Love. And in that case, the need for a pad is only a few days with a liner or nothing at all. Because I run on the nervous side, I always opt for a light pad or liner–even If I don’t need it.

TMI- Lately, something strange has happened though. Instead of getting all of those heavy soaked–through tampon days, I run on the light side afer day one of my cycle. This is even lighter than the pad day when I first started again, which was still less-than the tampon days. According to doctors, there’s no scientific reason for this when it comes to tampons vs. pads. It may just be a trick of timing, stress, life and cycles. But even sort of noticing (pads, how can I not?) what my body is doing has been helpful.

Pads? Tampons? Cups? I would love to know how you feel about the topic!

P.S remember when we talked about sex, too?

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37 thoughts on “Can We Talk About Periods?

  • Reply Dorothy P October 29, 2019 at 3:52 pm

    Pads! I’ve only used pads my whole life and I’m 38 🙈😆. They just feel natural to me and I never liked the idea of a foreign object sitting inside of me 🤔?! Any who—to each their own! I enjoyed that post, thanks for sharing!!

    • Reply latonya October 29, 2019 at 10:17 pm

      I love this, Dorothy!

      Thanks for sharing!

      • Reply McKenna Moses October 30, 2019 at 1:04 pm

        I wish I read this before placing my Lola order today! Is there anyway I can support you on my next order?

        I, too, feel shy about continuing to use pads well into my twenties. It’s comforting to know other womxn share in this experience. Thinx has also been my friend on lighter days or if I decide to brave the idea of working out during my cycle.

        It’s great to know the bodega near me might carry Natracare! I’ll certainly keep an eye out.

        Thank you for sharing!

        • Reply latonya October 31, 2019 at 9:16 am

          Hi Mckenna, Of course! links don’t expire so just click through whenever you’re ready to order. Thank you for being so thoughtful and considerate.

          And yes, youll be surprised. Also if you have a wholefoods or grocery store, you may have some luck.


      • Reply Lolade Taylor- Martinez November 2, 2019 at 12:05 pm

        I’ve always worn pads. My school nurse in 6th grade talked to us about periods. When she started talking about tampons and mentioned toxic shock it scared me! So I vowed never to use!😂 I’m 42 now and pads are my go to! Thank you for this post! ❤️

    • Reply steph October 30, 2019 at 11:19 pm

      me too! i’m 31 and sometimes feel sheepish that i’ve never used a tampon. the whole concept feels unnatural. glad to know im not the only one 🙂 i’ve been saving up for period panties but have been surprised and happy with the selection and price points of organic pads at my local supermarket.

  • Reply Lauren October 29, 2019 at 3:57 pm

    Thanks so much for this LaTonya! I have never used tampons, I attempted to when I was an early teen and decided that when I got to be a “grown-up” I would switch to tampons. But I’ve been an adult for a while now and have never made the switch. But, lately I’ve been working through my feelings regarding using pads. I often feel like a child, like none of the women I know use pads and somehow a preference conveys who I am as a woman. So, I’ll continue to use pads until I no longer need to 🙂 Thank you again for speaking into it and for helping me not feel so “odd.”

    • Reply Danita October 29, 2019 at 8:37 pm

      Pads! I will be 40 in a few months and I’ve only ever used pads. It’s what’s most comfortable for me.

    • Reply latonya October 29, 2019 at 10:58 pm

      Thank you so much for reading Lauren. And of course for sharing your story!

    • Reply Julia October 30, 2019 at 6:17 am

      I happily use the cup since about three years now. If it’s unpractical for any reason I switch to pads, but that happened only once since I started using the cup. I had to get one without a “handle” and also had to try different sizes and degrees of sturdiness until I found one that fits perfectly. Now I can rely solely on the cup, which makes me very happy😊

      • Reply latonya October 31, 2019 at 9:18 am

        Hi Julia!

        Thank you so much! From what I’m hearing, everyone has a trial and error with various brads and sizes. It’s good to know, and I won’t cast the use of it away just yet.


  • Reply Allison October 29, 2019 at 4:00 pm

    I’m team cup! Especially after traveling cross-country for the past 3 years…you already have everything you need and how cool is that!?

    • Reply latonya October 31, 2019 at 9:19 am

      hahah thanks Allison! Yes, I’m like, here we go, we can still figure this out if anything should change. Why were you traveling cross country? And how did it make it easier? Just less to worry about? xoxo

  • Reply Annie October 29, 2019 at 4:25 pm

    So glad these topics are out in the open more and more. I switched to the cup and really love it for the forgetfulness aspect but also paired with period panties it eliminated my fear of leaking completely. I flow heavy and once I got the combo down of cup then period panties for when I over flow I was relieved. It took a few months honestly to get it right but I feel like a regular person now, I can go 12 hours with it in and am no longer worrying if I’m wearing white etc. Plus, they pack so small for travel I bring them on every trip always and never feel like I’m in a bind!

