Being a woman brings with certain phenomenon like menstrual periods, pregnancy, childbirth and menopause. Through all these, she requires sanitary products like pads and panty liners. What are the latter, when are they used and how are they different from sanitary napkins? Let’s find out.
What are panty liners?
Panty liners are smaller and thinner than regular menstrual sanitary pads. They are worn just like sanitary pads in the underwear gusset, or its central-most portion. They are designed to trap and absorb vaginal discharge and the last vestiges of the menstrual period.
When do you use them?
- They are worn once the period stops and spotting begins. You do not need a large pack of panty liners, since just a few can easily suffice for the couple of days of spotting you experience once the period ends. They cannot be used for a period, since they are much smaller than a regular sanitary pad.
- Teenage girls whose periods have not yet achieved a regular frequency, can keep liners in their bags for days of unexpected spotting, or the start of a period while at school
- Some women use panty liners when they face abnormal vaginal discharge that is not the usual menstrual flow. It may be white or green or yellow discharge, depending on the infection one faces. The discharge might be heavy and clotty, requiring a liner to protect the underwear and to feel dry and comfortable during those days. You may also use it to trap clear discharge during the ovulation phase
- Women experiencing postpartum bleeding also use liners in their underwear. The postpartum bleeding, known as ‘lochia’ is a natural phenomenon that lasts up to seven or eight weeks after childbirth. There may be not be heavy bleeding that necessitates the use of menstrual pads, and liners may be just fine
- Some women experience light bleeding at the end of sexual intercourse. Liners help with this light bleeding
How do you use them?
As mentioned earlier, they are used just like you wear sanitary pads in your underwear. However, they are not as long or wide as sanitary pads, so you must place them in the underwear gusset only. They have an adhesive strip at the bottom, and wings at the sides to wrap around the underwear sides.
How NOT to use them
- Just like any other sanitary product, it is not advised to use a panty liner for more than five or six hours. Liners tend to trap more moisture than sanitary pads – they do not get as soaked as pads do, so women tend to use them for longer. This results in sweat being absorbed by the pad repeatedly. Never use a liner that has become moist, as it is bound to create itching and infections in the vulva. Always change the liner in five hours, even it there is hardly any discharge on it
- They are not recommended for nightly use. It is okay to wear them for a couple of days after the period ends, but keep the underwear free of them when you sleep
- You cannot swim wearing liners in your swimsuit
- Avoid using scented liners. The perfume might give you a rash and/or cause itching
Which ones should you buy?
Always choose panty liners and indeed, any period-related sanitary product, that is made entirely of cotton and has zero toxins. These ensure a rash-free, infection-free period while performing the task of absorbing vaginal discharge.
All-cotton menstrual products such as liners and sanitary pads are also better for the environment, since they are biodegradable.