7 Best Alternatives To Tampons

Although tampons are one of the most common period products used by women, many women still go in search of other alternatives to tampons for several reasons. Some of these reasons may be that they do not want to use plastic, the tampons are pretty costly, they are concerned about the environment, or some other reasons due to personal preferences.

As a woman who doesn’t want to use tampons anymore for any reason, there are still several other good alternatives you can pick from. Even though these alternatives are not as popular as tampons, experts say they can improve things for women during this part of their cycle. Also, some of these alternatives are eco-friendly, feel more natural, and can even help you when you are stuck in a bind and don’t have any menstrual products with you.

Women who are not familiar with other alternatives to tampons often find it challenging to choose from several options as they all seem to be different at first. This article will teach you about the seven best alternatives to tampons that can help you with your period.

What Are Tampons?

The fact is clear that during your monthly menstruation as a woman, there are many things that you don’t have under your control, but one thing that you can control is the period protection products you choose. These tampons give you the freedom to do things that matter to you during your period.

Tampons are one method of taking care of menstrual flow during your period. Tampons are soft, absorbent cotton or rayon-based products that help to protect you against leaks during your period. Unlike sanitary pads worn on your underwear, tampons are worn inside your body where they help stop leaks before they get the chance to leave your body.

Here are a few characteristics of tampons:

  • They catch your flow earlier, so there is less chance of an accident.
  • It can be effortlessly inserted into the vagina.
  • They are meant to be used just once and then thrown away to ensure good period health.

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What Are Tampons Made Of?

Many women are curious about what tampons are made of and it is right they know what’s contained in the products they use. Tampons are mainly produced from either organic or conventional cotton, rayon (a synthetic material from trees), or a blend of cotton and rayon.

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What You Should Know About Tampons And Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS)

The Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) is a rare phenomenon and a result of the toxic substance which can cause organ damage (in the kidney, liver, or heart), shock, and death in severe cases. Certain kinds of bacteria produce this toxic substance.

Over the years, the rate of reported cases of TSS has declined significantly. This decline was made possible because the FDA evaluates whether a tampon supports the growth of the bacteria that causes TSS before the product is deemed fit to be legally marketed. Only tampons that the FDA inspects can be legal in the United States.

Also, more informative tampon labeling and educational efforts made by the FDA and manufacturers have contributed to the reduction in TSS cases.

About 70 percent of women who menstruate use tampons. Many of them are actively looking for other good alternatives after learning about the connection between tampons and cancers and even some delicate tissue of their vaginas and another female anatomy. Let’s take a look at the alternatives to tampons.

7 Best Alternatives To Tampons

1. Menstrual cups

Menstrual cups have been on the market as an excellent alternative to tampons for a very long time. Recently, many women are going for them as a primary option over tampons.

Menstrual cups are made from medical-grade silicone, so they do not dry out the natural moisture of the vagina as the tampons would. However, some women tend to shy away from menstrual cups because of their insertion method. To insert a menstrual cup, you have to fold it in half like a taco and keep it pinched between your fingers while you insert it into your vagina and then release it.

Menstrual cups use suction to create a seal between the vaginal and the rim. It is recommended that you rotate the cup 360 degrees after you have inserted it into the vagina to ensure that the seal stays intact. When it’s time to remove the menstrual cup, you have to pinch the seal and then remove it.

The menstrual cup comes with a lot of benefits. Many women have reported that their menstrual cramps are more manageable when using a cup. Menstrual cups are to be worn for a maximum period of 12 hours.

2. Period-proof underwear

This particular type of underwear is made with multiple layers of microfibre polyester designed to help keep moisture away from the skin and prevent the water from leaking to your clothes.

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The microfibre polyester used to make this underwear comprises thousands of tiny filaments that act as a maze for a liquid to meander through at a glacial pace. The outer layer of the period-proof underwear is made from nylon and lycra with a liquid-repellant film to prevent leakage.