    • Reply latonya October 31, 2019 at 9:27 am

      Hi Annie!

      You are the second perosn to comment that it’s great for travel! So good to hear. I definitely think itll take more time for me for sure. but hapy to have pads and feel comfortable in using them until the. Also, yes, period pantines are SUCH A LIFE SAVER. I’m sure it’s empowering having your own routine down and comfortable. Thank you for sharing. xoxo

  • Reply Shannon Nobles October 29, 2019 at 4:45 pm

    I love to shout from the rooftop about how much I LOVE my menstrual cup! It was tricky to get the hang of it at first, but I kept trying and 8 years later I feel like it changed my life. I am much more in tune with my flow and feel more connected to my body. It is so comfortable, I sometimes forget I am wearing it and that is okay because unlike tampons there is no risk of leaving it in for hours at a time- in fact it is designed to do so! I only have to change it every eight hours on a normal cycle! I use the diva cup and order it online- I highly recommend it 🙂

    • Reply latonya October 29, 2019 at 11:01 pm

      So good to hear, Shannon! Definitely getting convinced fo try it a bit more!


  • Reply Karisma Dorsey October 29, 2019 at 4:47 pm

    I can definitely attest to feeling like a teen in the hygiene aisle after gaining more awareness. I have always used pads prior to being sexually active, tampons just seemed to invasive for me. Once maturing and having kids I thought about attempting other options,but haven’t. I used to feel some embarrassment by it, but as I’ve gotten older I realize that my comfort matters more than embarrassment. & makes me confident!

  • Reply Ser October 29, 2019 at 7:15 pm

    I am breastfeeding my 18 month old and still haven’t got my period back. Previous babies have also been followed by at least 2 years of amenorrhea, I breastfeed so frequently overnight that my prolactin is always high and suppressing my estrogen. No ovulation- no period ! I miss my period. I like the cycle of emotions and insights. At the moment I feel a bit emotionally stuck, like the Bermuda Triangle of inner life ! When I DO menstruate I like using a sea sponge . Buy online . Just moisten with water , ball it up and stuff it in as high as you can. So comfortable, way more comfortable than tampons , and no leaking . Boil briefly to sterilize after use.
    For my teen daughter who hasn’t got her period yet I’m planning on buying period underwear.
    Great topic !

  • Reply Liz October 29, 2019 at 7:15 pm

    The cup was life changing for me. I use the sckoon cup. My periods are shorter and using the cup has been the healthiest change for me.

  • Reply Adina October 29, 2019 at 7:25 pm

    I am a tampons gal forever! I have really heavy bleeding the first 2-3 days and do have to wear a light liner; but I just feel more clean /fresh/odor free wearing tampons. I’ve started wearing pads overnight so I don’t have to get up to go to the bathroom as much, but still majority wear tampons. Very interested in trying a menstrual cup though…..

    • Reply latonya October 31, 2019 at 9:33 am

      Hi Adina,

      I hear you! I felt similarly when I used to wear tampons. And now also have learned to feel something similar when wearing pads. It’s odd and has taken time. So glad to read your perspective!


      • Reply Katie November 2, 2019 at 12:27 am

        When I first got my period, I used pads, then I got the hang of tampons, and eventually used a Diva cup for a few years. Then I had kids and cups and tampons aren’t working for me anymore – I can’t get the hang of things. I had my doctor give me an IUD a few months ago, and we’ll see how things shake out. I’m hoping my periods will be lighter that the underwear will work for most days.

  • Reply Ayesha W. October 29, 2019 at 8:27 pm

    I switched back to pads 3 years ago at the age 43 after I got what is called a Bartholin cyst on my vaginal opening. I’ll tell yay it was absolutely painful!! The first cyst was drained and then it grew back a year later into a double cyst which required surgery. After that I completely gave up tampons and started using organic pads.

  • Reply Devon October 29, 2019 at 8:31 pm

    Grateful that you are still writing this blog and writing it in this kind, sisterly way. I use a silicone cup and love it. I’ve washed it out in rivers while out camping and backpacking in some of my favorite places, feeling so free. I have a few cotton pads for night time but I rarely have accidents. At nearly 40 and years out from babies, my cycle feels so familiar. My 11 yo daughter has a little pouch in her bag for *when it starts* and we put in a fresh cotton pad, a couple of those naturacare pantyliners, and some cbd cramp oil for her belly (cuz this is Portland). I’m liking hearing about these period panties which I know nothing about. 💕💕

    • Reply latonya October 29, 2019 at 11:10 pm

      Thank you, Devon! I think m the panties are highly recommended for teens still getting the hang of it- what feels best, flow etc.

