Super. Mini. Ultra. Lite.
These are all adjectives that I found on a recent trip down the so-called feminine hygiene aisle. Certainly, they can give you an idea of what a certain period product is useful for (hello, crimson wave) but they’re not exactly precise. Understanding how well a product works is crucial to finding a comfortable product that works for you - reusable or disposable.
Going With The Flow
No period is the same from person to person, and can change wildly over the course of your life, reacting to giving birth, changing birth control methods, your lifestyle and other things. Now, heavy flow is a real thing, and if you’re soaking more than 16 pads or tampons per cycle, or dealing with a DivaCup that runneth over, you probably have heavy flow and might want to check with your MD.
The challenge of course, is to find the right product for you - you need a solution that keeps you comfortable and protected, but also isn’t too big or bulky to be comfortable. However, the menstrual taboo keeps us in pink packaging, blue liquid and hieroglyphic teardrop sigils to indicate absorbency.
What’s a menstruator supposed to do?
Labels: Ideally, They Should Help
If you’ve used tampons, you’re probably familiar with the ominous warnings that tell you to change your tampon regularly or risk toxic shock syndrome, a staphylococcal or streptococcal infection that can be caused by tampon usage. Brought to light by the 1978 introduction of the superabsorbent tampon Rely from Proctor & Gamble, this public safety emergency led to a number of changes in the marketing and sales of tampons. Amongst them was the establishment of standardized absorbency ratings across the tampon industry.
A light or junior tampon is required to absorb 6 grams of menstrual flow; on the other end, the ultra absorbent tampons can absorb 15 - 18 grams of blood. This is established through the Syngyna test, where an artificial vagina is used to measure absorption (you can see a video here if you’re super-curious about this).
This standardization means you can tell how much period a tampon can take. It also makes it a useful measurement for understanding how long a reusable product will last (providing you know the size of the tampon).
Meeting Your Match
At Lunapads, we’ve chosen to use the junior tampon measurement (5 ml) to indicate how much menstrual blood each of our products can absorb. These decisions have been made in conjunction with laboratory tests of our products plus years of our own field-testing (so to speak). Why? Our friend and the esteemed researcher Dr. Jerilyn Prior uses this measurement at the Centre for Menstrual Cycle and Ovulation Research, plus many people have used a junior tampon at least once, and know how they work for their cycle.
So, on our product pages, you’ll see little tampon indicators to help you guide your way. Just so you know, our ultra-absorbent Performa pads absorb three tampons’ worth. Our Classic pads with inserts and our underwear both absorb about two tampons’ worth. If you need to adjust your protection, you can always change your inserts to freshen your pad or undies and carry on with your day.
Choosing the right products for you is a crucial part of making your period that little bit better. We’re always trying to help you find the reusable solution that’s perfect for you as easily and efficiently as we can, so you can spend less time worrying about leaks or messes, and more time being your best self.