If you're a woman reading this article you no doubt know all about periods. There are a few different methods for dealing with them, but which one is best? We take a look at the pros and cons below.

Pads

Pads (aka sanitary napkins) are absorbent "pads" of absorbent material that you stick on your underwear. You'll need to own a couple different sizes depending on your flow (light, medium or heavy). They need to be changed every 3-4 hours.

Pros:
- easy to use and keep track of your menstrual flow
- can be worn before your period begins
- easy to find anywhere

Cons:
- produces a lot of waste as they need to be changed and purchased often
- can't be worn when swimming or doing certain sports
- can be uncomfortable and smell bad

Tampons

Tampons are cylinders of absorbent material that are inserted inside the vagina. You'll also need to own a couple different sizes depending on your flow (light, medium or heavy). They need to be changed every 4-6 hours. As Chinese people don't believe in using tampons, generally they are not easy to find in physical stores if you need one in an emergency.

Pros:
- generally comfortable and convenient to use
- can use while swimming or doing sports
- produces less waste than pads and more discreet (but don't flush them down the toilet!)

Cons:
- takes some time to learn how to use it
- not convenient to find in China
- can make you very sick if you forget to change it (Toxic Shock Syndrome or other vaginal infections)
- most expensive option
- still need to wear a small pad in case it leaks

Menstrual Cups

Menstrual cups are a small cup worn directly inside the body. You can clean it while wearing it by squeezing the bottom to release the blood inside (you can wear a disposable glove to do this in public). It can be worn up to 12 hours, but you will need to remove it to wash it out with soap and water, which can be inconvenient if you don't go home or have access to a private bathroom all day. They can save you a significant amount money in the long term because you can wear them for many years and only need to buy small pads in case there is any leakage.

Pros:
- can use while swimming or doing sports
- can wear up to 12 hours
- only need to buy a new one every 5-10 years
- can be worn before your period begins

Cons:
- takes some time to learn how to use it
- can't clean it in public
- still need to wear a small pad in case it leaks

Ultimately, it's entirely up to you what method you would like to use. You can also consider a combination of all three, depending on what your schedule or lifestyle is like! For more information, please consult a professional gynecologist.