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To help you decide which is right for you, we broke down the pros and cons of both options, but remember: ultimately, the decision is yours.

Original article via Seventeen Magazine

Team Pads

Pros

  1. They're super easy to use. Ask anyone, attaching a pad to your underwear is way easier than inserting a tampon. So, while you may need someone's help to put a tampon in for the first you times, you shouldn't have any issue mastering the pad.

  2. You always know when to change it. If you go to the bathroom and your pad is full of blood, that's a pretty good indicator that it's time to switch it out for a new one.

  3. There is no risk of toxic shock syndrome (TSS). While getting TSS from a tampon is very rare, your risk level drops even more when using a pad.

Cons

  1. You can't swim with a pad in. One of the best parts about using tampons is that you can swim while on your period with no risk of leaking. When you're using a pad, however, you really can't go in the water. Most likely, the adhesive that is connecting your pad to your bathing suit will get dislodged and will make for a total OMG moment.

  2. They might be visible. There's a chance, depending on the size of your pad and what clothes you're wearing, that your pad will be visible through your clothes.

     

Team Tampons

Pros

  1. They're much more portable. Tampons are pretty small (especially travel-sized ones), so they're much easier to carry around. You can throw them into your pocket or purse so you never have to worry about being without one.

  2. They're better for swimming and sports. Like I said before, you really can't go swimming when you're wearing a pad, but if you have a tampon in, there's nothing stopping you from taking a dip. In general, tampons are better for those who are very active, as pads can be uncomfotable when you're running around and playing sports.

  3. They're more discreet. While there are some instances when a pad may be visible from outside your clothes, since tampons are inserted in you, you won't have that problem when using them. The only thing you have to worry about is the string, but that can easily be taken care of.

Cons

  1. They're harder to insert. Getting the hang of inserting a tampon can definitely take some time and practice. You may need someone to help you out the first few times, but eventually, it will become second nature.

  2. They can be uncomfortable at first. Again, when you first start wearing tampons, it may feel weird to be walking around with something inserted inside of you, but you will get used to it.

  3. There is a risk of toxic shock syndrome. While it's low, there is a risk of getting TSS while wearing a tampon. TSS is a rare, potentially life-threatening bacterial infection and it can occur when you leave a tampon in and bacteria overgrows on it. Again, though, it is extremely rare. Just make sure you're reading the instructions on the tampon box about how long you should leave your tampon in for, and make sure you're changing it regularly.

 

 

From our Rif CARE team: Also keep in mind that being comfortable is key. Many people do not realize this, but if you are a heavy cramper or have fibroids tampons can actually make period pain worse since the vaginal walls clench to grip and hold what is inside, therefore increasing the pain of your cramping. If you suffer from heavy bleeding and cramping, pads or period panties may be the best option for you.