8:48 pm - 04/14/2014

Some Menstrual Product Help?

So. My period is Not My Friend on a regular basis, and it is especially Not My Friend this month.

I am looking for some help on a couple of specific issues:
  1. Which disposable pads -- particularly designed for a moderately heavy to very heavy flow -- have the largest surface area? I keep bleeding around my current ones (some 11-inch, flared-end cloth pads), which is not necessarily helped by just increasing absorbency. (You know, the pad can't absorb the blood that never hits it in the first place.) ;)

  2. Is there a problem with the Thermacare Menstrual Heatwraps? I visited one local store yesterday and two today that usually stock them -- and nothing. They had not switched locations, from menstrual products to pain products or vice versa. There was no space on the shelf suggesting they were temporarily out of stock or had more in back (with respect to the latter, I asked). Am I going to need to order these online? Am I going to need to buy All the Heatwraps because no more will ever be made? Does anyone know if this is a widespread phenomenon?


Thanks!
kate_mct 15th-Apr-2014 03:52 am (UTC)
I use overnight pads, personally. They're bigger and more obsorbent than regular pads. Plus, they stay in place better.
frolicnaked 15th-Apr-2014 04:13 am (UTC)
I've tried lots of overnight pads. I've bled around and through overnight pads. I need to know which of those pads have the largest overall surface area. :)
kate_mct 15th-Apr-2014 04:18 am (UTC)
Have you tried repositioning the pad? I've had that problem before(including a drop of blood that seemed to defy physics). I've found that moving the pad up or back to cover where the bleed through/around happened helped.
frolicnaked 15th-Apr-2014 04:54 am (UTC)
I bleed over the front, the sides, and the back of the pad in the time that I can reasonably go between changing said pad. There is not anywhere to reposition it to.
archangelbeth 15th-Apr-2014 04:24 am (UTC)
Have you gotten the Always overnights that are in the purple packages? They're not the ultra-thin stuff, but are moderately padded, have wings, and the back ends flare out pretty well. (My issue being that sometimes blood will wick its way through the nether-cheeks and come out far from the actual place it exited the body... Though sometimes the undies will shift around and I'll bleed diagonally and off the pad, grrrrrrr.)

Or, well, where do you bleed-through?

Worst comes to worst... Disposable adult diapers? O:/
frolicnaked 15th-Apr-2014 05:04 am (UTC)
I have tried the standard Always overnights, unless they've changed those also in the span of adding Infinity (tried, do not care for, "always" sticks to my butt) and Infinity Radiance (have not tried, under impression this is scented Infinity).

But when I said bleeding "around," I meant "around." In the span between bathroom visits -- which at most, at work, I can go every 100 minutes -- I bleed to the front, sides, and back of my current pads.

I'm also not sure that full-on adult diapers would be practical. I'm in southern Arizona, and we've already had an unseasonably warm winter (for us) as well as some 90+ degree days. I will not be notably more functional twitching and itching from the giant yeast infection that is sure to come from encasing my full nether regions in plastic. :/
archangelbeth 15th-Apr-2014 01:29 pm (UTC)
Dunno if they've change the Always overnights -- I only recently started picking them up. Might be worth a try (you could A: grab a pack, take them to a food-pantry type place, and extract one there for yourself and donate the others -- or B: I could send you one of mine. O:> ), depending on finances.

Lemme keep trying to get the, well, shape of the situation, in the hopes I can come up with something besides a full-on diaper.

You said it's not absorbency -- it's not that the blood's hitting the pad at a rate faster than it can absorb, or that there's too much blood? You can have "clean" pad and blood on the edges?

If that's the case, I'm wondering if the issue might not be the underwear, almost as much? I.e., if your underwear allows a little too much movement of the pad, so it's not pressing up against you? Or, hm, could the blood be wicking via labial shape or other creases?

If it's a case of wicking and not speed of absorbency, and not "try better-fitting undies," maybe get some that's been bled-through, treated such that the blood "sets," and find someone who can make custom cloth-pads that will cover the bloodstain-pattern that's left? (I know that some of my undies have a "handy guide" now for where I need to put the front of the pad so I don't bleed over the top of it!)

PS: Having a cold front come through. Snow showers predicted tonight. Would be happy to send you some of this.
frolicnaked 16th-Apr-2014 05:01 am (UTC)
So. The Always Overnights ended up giving my butt crack a lovely case of diaper rash. I don't think they're a good fit for me. (I can bring the extra pads to school. Some student will remove them from my menstrual stash.)

