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Your Period

Period Basics

If you’ve got your period, congratulations! It means you’ve gotten a biological bonus prize. Your body is gearing up to have kids or just remain healthy. So go with the flow… If you know what we mean, but you also gotta’ learn the basics, kiddo, and what that means is learning your period A-B-C’s and 1-2-3's.

Your first period always tends to come as a shock. It sneaks up on you whenever it pleases (most studies say just about two years after the onset of puberty, between the average age of 11 – 12 years), The aching cramps in your stomach may make you want to roll up in a corner somewhere. All of the estrogen that’s pumpin’ all about your body may make you think you’re going nuts. But ladies and ladies, it is definitely not the end of the world! In fact, get ready for a new kind of adventure in a new kind of world (get ready, this is about to get oober cheesy) called - WOMANHOOD! Congratulations on joining the ranks!

Your first period is a sign that your body is beginning to go on womanly autopilot, meaning you’re going to experience a 28 to 30 (it really depends on your body) day menstrual cycles from now on. Your menstrual cycle is almost like an agenda that your endocrine system is going to adhere to from now on. The endocrine system is an all-encompassing name for all of the organs, ducts, and glands that are in charge of producing, secreting, and distributing all kinds of lovely hormones throughout your body.

What these organs, ducts, and glands do during your menstrual cycle is get together and plan to make way for a new ovum (new fertile egg) to get comfy in your uterus, but for that to happen your body has to rid itself of the nutrient rich lining that’s already sitting in your uterus, supporting the ovum from your last menstrual cycle. In order to do that, your endocrine system will release the proper hormones that will instruct your organs on what to do. What you will feel is the muscles in your uterus flexing and contracting in order to shed the old egg and old lining….that means…PAIN in the form of cramps and of course the flow of blood!!

Choosing the Right Menstrual Care Products For You:

Tampons vs. Sanitary Napkins vs. Panty Liners

I’m sorry to say it ladies, but as far as period resistance goes, there isn't really any healthy way to stop bleeding. When it comes to buying products for your very special feminine needs during that time of the month, you've gotta know what your period product options are. It sure doesn't help that there are so many different packages with so many different styles. The most important piece of advice we can offer you is this- experiment. Buy differenty types of products and see how they work for you. Try to understand what makes you feel comfortable when it's your time of the month. 

All products are available in a range of absorbencies, so depending on how light or heavy your flow is, you have a range of choices. Here is the range of products and absorbencies offered by Maxim Hygiene Products. All tampons are standardized and regulated by the FDA (US Food and Drug Administration) for absorbency, so all brands' tampons labeled as "regular" must absorb the same amount of liquid.


Here is a more detailed description of different types of menstrual care products and the terms used to describe them, to help you decide what you may need for your flow.

Tampons

Tampons are a mass of materials (Maxim tampons only use 100% cotton) that are shaped to fit within the primary portion of your vaginal canal. Some tampons come with applicators, that could be made out of plastic or cardboard. Maxim applicator tampons only use cardboard because it's more biodegradeable than plastic. Some tampons, called digital or non-applicator tampons, are inserted with the help of the user’s finger; eliminating the applicator part helps keep the waste down.

Pros
♦ Menstrual liquid is less likely to leave your body. Tampons are designed to trap menstrual substances within their fabric core, making it very difficult for leakage to happen on your fabulous clothing. If you maintain your tampon properly, meaning that you check often enough that the string hasn't turned red with blood, indicating that the tampon is at maximum capacity, then you are less likely to experience leakage.

On the other hand, a precariously placed pad could overflow when you maintain a certain position for way too long. No matter what though, make sure to change your tampon every 4 – 6 hours.


♦ A lot less of a movement inhibitor. If you're an active person (sports, yoga, pilates, extreme DMX or dirt-biking), and you need to stretch or run, tampons would be the better fit because they are internal and held in place by vaginal muscles.

♦ You can go swimming when you're wearing a tampon; it is not recommended to wear a pad in the pool.


♦ More discreet. If you're a little shy about being on your period, it's easy to slip a tampon in and out of a bag or a pocket without someone finding out about your womanly secret.

Cons
♦ A bit more of an intense, upfront situation. With tampons, it's pretty difficult to avoid contact with your vaginal area, so if you're more of the squeamish, not so confrontational types, maybe the string and the applicators are not for you. That is not to say that women should not embrace their bodies . Quite the contrary. A woman's body is mystical, and no one is going to unwrap that mystery except for you. You should understand how and why the body does what it does, because it makes you a part of a great gender. 

♦ TSS risk factor. You can read more about this sometimes fatal disease under our Safe Product Usage page.

Sanitary Napkins

Sanitary Napkins or Pads are a strip of compounded materials such as cotton, wood fluff pulp (don't mistake what I'm saying, there isn't a tree growing in your underpants, it's more like the stuff paper's made out of), rayon, or plastic, designed to absorb and retain menstrual blood. Well-made pads (like Maxim sanitary pads), fit onto the curvy contours of the vaginal area of a woman's undergarments securely, with an adhesive on the bottom.

The side of the pad that touches your body, the fabric-like side, is usually made with a blend of synthetics and wood pulp, which isn’t the best choice for the environment’s sake and is the reason why a lot of women are easily irritated by your average conventional products. Maxim’s products are made with 100% cotton only, except for the back layer, which does not come in contact with the body, so you can rest assure you won’t get any funky rash or hot and humid feeling down there.

Pros

♦ There is a “no-strings attached” deal (excuse the pun). With pads, you just stick them on your panties and pull them off. There's no over-extending of products into places where you usually wouldn't reach.

♦ You could stick them virtually anywhere... Sounds weird, right? But when you're catching some zz's, it's kind of hard to monitor how close you are to leaking. Pantiliners, overnight pads, or extra-long pads are very useful to pick up that extra space on your underpants that you just can’t seem to keep stain free.

♦ It's safer when you're asleep. The maximum recommended time span that you're supposed to keep a tampon in is about four hours. Any more than that and you are putting yourself at risk for bacteria build up, that could potentially turn into the evil TSS (Toxic Shock Syndrome), unless you're using Maxim tampons which research has shown are less likely to cause TSS.

Cons
♦ Conventional pads made with synthetics can create unnecessary and harmful environmental waste and cause an allergic reaction for some women.

♦ Can be some unpleasant rubbing if pad isn't placed correctly on the panty. 

Panty liners

 

Panty Liners (or sometimes spelled pantiliners) are basically a flattened thinner pad, so it’s as tiny and discreet as a pad comes, but it’s no replacement for a tampon or pad because it’s not as absorbent. It does work well as a tampon backup as well.

Pros
♦ It’s basically a flattened thinner pad, so it’s as tiny and discreet as a pad comes. You can barely feel it.

♦ Works well as a tampon backup.

Cons
♦ It’s no replacement for a tampon or pad because it is not as absorbent.

Now that you know what your product choices are when it comes to that time month, it’s time to learn how to use tampons and pads responsibly.