Friday, January 23, 2009

Period Equipment

Despite that inserting tampons is like playing a game of Operation (remember that one? Tell me it isn't EXACTLY like inserting a tampon when you have vulvodynia), I actually prefer tampons to pads because keeping my period inside me is a lot more comfortable than soaking my tender parts in it all day long.

However, the first day or so of my period is seriously heavy -- like one-tampon-an-hour heavy. (It used to be lighter but longer; must say I prefer it this way.) So I use pads plus tampons for a day, and I've come to realize that Always pads are a horribly evil product.

It makes me really sad -- Always are so reliable, and they're like magic the way they absorb the stuff and keep it on the pad. But just a few hours with one on is enough for me: they turn my crotch into a burny raw hell.

For tampons, I must use the ones with plastic applicators; using tampons with cardboard applicators is like sitting on a beehive for me. And I obviously need an applicator in the first place -- I need to not expand my vagina any more than necessary. That's why I can't use insertable cups -- the difference in width between tampons and cups is enough to make me scream. Plus with cups you have to wriggle them around...shudder shudder shudder...

I've thought about buying some Glad Rags for those heavy days but just haven't gotten around to it yet. Has anyone tried them? For now I switched to Kotex, which are far inferior to Always in design but seem a little more tender on my skin.

Anyone have any other miracle period solutions?


  1. I'm with you on this. I was using the Playtex Sports tampons, they are slender w plastic applicators and if I was extra tight a little Ky or Astroglide helped with insertion anddidn't interfere with absorption. But the last two months they gave me a flare and for some reason I'm getting heavier, shorter periods and they just didn't measure up. But they are better than anything else I've tried so I'll probably stick with them.
    I'd like to try unbleached, but because the people who make them are so hippydippy they always come with cardboard or no applicators and that's just not working out.

    And the Always. GRR. I blogged about them last year:
    They are terrible for everyone, especially those with sensitivity issues. You should have seen the specialist's face when I told him I used them. He gave me tons of info when I was there about vvd, and all handouts said NO ALWAYS! so I looked it up. Turns out there are glues and plastics in there that should never touch human skin. Amazing what people can get away with.
    I do like the Instead cups. The insertion can be uncomfortable, but it is worth it for me because once it's in it's in for 12 hours and there is no vulvar or vaginal irritation. Again, a bit of lube helps.

    Good luck. I'm considering asking my doc if I can take birth control pills without breaks so I can avoid my period because it is such a pain in the vag every month. OH! And did I mention anywhere that I'm getting TWO periods a month!?! I'm so mad. I'm only 32 years old. This shouldn't be happening.

  2. Playtex Sports are what I use too! They work fine except when I'm heavy, like any tampons. I hadn't heard of the Instead cups, just Diva and Keeper. But frankly just the thought of attempting to put a cup up there right now is too much, even with lube. Ugh.

    Are you on any meds? I was on a med once that made my period come twice a month. It sucked so I didn't stay on it very long. But yeah, I hate when my period is irregular. It always makes me wonder about the vvd specialist who said "if your period is regular it's not your hormones." Well, what's regular?

  3. well, I typed out one response and it ate it! Darn!

    Here is basically what I said. I used to use the Diva Cup b/c I had extremely heavy bleeding too, but it doesn't sound like that will work for you. I went back on BC pills and that has helped, as my periods are non-existant now (no, I am not pregnant, my tubes are tied ;) ). The drs suspect I have endometriosis, but I haven't had the sugergy to confirm it b/c I am controlling the symptoms with meds.

    On the topic of Always pads....HATE THEM! They ALWAYS make me itch/burn. I used to use Stay Free when I had to use something.

    Hope you find something that works for you!


  4. I've tried Glad Rags. They didn't cause my skin any irritation, but they are rather bulky.

    Understandably, with a cotton cloth pad, you're not going to have the miracle speedy absorbency of an Always pad. You're trading speed for comfort, but you want to change them often because you don't want to keep unnecessary moisture in that region. Otherwise, you run the risk of a yeast infection.

    Managing your period is extremely difficult with vulvodynia. My doctor wrote me a script for continuous birth control because my period always caused me a terrible flare.

    Why suffer? I know that's not an option for everyone, but I thought I'd let you know.

  5. Kim - that sucks about the endo! I'm glad you're able to control it though. I don't know much about endo but the symptoms always sound rotten.

    Quinn - thanks for the review. I'm afraid of BC because of the hormonal consequences -- like, would it make my pain worse? I'd rather not experiment, but at least there's that option in case I ever need it.

  6. Every thing has its advantages and disadvantages. Tampons are very comfortable than pads and it offers more freedom. But one has to be cautious for tampons, if one forget to remove it on time, then it may lead to bad smell, bacteria forms, thus leading to infections. It may also cause TSS disease. One can use tampon but has should be alert. If anytime tampon is not getting removed or facing some problems, one immediately go to gynaecologist.

  7. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  8. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  9. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.