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We’re just going to come right out and say it: There has never been a better time to have a period. Sure, it may not be everyone’s favorite time of the month, but at least we now have several different menstrual product options, including several companies that are relatively new. And given that we’re experiencing a tampon shortage at the moment, it might be a bad time to diversify your medicine cabinet with a few different menstruation standbys.
If like so many of us your first exposure to periods came in an outdated copy of Judy Blume’s 1970 classic Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, perhaps you were dreading having to use the pads described in the book, complete with a belt and clips. Thankfully, those fell out of use soon after the book was published in favor of pads with adhesive backs that stuck right onto your underwear.
Nowadays, pads come with moisture-wicking technology to make you feel less like you’re wearing a diaper and wings to keep them in place. On top of that, there are tampons, reusable pads, menstrual cups, menstrual discs and free bleeding (if that’s your thing).
And we’re no longer limited to the brands and products we can find in our local grocery stores and pharmacies: There are several companies that sell menstrual products directly to consumers, either on a one-off basis or through a subscription service (which is especially handy when you’re dealing with something you use for a week each month, every month).
There are products for every size, shape and flow, including those that are environmentally friendly, made of organic cotton or designed to be used during period sex. Here are a few of the many options we have in 2022.
A version of this story was published June 2018.