And yes, the issue is more one of surface area than it is of absorbency. It's not that I'm not bleeding over the center of the pad. But I am bleeding at a more or less equal rate over the entire surface area of the pad and then some -- rather than bleeding mainly into the center and having it move toward the edges as the pad fills. While I wouldn't call the pad "clean" at the center -- there's definitely visible blood -- it should be holding plenty more than it is before it would truly saturate. (I have some experience with saturating menstrual products. This is not that.)

I'm also not sure it's the underwear. The ones I've been wearing fit me quite well and don't shift, both in daily use and with previous periods. (Nor have they or I undergone any shape or size changes that would make this a sudden-onset factor, I don't think.)

The blood could well be wicking to different locations. I'm not sure how much labial shape would be a factor -- mine haven't changed in years, and this is a new problem -- but I wonder if pubic hair could be. (The current length of mine is longer than it has been in a while. That said, for daily comfort reasons, I'm not sure that shortening the hair is my best solution.)

archangelbeth 16th-Apr-2014 03:48 pm (UTC)
Drat, sorry about the Always not working. O:(

*ponders* Could there be changes in the speed of blood-release, rather than amount of blood? As in, "blooping" large amounts for some reason? (I get that when A: I've been sleeping and go vertical, and B: sometimes when I've been sitting with the pad pressed up tightly and then stand up and it releases enough to get a large bloop of blood... In my case, it's blood that's escaped the uterus and is hanging around -- usually -- but it might also be that the uterus is going "tra la la la BLOOP!" or something.)

I wonder if cloth pads with a "dam" of extra fabric around the edges might be an option, to fence in the blood till it can absorb properly. I... have no idea how one might make such a thing, at least in the sense of "cobble together to see if it works." (Tape cheap, long tampons to the edges of the underwear? O:/ I am not a crafty person.) A "dam" that fit around the right area might create enough of a seal to catch hair-wicked blood, too?

Almost sounds like this would be a job for a menstrual cup, but I'm wagering that's a no-go for you or you'd have already tried one. O:/
frolicnaked 19th-Apr-2014 05:13 am (UTC)
I had been clotting a lot this period (still bleeding, but surface area no longer an issue), which might account of some of the issues (and certainly accounted for my inability to use a cup).
archangelbeth 19th-Apr-2014 02:27 pm (UTC)
Ahhhhh! Yeah, clots don't absorb if they're too solid, but they can certainly smear around. If it's clots, and if you can't make a "thicker fabric at the edges to contain it" cloth pad, I think it might indeed be a case of "change pads more" and "lay down a towel at night." O:(

Glad that the surface area issue at least calmed down.
jocelina 16th-Apr-2014 04:27 am (UTC)
Would something like Poise pads work? I remember having to borrow one from a relative once when my period arrived unexpectedly, and if I recall correctly, it was bigger than the pads I was used to using both in thickness and in surface area. (Admittedly, this was several years ago, and my memory kind of sucks.)
frolicnaked 16th-Apr-2014 05:12 am (UTC)
I'm not sure. The ones I've seen and tried are bigger than standard menstrual pads -- but haven't really had more overall undies coverage than some of the overnights (think Infinity and others with flares across the back) than I've also tried.
lilithsprodigy 15th-Apr-2014 04:59 am (UTC)
I use the purple wrapped Always overnights too because for some odd reason I seem to flow up so when I bleed through its the front of my panties. I put the pads in backwards so that the larger flare is in the front giving me more surface area where I need it.
dirtylittleslut 15th-Apr-2014 07:00 am (UTC)
That's what I do too. It works so good.
frolicnaked 16th-Apr-2014 05:17 am (UTC)
I tried those pads today and wound up with some significant diaper rash. I don't think I can use them again.
mycorrhizoid 15th-Apr-2014 05:27 am (UTC)
I've had this problem from time to time and the only thing I've found that helps is changing more frequently. As far as I can tell, what happens is when the pad gets sodden the blood flows over it looking for somewhere to go and hits edges - meaning the absorbency is the real issue, not the surface area. I never hit edges unless the pad is already pretty much full.
frolicnaked 17th-Apr-2014 12:58 am (UTC)
Changing my pad more frequently is not an option, and I'm not sure that it's an absorbency issue for me. I'll have plenty of times when there's plenty of absorbent material left in the center of the pad (i.e., blood may have grazed the surface, but it has by no means saturated the pad there) where there is also side overflow.
norringtons 15th-Apr-2014 07:25 am (UTC)
I have the same issue, so I always wear the purple packaged Always overnight pads. They redid them from when I was a younger girl, and now they're super amazing. Def try those.
frolicnaked 17th-Apr-2014 03:49 am (UTC)
I have since tried them, and now I have a weeping friction wound in between my bum cheeks. While I don't dispute the success others have had with them, I have to conclude that they are not for me.
norringtons 17th-Apr-2014 05:35 am (UTC)
That has happened to me using them, but only if I do not change the pad enough. How many did you use in a day? Did you change it when need be?

