trente-cinq

There is a bloody war going on between tampons and pads. Whose side are you on?

When I got my first period at the tender age of twelve, I ran to our maid for help. I hid in the bathroom while she went to the nearby store for a pack of sanitary napkins. Pads.

In the Philippines, pads are *it*. Tampons were uncommon, and carried the ridiculous stigma that only non-virgins wore them. So for eight years, I wore nothing but pads during my “red birthdays”.

Pads were a conundrum to me most of the time. They were cumbersome, and the wings rarely worked like they were supposed to. It was a common occurrence for high school girls to experience something called “lapos” or “tagos”, which is basically flow so heavy that we get red spots on our skirts. It was embarrassing, and I’ve known a number of girls including myself who have retreated to the safety of the school clinic until our parents could come fetch us or bring us a new skirt to change into.

Then I moved to the US and was introduced to tampons. I was wary of the contraption. I did not like the idea of sticking a foreign object down there and letting it stay there for hours. But I gave it a try, and I haven’t looked back since. To me, tampons were relatively more sanitary (during wear and upon disposal) as compared to pads.

Kotex has a multi-pack that I swear by because it comes with three different sizes to accommodate different flows.
Kotex has a multi-pack that I swear by because it comes with three different sizes to accommodate different flows.

There are times when I would mix and match. During the first few days of a period when the flow is super heavy, I would often double up–a Kotex S+ tampon with Always ultra thin overnight maxi pad, changing the tampon every few hours to avoid leakage. Eventually, I would stop using the pad and switch to a smaller-sized tampon, gradually weaning off to just panty liners.

A must for the first few days and at night, if you care about your sheets and mattress.
A must for the first few days and at night, if you care about your sheets and mattress.

My question to the ladies is: what’s your tampon/pad story?


2 thoughts on “trente-cinq

  1. I got my period at 14 and my mom gave me a pad (as that is what she uses). I had it on for 3 hours and was absolutely mortified, I hated everything about it from the sticky side, to the feeling of being in a diaper. Hour 3 I was at the store and we were buying tampons and like you, have not looked back. However, I think the story would be much, much different if I was younger than 14.. The thought of lets say a 12 year old using one is quite frightening….. I have “experimented” with the ‘soft cup’ and learned I cannot wear them as my cervix is lower than average and I can feel it, unlike a tampon.

    1. That diaper feeling turns me off for sure. I’ve only recently heard of soft cups, so I will have to research more about it. It sounds a bit scary, as I do have reservations about sticking things inside me… Tampons scare me still, after a rather embarrassing check-up where she discovered that I had left a tampon on there for over a month. :/ That thin tricky string is the devil.

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