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Tampons vs. Pads

Tampons vs. Pads

At a Glance

Many women prefer tampons vs. pads because they are small, convenient and interfere little with daily life. On the other hand, tampons have certain potential health issues that you should be aware of before you begin using them.

Pads and tampons are the two most popular options for discreetly dealing with the menstrual fluid that flows during your monthly period. Although tampons are perhaps more popular among modern women, some find them uncomfortable and prefer pads. There are also potential complications with tampons that some women prefer to avoid. Both products are available in the supermarkets and stores. Pads are rectangular in shape and are made of material that absorbs the menstrual fluid. They are used by sticking them to the underwear using extensions that are called wings to prevent leakages. Tampons on the other hand are cylindrical and made of absorbent material. They are inserted in the vagina using your finger or an applicator. Both pads and tampons come in different sizes and what you choose should depend on your flow and comfort level.


Pictured at top: Seventh Generation Organic Cotton Tampons

Tampons are termed as much more comfortable than the normal pads. Tampons come in different sizes and one chooses what best suits their flow in order to be comfortable. Tampons are also discrete as they are worn internally and they therefore absorb the menstrual fluid before it leaves your body. Pads may at times feel bulk especially after absorbing the menstrual fluid and they also need to be changed and checked occasionally to avoid having a leakage. Pads also cause one to feel wet since they also touch the thighs. Therefore comparing the two tampons give much more comfort. Tampons are also preferred by many women since they boost user confidence since one can wear what they love including tight shorts and skirts without the fear that one might get leaks that might cause embarrassment. Tampons also allow one to continue with their daily activities like swimming, bathing and showering with no fear. When using pads, you generally need to be more careful and this can have an effect on your confidence. For some women, however, the act of placing a tampon in the vagina can cause discomfort regardless of its size. If this is the case for you, pads are the best option.


Tampons take much longer to get filled up and can therefore be used even when travelling for longer hours. Pads on the other hand don’t absorb quite as much and are not convenient for long journeys. For athletes it is much advisable to use tampons as they don’t move around and can even be used during swimming since they don’t leak. Tampons are also small in size and are therefore very easy to carry around. Tampons can also be worn with virtually all types of clothing; it’s unlikely that anyone will ever know you’re using one.


Pads are relatively cheaper and a box will cost you between $ 4 to about $7 regardless of size. Tampons on the other hand are more expensive and cost about$8 to $14. Some women prefer to use tampons with panty liners, which add slightly to the cost.


Continuous use of tampons has been associated with toxic shock syndrome in some cases. Toxic shock syndrome is a life threatening condition caused by the growth of bacteria, which happens because tampons are so absorbent that women sometimes forget to remove them. A tampon should therefore not be worn for more than eight hours. The potential health issues associated with pads are more mild. For example, they may cause irritation to the inner thighs. Some women also find scented pads irritating. Without scenting, however, some women may notice that pads can acquire a distinct menstrual odor. Tampons tend not to have this issue.