Information & Advice
|Towels, tampons or Mooncup: How do I know which product is right for me?|
Vicki Buffery, an expert for Lil-Lets, says: "This really is down to individual choice. Some women prefer to use internal sanitary protection such as tampons, while others are more comfortable with external sanitary protection such as towels. Whichever type you choose, you'll find they all come in a variety of absorbencies and sizes suitable for your flow."
|What are the pros and cons of using a towel?|
Towels are quick and easy to apply. "Towels are ideal for girls who have only recently started their periods and need time to understand their flow, or for women who have recently given birth and have not yet had their six-week postnatal check-up with their doctor," says Vicki Buffery.
|What are the pros and cons of using a tampon?|
Vicki Buffery says: "If discretion is important to you, tampons are an ideal choice. Smaller and more discrete than the average towel, tampons fit easily into either a handbag or a purse, and because they are worn internally they are ideal for the more active aspects of your life, such as swimming and exercising."
|What are the pros and cons of using a Mooncup?|
A Mooncup is an reusable alternative to towels and tampons. It's a small, flexible medical-grade silicone cup that collects your menstrual fluid before it has a chance to leave your body. It's discreet and there's no need to carry an extra or worry about disposal.
|What's the correct way to use a towel?|
Dr Monica Lundervold, an expert for Always, explains: "Ensure the backing is removed and place the adhesive part on to your underwear, making sure it's in place and comfortable." If you're using a towel with wings, fix these to the underside of your underwear last.
|What's the correct way to use a tampon?|
If you're new to tampons, try using them when your flow is at its heaviest, usually day two or three.
Start by washing your hands. Find a comfortable position and try to relax. Make sure the string is hanging freely from the base of the tampon and gently push the tampon in a slanting direction towards the base of your spine. Once it's fully inserted, you're good to go.
|What's the correct way of using a mooncup?|
The Mooncup is folded at the top and insterted into a vagina like a tampon, but sits lower than a tampon would. Once it's inside you, the cup will unfold to collect menstrual fluid.
|How often should a towel be changed?|
Dr Lundervold says: "To keep yourself feeling fresh, protected, clean and dry, change your pad at least four times during the day. However, near the beginning of your period, when flow is heaviest, you may want to change your pad more often. If you don't change your pad regularly, the menstrual fluid on it can develop an odour."
|How often should a tampon be changed?|
Tampons should be changed at least every four to eight hours. Vicki Buffery also adds: "Tampons are also ideal for night time use. Simply use a fresh one before going to bed and change when you wake in the morning."
|How often should a Mooncup be emptied?|
|What can I do to make sure I don't leak?|
"Understanding your menstrual flow is key to making sure you get the very best from your protection of choice," Vicki explains. "Your flow will not only change during your monthly period but also during different times of your life, such as following pregnancy or as you draw to the end of your menstrual life." Make sure that you use the lowest absorbency tampon needed for your flow as this will make sure you're as comfortable as possible and reduce the risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS).
If you find that you need to change your protection quite often, you may need to try something that offers a higher level of absorbency. It's also worth keeping a spare and some underwear in your handbag just in case.
|What is Toxic Shock Syndrome?|
|Are there any products that can help keep me fresh while on the go?|
There are some great, discreet products available to help keep you feeling fresh during your period. Dorothée Dehecq, marketing director for Corine De Farme, says: "Intimate wipes are particularly useful if you're worried about odour during your period, as they're perfect for a quick freshen-up." Corine De Farme wipes are gentle but effective thanks to their 99 per cent natural origin ingredients. They're also soap, paraben and alcohol-free and are bio-degradeable and flushable.
|What's the best way to deal with bloating and sluggishness?|
A few days before your period starts, you might notice changes in your body and mood. You might feel bloated, irritable and tired. This is down to a rise in hormone levels at this time, and is called Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS).
"Don't be tempted to skip meals during this time as this can lead to constipation, which will only make the bloating worse," says Vicki Buffery. "Try to drink plenty of water. Ginger or peppermint tea have also been known to have a beneficial effect on the digestive system and, although it may be the last thing you want to do, gentle exercise can help to ease stomach cramps. It doesn't have to be a full-blown marathon – a brisk walk or some gentle stomach exercises will do."
|How can I deal with period pain/cramps?|
There are several ways to ease period cramps, so speak to your GP or Boots pharmacist about other ways to deal with period pains. Visit BootsWebMD for more information.
|Tips for parents|
Periods might be a difficult topic of conversation for some parents, but it's important to support your daughter at this confusing time. "For a mum, one of the most anxious times in her life is when she notices her daughter has started her journey from being a child to a young adult and is experiencing puberty," says Vicki Buffery. "Girls find this subject difficult to approach and are often looking for mum to take the lead. Rather than a time of embarrassment, this should be seen as a time to bond with your daughter ? take time to sit down with her and discuss what she can expect both physically and emotionally over the next few months, and discuss sanitary protection."
Some mums find it helpful to take a shopping trip with their daughter to browse through the different choices available, which can give girls a chance to ask questions about various products.
If your daughter isn't comfortable with going into a store, go online to browse feminine hygiene products – you can take your time to talk through the different options available and order discreetly.
It's also worth being prepared for when your daughter gets her first period. Lil-Lets teens Starter Pack includes a range of towels and tampons to help her discover the products that are perfect for her. It also includes a booklet with helpful information, which will help you to discuss the changes that she'll experience.
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