Most times, the idea of bleeding into your underwear may sound strange, but the truth is that the experience is quite a comfortable one because these garments are designed to reduce the appearance of stains. 

Talking about the re-usability of period-proof wears, they can be washed and used again.

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3. Cloth pads

Cloth pads are eco-friendly products made from reusable cotton. Unlike the regular pads made from plastic, cloth pads can also be used. Cloth pads can help you save money, cut down on your waste, and help prevent yourself from coming in contact with toxic chemicals.

Choosing to use cloth pads is an excellent choice, and they can help you comfortably go through your menstrual cycle.

4. Sea sponges

Sea sponges are perfect natural alternatives to tampons. They are hygienic, fully biodegradable, and last for around 3 to 6 cycles ( 3 to 6 months). Sea sponges can help you minimize costs.

Unlike the tampons which are not practical when traveling, sea sponges come in very handy for women who travel a lot as they are tiny, squishy, cheap, and biodegradable.

5. Tampliners

Tampliners make a perfect choice for women who have heavy flows and worry about leakages. They are essentially a kind of pantyliner with a special membrane that operates as both a way to insert tampons safely and as a replacement for pads. They are made of biodegradable cotton, so they won’t clog up a landfill after you dispose of it.

6. Menstrual discs

Menstrual discs are similar to menstrual cups because you can use them to collect your flow instead of absorbing it. They are made from a medical-grade polymer that heats your body and takes a unique shape after some time. 

Menstrual discs are disposable and can be worn even during intercourse because the discs collect your flow in a soft and malleable bag, so your partner is protected from any risk of injury.

Many women prefer menstrual discs to tampons when it’s time for exercise because it does not have a very low risk of slippage, unlike tampons and menstrual cups.

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7. Non-applicator tampons

This eco-friendly type of tampon is a great alternative to regular tampons. This particular type of tampon neither contains chemicals nor comes in plastics.

Non-applicator tampons were created to reduce the amount of plastic waste generated in society. It is generally considered safe for the body by medical professionals.

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It is self-sanitizing in nature, which means that all you have to do is rinse it with sterilized water, dry it, and store it for the next time you need it.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I use tissue as a tampon?

No, it is not advisable to do so because it is a poor hygiene practice and no health policy supports it.

Can I make a homemade tampon?

Though it may seem to be an affordable and eco-friendly option, it is advisable to make your tampons due avoid exposing yourself to severe medical risks.

Is it advisable to use toilet paper instead of a pad?

No, this is a poor hygiene practice and it is not considered to be a safe option too.

Can tampons leave fibers in my body?

Although fibers come off any tampon, it is unlikely that they leave fibers in your body. Also, if they do, the self-cleaning process of the vagina will take them away.

Can a tampon fall out?

No, when inserted properly, there is no chance of a tampon falling off as the muscles around the entrance of your vagina will hold the tampon in place from falling.

Can tampons cause endometriosis or cancer?

No, tampons are considered to be safe period products and there is no scientific evidence that shows that they lead to the development of endometriosis or cancer.


Finding the right menstural pad that suits your personal needs is often a trial and error process that requires you to be patient and observant of your body changes and response to different products.

Remember that what works for you now may not work for after some years as it is subject to your needs. Also, you may find combinations that work for you in each period to be unique and that is fine. Whatever you choose, be rest assured that with proper care and usage it is safe and will serve your needs.


  • bustle.com – 7 Surprising Alternatives To Tampons That Actually Work
  • nymag.com – The 6 Very Best Menstrual Cups
  • vogue.co.uk – The 6 Very Best Menstrual Cups
  • mindbodygreen.com – 7 OB/GYN-Approved Pad & Tampon Alternatives (That Are Also Better For The Environment)
  • verywellhealth.com – Choosing the Best Tampons, Pads, and Menstrual Cups
  • glamour.com – 5 Tampon Alternatives You Need to Know About 
  • matadornetwork.com – 9 Tampon Alternatives to Take Traveling with You

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