During a typical menstrual cycle, girls normally lose between 4 to 12 teaspoons of blood. Depending on the chosen method and flow during menses, the frequency of changing will vary. It’s therefore important for every woman to be informed and follow laid down recommendations in order to avoid overflows or infections associated with the methods available.
Note that it’s not safe to sit on menstrual blood for an extended duration due to the risk of growth and development of bacteria and other microorganisms. The moist and warm conditions conducive for microorganisms could lead to skin rashes, vaginal infections and urinary tract infections. Moreover menstrual blood takes on an unpleasant smell once outside the body.
Sanitary pads: 4-6 hours
These are worn externally and are meant to absorb menstrual flow. They come in assortments with light and high absorbency thick pads to match your menstrual flow. The maximum time to have them on is 6hrs to avoid the odor generated from the blood and bacterial growth. Note that a regular change is needed even when they are not soaked with blood. Hence, if you notice a foul odour, change the pad immediately irrespective of the blood flow.
Using a thicker pad for extra protection does not pose any threat unlike for tampons.
Tampons: 4-8 hours
Tampons are worn internally and are known to cause toxic shock syndrome if left in for longer than recommended. Therefore it is important to observe the 8-hour limit.
Remember when choosing the right tampon for you don’t go for ‘extra absorbency than needed’, like you do for pads as this only increases your risk of toxic shock syndrome. Instead, It’s recommended to use a panty liner with your tampon.
Menstrual Cup: up to 12 hours
It’s made of medical-grade silicone and they come in different sizes. They are designed to collect menstrual flow not absorb it hence greatly reduce the risk of infection. This makes them a great option for overnight protection. They can be left in place for up to 12 hours. They are locally available and are sold online at jumia.co.ke, kasha.co.ke and https://thegracecup.co.ke/
To conclude, when it comes to your health, don't take any chance: know your flow, chose the method that best suits you and keep safe from infection and discomfort.