      Thank you so much for reading

  • Reply Tori October 29, 2019 at 11:29 pm

    I switched to a combination of washable cloth pads and a menstrual cup in the last couple years (I’m 38.). The cup is great for my first couple of days (super heavy) but the pads are great for sleeping and for the lighter days toward the end. I also feel like my periods are shorter now that I’m not using tampons. I definitely can tell my body isn’t irritated the way it was when I used tampons (even the organic cotton ones). I love seeing how many folx are saying they feel more comfortable in pads.

  • Reply Tawnie Bryant October 30, 2019 at 11:59 am

    I tried so, so hard to make the cup work. I have no idea what I was doing and eventually gave up. Have you given thought to trying the underware??

    • Reply Kelly October 30, 2019 at 6:06 pm

      I had the same experience with my flow with tampons. I stopped using them ages ago and LOVE my cup. But I’ve found that all cups are not equal and it’s definitely about finding the right fit. I also use pads as back up…have thought about Thinx but still waiting for my period to come back from being 9 months PP.

    • Reply latonya October 31, 2019 at 9:46 am

      Hey Tawnie! Yes, i have the underwear! But I am still a bit nervous to do it solo on heavy days and usually opt for regular underwear with pads early on, and liners or no liners with underwears later on.

  • Reply Becky October 30, 2019 at 3:46 pm

    I was a tampon all my teens till I got an implant which left me with no periods, great right? It’s less messy and cheaper but I felt so out of tune with my body but still relied on it for contraception for 8 years. If I’m feeling sluggish or emotional it’s difficult to correlate it with my cycle as I have no indication of when that is! After having my first baby a year ago my period came back after 3 months (even though I was full time breastfeeding). After giving birth, I didn’t want to use tampons, a mix of anxiety/sensitivity down south but it also didn’t feel natural so I too switched to pads! I’ve since gone back to the implant (for family planning) but I’ve bought a menstrual cup to try in the future that I’m actually excited about trying!
    Thanks for talking about these things that are for unnecessarily taboo xxx

    • Reply latonya October 31, 2019 at 9:51 am

      Hi Becky! Ahh i hear you! When I got an IUD it was SO SO SO confusing, and that was also so hard to figure out. I feel so much better with it out, but 100% now on the nervous side with family planning etc even using other things. After I got it out and let it settle, I ened up tracking using DOT which made me feel slightly better (and faux in control).

      So excited you’re going to try the cup! I love when people get excited about new things pp. Would love to hear how it works for you.


  • Reply Lolade Taylor- Martinez November 2, 2019 at 12:19 pm

    Hi! I have used pads since I started my period. In 6th grade our school nurse spoke to the girls about periods. When she talked about tampons, and toxic shock syndrome. It really scared me! I made the decision not to ever wear them.
    Pads are my go to! And there are so many organic pads on he market and it’s great!
    Thank you for the post❤️ I love youuu!!

  • Reply Catherine November 4, 2019 at 5:28 pm

    I remember feeling embarrassed to wear a pad when it seemed like everyone around me wore tampons. I don’t think I regularly used tampons until my twenties and even then I preferred pads. Then the fear of TSS. Ugh. I saved tampons for swimming situations only if necessary! I had never ever heard of a cup until my thirties. Around age 38, after my last baby, I started using a cup with Thinx or Knix (my favorite) as back up and my (period) life has changed. At 42, I have horrific, perimenopausal, post four kids periods and I finally feel like I have them under control with a cup (there was definitely a learning curve of course! yikes!). I’ll keep a tampon on hand for emergencies, but it’s been years.

  • Reply Dyanna November 5, 2019 at 12:51 pm

    The softcup/ disc is very comfortable and has no risk of tss. It is similar to the cup but much easier to use

  • Reply Shaz November 8, 2019 at 6:02 am

    Thanks for this post! I didn’t use tampons until I was in my late 20s because like many others here, I was scared of TSS and just nervous. But I got over that because I started doing ballet and jazz dance and I also wanted to be able to go swimming when I want. (There is a bit of a weird thing that starts in the teenage years about being more of a grown-up if you use tampons, which I totally disagree with – use what makes you happy!) Nowadays I switch between the two, and have started buying organic and plastic free brands. Haven’t ventured into the world of cups yet!

  • Reply Rachel November 23, 2019 at 7:13 am

    Hi everyone!

    I’m late to this party, but wanted to chime in that I switched from tampons to reusable cloth pads about 3 years ago. I wish I had known reusable pads were even available, as it would have saved me much pain and frustration as a kid. My period is much lighter and pain-free, and I really believe it’s because I’m not using toxic tampons in my body. They’re easy to care for as well. I just rinse them in cold water when I switch, and hang them over the tub. I wash with my towels with free and clear laundry soap and dry normally. It’s like sitting on a cloud, and so much more comfortable than the disposables from the store.

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