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The Sexual Health Education (SHE) Programme

Menstrual Products


Menstrual products are feminine hygiene products used to collect menstrual blood during menstruation. 

Types of Menstrual Products   

  • Menstrual Pads
  • Tampons
  • Menstrual Cups

Figure 1. Types of Menstrual Products

Menstrual Pads 
Pads are rectangles of absorbent material that attach to the inside of the underwear to collect menstrual blood. Menstrual pads come in different shapes and sizes, with or without wings. 


  • They are easy to use. 
  • They are safe to use. 
  • They come in various sizes to accommodate changes in your flow. 
  • Cons 
  • They are expensive 
  • They are uncomfortable to use. 
  • They are bulky to carry around. 
  • Leakages and spillages can occur. 

Note: Pads are generally synthetic and single-use, however there are new pads which can be used multiple times and are more sustainable.

Tampons are cylindrical menstrual products designed to absorb blood and vaginal secretions by insertion into the vagina during menstruation. 

•    They are easy to use. 
•    They are easy to carry about. 
•    They are very comfortable to use. 
•    They prevent leakages. 

•    They might cause discomfort for new users. 
•    They require regular changing (every 8 hours). Leaving tampons in the vagina for too long can cause Toxic Shock Syndrome, a rare but life-threatening infection. 
Menstrual Cups 
Menstrual cups are small, flexible funnel-shaped cups made of rubber or silicone inserted into the vagina to collect blood during menstruation. They are eco-friendly (i.e: good for the enviroment) and can hold more blood than other methods. One cup can be used for up to 12 hrs.  

•    They are affordable. 
•    They require less frequent change; changed 8-12 hourly. 
•    Menstrual cups are environmentally friendly; one cup can last up to 5 years. 
•    They prevent offensive odours. 
•    They protect the good vaginal bacteria and keep the vaginal PH balanced. 

•    Menstrual cups can be challenging and messy for new users. 
•    There is a minor risk of vaginal irritation. 

Written and reviewed by

Dr MaryJane Nweje (MBBS, MSc)

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