Women use Sanitary Napkins during their menstruation cycle. A Menstruation cycle is when a woman bleeds for 5-7 days and also faces a hormonal change in her body. She met a lot of problems before, during, and postmenstrual cycle. Sanitary Napkins are a kind of Feminine Hygiene Products worn externally during the Menstruation cycle except for tampons and menstrual cups. Other than using these napkins during the menstruation cycle, it is also used after giving birth to a child, recovering from gynecology surgery, Miscarriage, and after Abortion. Women need to change these pads several times during the menstruation cycle, depending on the flow from the vagina.
Types of Sanitary Napkins and its Uses:
There are two types of Sanitary Napkins.
- Disposable Sanitary Napkins
- Reusable Sanitary Napkins.
Disposable Sanitary Napkins:
Earlier, women used sandbags and mud bags during the menstruation cycle. When these bags use to get heavy with the flow, women use to throw the sand and mud, and they fill the bags again and use them. It was the most unhygienic practice women use to do during periods.
Mainly materials used to produce a disposable sanitary napkin includes bleached rayon, cotton, and plastic. However, companies are reluctant to disclose the materials used to create a sanitary napkin. Sanitary napkins are made of non-biodegradable plastics, and it takes 500 to 800 to decompose, hence causing environmental and health hazards.
Disposable Sanitary Napkins are used only once, and women need to dispose of after it is used. These sanitary napkins are disposed of by wrapping them in tissue paper or newspaper, throwing them in the plastic bag, and then disposing of them in the dustbin and by incinerating the use sanitary napkins. There are subtypes of s disposable hygienic napkins:
Pantyliner is a type of sanitary napkin that can be use to absorb the daily vaginal discharge. Women can use it during medium and low menstrual flow or spotting. It can be use as a support for tampons and menstrual cups.
Maxi Sanitary Napkins:
It is use during heavy menstrual flow. It is a larger absorbency pad to avoid Period stain on the surfaces during the menstruation cycle.
Overnight Sanitary Napkins:
It is a more extended pad that allows protection to women when lying on the bed. It makes the period night secure and safe by saving the bedsheet from period stains during the period.
Maternity Sanitary Napkins:
As the name suggests, these sanitary napkins are worn by women after giving birth to a child. The bleeding of the vagina after giving birth to a child is lochia. These pads are slightly longer than the Maxi/Super pads.
Reusable Sanitary Napkins:
Initially, women used dirty clothes during the menstruation cycle. That gave rise to vaginal infection and skin irritation during periods. So to change a bit, reusable sanitary napkins are introduce. It is a cost-savvy product, and it is washable so that every time women use a fresh and hygienic cloth menstrual pad. Cloth Sanitary Napkins are mostly made of cotton flannel or hemp. Hemp is a material that is highly absorbent and not as bulky as cotton.
These pads don’t contain artificial fragrances and are allergen-free. Cloth sanitary napkins are best suit to those women who find irritation in using the disposable sanitary napkin. There are various types of Cloth Menstrual Napkins:
All in One (AIO) Napkins:
AIO Pads are those pads in which the absorbent and waterproofing layers, sewn inside the pads. Women can use these pads as they are using the disposable sanitary napkins. They are easy to use and hassle-free. These pads are available in any shape, and it is less bulky than other non-waterproof pads.
Insert on Top or Base and Insert Pads:
These pads come with absorbent inserts that are place on the top of the base pad. Absorbent inserts can be attach by a snap, button, or Velcro located at the end of the base and inserts. These pads also come with pocket-like backs so the inserts can fit on the bottom. Base and Insert pads are economical as women can use these pads’ base throughout the day by changing the inserts several times.
Pocket/Envelope Cloth Napkins:
Pocket or Envelope Cloth Napkins come with overlapping halves that form an opening at the back of the pad where separate absorbent “Inserts” or “boosters” can be placed. Many pocket pads come with a feature where women can put more than one insert to identify the absorbent inserts according to their Menstrual flow.
Above were the types and subtypes of Sanitary Napkins. Due to increased pollution, women can opt for green menstruation by using reusable sanitary napkins. Opting for reusable sanitary napkins has two advantages: Firstly, it is economy savvy that is women can use it for many menstrual cycles avoiding any unhygienic practices. Secondly, it will reduce the sanitary napkin waste generation that will save humans and the environment from deadly diseases.
Another alternative to have a sustainable menstruation cycle is incinerating the used disposable sanitary napkin rather than throwing it inside the dustbin. It again has two advantages: Firstly it will save you from the embarrassment you won’t need to throw it in the washroom bin that will cause a foul smell after some time. Secondly, the ashes generate from a disposable sanitary napkin’s incineration can be use as fertilizers, making it environment friendly.