There are various options to contain the blood during your menstrual period, such as tampons, sanitary towels, menstrual sponges and menstrual cups.

Sanitary towel

A sanitary towel is a small insert that you wear in your underwear. It has an adhesive strip on the underside, so it stays put. You can buy sanitary towels in different sizes, shapes and absorbencies.

Change the sanitary towel regularly every few hours or when it is full.

A sanitary towel
Sanitary towel in underpants
Used sanitary towel being thrown in bin

Tampon

A tampon is a small cotton tube with a thread in it. The tampon is inserted into the vagina and the thread hangs out from the vagina. You can buy tampons in different sizes.

Change the tampon regularly after a few hours or when it is full. To remove the tampon, gently pull it out with the thread.

You can choose, whether you want to use tampons or sanitary towels. If you are worried that your hymen might tear, you can use sanitary towels.

A tampon
Woman spreading her labia to insert a tampon in her vagina
Woman inserting a tampon
Tampon inside the vagina
Woman removing the tampon by pulling the cord
Used tampon being thrown in bin

Menstrual cup

The menstrual cup looks a bit like a chalice. It is made of medical silicone or latex. A menstrual cup is inserted into the vagina. It does not absorb the blood, but rather collects it. Remove the menstrual cup, empty it, rinse it and reinsert it.

Menstrual sponge

The menstrual sponge is a natural product. It is used like a tampon, and is also inserted into the vagina. When the menstrual sponge has absorbed the blood, you can wash it out and reuse it.

In case of pain

Some women’s menstrual periods are painful. You can reduce the pain in the abdomen or back by relaxing. For example, you can

  • take a hot bath or hot shower,
  • place a heat pad or a hot water bottle on your stomach or on your back,
  • drink a relaxing tea (for example chamomile tea),
  • work out or do some relaxation exercises,
  • ask in a pharmacy for an appropriate medicine to take.

Sexual intercourse

Some women want to have sexual intercourse during their menstrual period, others do not. If you want to, you can have sex during your menstrual period. This does not create any hygienic problems.

Dictionary and translations

Looking for help? Find a health professional.

Help