7 Best Alternatives To Tampons

Although tampons are one of the most common period products women use, many women still search for 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, 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.

Women unfamiliar with other alternatives to tampons often find it challenging to choose from several options as they all seem different initially. This article will teach you the seven best alternatives to tampons to help you with your period.

What Are Tampons?

The fact is clear that during your monthly menstruation as a woman, there are many things you don’t have under your control, but one thing 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 their products. Tampons are mainly produced from 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)

Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) is a rare phenomenon resulting from a toxic substance that 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 reduced TSS cases.

About 70 percent of women who menstruate use tampons. Many 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 other 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. You should rotate the cup 360 degrees after inserting it into the vagina to ensure that the seal stays intact. When it’s time to remove the menstrual cup, you must pinch the seal and then remove it.

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

2. Period-proof underwear

This 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.

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 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.

Cloth pads are an excellent choice; 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 around 3 to 6 cycles ( 3 to 6 months). Sea sponges can help you minimize costs.

Unlike the tampons that are impractical when traveling, sea sponges are very handy for women who travel a lot as they are tiny, squishy, cheap, and biodegradable.

5. Tampliners

Tampliners are perfect for women with heavy flows and worry about leakages. They are essentially a kind of pantyliner with a special membrane that operates 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 them.

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.

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

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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.

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


Finding the right menstrual pad that suits your needs is often a trial-and-error process requiring you to be patient and observant of your body’s changes and response to different products.

Remember that what works for you now may not work for you 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, which is fine. Whatever you choose, rest assured that it is safe with proper care and usage 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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