Being a teenager is HARD. You're figuring out your place in the world and dealing with all the changes your body is going through. From hair growing in strange places to pimples, oily hair and random growth spurts, puberty sucks.
For those of you that own a uterus, you have the added stress of getting your period or preparing for when that will happen.
When you’re learning how to manage your flow, there can be a long period *ahem, pardon the pun* of trial and error as you figure out what works best for your body.
Luckily for you, today there are WAY more options available for managing your period.
We’ve put together our Ultimate Guide to Period Products to help you make the best, most informed choice when it comes to your body.
Most of you will have heard of this one! Tampons are little plugs made of cotton that sit inside your vagina and soak up menstrual blood. Some tampons come with an applicator that helps you insert the tampon. Tampons have a string attached to the end for easy removal. Once inserted properly, you shouldn’t be able to feel it.
You may have heard some horror stories of tampons getting “stuck” or “lost” or unraveling inside you. Don’t worry! Those are all myths, the muscles in your vagina hold them in place until you remove it. Amazing, huh?
Tampons come in different "sizes", like light, regular and super depending on your flow. These dictate how absorbent they are. It’s best to use the lightest absorbency to suit your flow. It’s important that you change your tampon often, and never leave it in for more than 6 hours. Because tampons are an internal product they carry the risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome.
When you remove your tampon, make sure you dispose of it in the bin, rather than flushing it down the toilet. Tampons aren’t biodegradable and can cause blockages in plumbing. Organic cotton tampons are biodegradable but you need to dispose of them in compost to break down.
Pads are thin pieces of synthetic material that stick to your underwear with an adhesive. Some have “wings” that fold over the sides of your underwear to hold in place and protect against leaks.
Pads come in different sizes to suit your flow. They can be thin pantyliners for your light days, regular or thick for heavier days and nights. There’s no risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome with Pads so you can use whichever absorbency feels right for you.
Disposable pads aren’t biodegradable (they contain a lot of plastic) so don't flush them! Be sure to dispose of them in the appropriate rubbish bin.
Reusable Cloth Pads
Cloth pads are a sustainable, reusable alternative to disposable sanitary pads. Cloth pads are made with natural, breathable materials such as cotton, organic cotton, and flannel. They are much more comfortable for women who are prone to vaginal itchiness and yeast infections. These problems can be exacerbated by the plastic of disposable pads.
Cloth pads are easy to use. Once you’re ready to change it, rinse it in cold water either under the tap or in a bucket/ice cream container. Once the water runs clear pop them into the washing machine.
These are great for those not comfortable with inserting things inside their bodies. They’re an awesome sustainable and affordable option!
The average menstruating person will go through about 11000 tampons in their lifetime. Considering they aren’t biodegradable, that doesn’t sound ideal.
There has to be a better way, right?
Fortunately, there is. For those of you who are ok with inserting products, menstrual cups are a great sustainable alternative to tampons for teenagers.
So, how do they work?
The small, flexible cup is made of silicone, plastic or latex rubber. Instead of absorbing your flow, like a tampon or pad, it catches and collects it.
To insert it, you can either use the “C-Fold” where you fold the cup in half to form a “C” shape or the “Punch-down” fold where you push down the edge of the cup. You then insert it like you would a tampon, you should feel the cup pop open inside. Be sure to check that your cervix is within the cup and not wedged up alongside it. If the cup hasn’t opened fully, you can push your finger up against the wall of your vagina to let some air in and run your finger around the rim of the cup. Once you’re sure it’s open, give it a little twist and tug to be sure it’s in place.
To remove, pinch the end to break the seal and gently pull. Do your best to keep it upright as this can get messy when you’re first trying it out! Some people find it easiest to remove it and insert it in the shower.
Cups can take a bit of getting used to. It can take a few cycles to get the hang of it, but once you do, it’s a game-changer.
The main benefit of menstrual cups is that they hold way more than a tampon does. Also, you can safely leave them in for up to 12 hours, depending on your flow.
Clean your cup between each cycle either by boiling for a few minutes or with a sterilization tablet.
Menstrual discs - not to be confused with Menstrual Cups - are disposable products. They're usually made from medical-grade polymers. Menstrual discs to collect your flow in the same way as cups. The differences are the way you insert them, the shape and the placement.
To insert you pinch the disc rather than fold as you would a cup. When you insert it, push it all the way back and then rest the top of the rim behind your pubic bone. Menstrual discs sit in the vaginal fornix, which is at the base of your cervix. It’s at the widest part of your vaginal canal. Cups sit IN the vaginal canal.
Menstrual discs stay in place using your vaginal muscle walls and natural anatomy. It sits nice and snug behind your pubic bone.
Period proof underwear + period swimwear
Introducing the latest and greatest in period technology. This is the number one product I WISH I had when I got my period as a teen… Period underwear! Our products are an absolute game-changer when it comes to managing your flow.
Whether you’re looking for back-up alongside your cup, disc or tampon or whether you aren’t comfortable inserting products - WE’VE GOT YOU COVERED.
As a teen, period underwear takes the worry out of getting your period. Having extra protection against any unexpected leaks will give you total peace of mind.
They’re discreet and comfortable and feel like normal undies, allowing you to get on with your usual activities!
Our period underwear for teens has 4 magic layers, all working together to ensure you're well looked after.
The layer closest to your skin has a moisture-wicking application which means the moisture draws away from your skin quickly, keeping you dry. An antimicrobial layer kills bacteria and prevents odours. The absorbent layer holds up to 2 regular pads or tampons worth of your flow and the outer layer is a leak-proof barrier to prevent any… “mishaps”.
The latest addition to our AWWA collection is our revolutionary, period-proof swimwear! Our period-proof swimwear gives you the confidence to leap into summer, whether you’ve got your period or not. No need to sit on the side of the pool with a towel tied around your waist anymore!
Our bikini is quick-dry, UPF50+ material in a stylish cut, giving you slip-on-and-go period protection. The absorbent period-proof bikini bottoms are sold separately to the tops so you can mix and match with your favourite top!
We’re now offering a special deal for our tweens and teens looking to try our period-proof products. AWWA teen packs are for all our young people who are already menstruating or are nearing this significant milestone.
Each pack comes with 3 pairs of briefs, in colours and styles of your choice. A small wet bag for storing your fresh or dirty pairs at school or when you are out and about. A cute cotton tote, ideal for storing your briefs in your drawers so they’re super easy to find. An education guide full of everything you need to know about your period and how our underwear works. This is also a great conversation starter to share with your parents!
And finally, CHOCOLATE. Because we all need a bit of comfort during our periods!
Click here to see our full range of period-proof products for teenagers.
And there you have it! That’s our definitive guide of all period products that you should know about.
If you have any questions about anything mentioned in this post, don’t hesitate to contact us!
Leave us a comment and let us know what your favourite products are!