Edited at 2014-04-17 05:36 am (UTC)
frolicnaked 19th-Apr-2014 05:17 am (UTC)
I used two, changing them every 100 minutes. While this did not last the whole day -- I changed back to my regular pads -- it does represent the absolute maximum frequency with which I can change my pads at work.
frolicnaked 17th-Apr-2014 03:53 am (UTC)
I could still order them on drugstore.com, at least -- though right now, their price plus shipping is more than I'd pay locally and with sales tax. :/
mha_chan 15th-Apr-2014 10:26 am (UTC)
I used to have this problem before the Pill - I used to wear the overnight ones, but before I put the back part down onto the knickers I'd put two or even three smaller pads horizontally along the back. It stops side-leakage, and depending on how many you use, back-leakage too.

caveat: you're bleeding an awful, awful lot, have you told a doctor about it?

other caveat: it does feel a bit like a nappy, so reading your above comment re Arizona, maybe it wouldn't be suitable for you. I've never had any itching issues, but then I tended not to move much on those days.
katzendame 15th-Apr-2014 11:09 am (UTC)
If you're worried about the Thermacare heat pads, write to the company and tell them you haven't been able to find them. They'll tell you if they are discontinuing the product or not. Heck, they may even send you a coupon for being a loyal customer (play up that fact, ya never know!).
frolicnaked 17th-Apr-2014 03:56 am (UTC)
I will write, thanks. That's a good idea. From checking places like drugstore,com, I wonder if they're being redesigned or repackaged -- they're sale priced but not indicated as discontinued.
myrtlethesecond 16th-Apr-2014 02:31 am (UTC)
I actually had this same problem until I tried the Stayfree Ultra Thin Overnight pads (in the black bag with purple wrappers). These have two sets of wings to keep them in place and they flare out really well. They're also a lot thicker than a typical "ultra thin" pad, and the cover is more cottony and less plastic-y. I have super sensitive skin (complete with chronic allergies) and they have worked so well for me. When I'm bleeding more heavily and still have trouble with those, I use Kotex pantiliners (the thicker ones that come in the pack for $1 at Walmart, forget what they are called but you could also use the smaller pads made for younger women/teens) and put those on in addition to the Stayfree pad. So far that system has stopped any leakage that I used to have. I wish you the best finding an idea that works!
princessselene 16th-Apr-2014 10:05 pm (UTC)
can't really help with the pad issue, since multiple posters already mentioned what I was thinking, but if you have a Costco near you and have a membership or knows someone that does, they DO sell those Thermacare Menstrual heat pads. In a much larger box than regular retailers. I know they do because I was just considering buying them a couple of weeks ago.
morningapproach 19th-Apr-2014 06:55 pm (UTC)
Have you tried Natracare pads? I like them when I can't use my menstrual cup because they are plastic and chlorine free, and don't cause rashes. I also found them more absorbant than conventional pads like Always. I think the ultra long with wings might work for you. They are more expensive than regular pads (online for cheaper than a drugstore), but if you've tried everything else, it might help :)

http://www.natracare.com/p91/en-GB/Natracare-Products/Ultra-Pads/Long-with-Wings.aspx
dkwgdk 20th-Apr-2014 02:36 am (UTC)
This was my life until I discovered Depends undergarments. You read that right. Depends. Incontinence. Undergarments. Do not get incontinence 'pads,' get the full-on disposable underwear. They are designed to contain sudden gushes of pee, and so they are absorbent and fitted alllll over, not just with some stick-on tabs. I did a couple of step classes in those buggers with no problem, and I definitely slept through the night in them without my bed resembling a murder scene.

Also. I have very heavy periods, and no one really believed me. I was told over and over and over again that what I was experiencing was "normal." I do not know your menstrual history, but the only way I got someone to take my menstrual kerfuffle seriously was when I described both my Depends undergarment situation AND pointed out that I was filling a DivaCup every hour for a couple of days. I can't take oral contraceptives because they make my mood disorder way worse, but I was very fortunate that the Mirena worked out for me! I still have my period but I own...get this...LIGHT COLORED SHEETS again. This isn't to say that what is happening with you is wrong and you need to get an IUD, but just to say that was my experience.
burntbuffalo 26th-Apr-2014 07:01 am (UTC)
The heat pads - I haven't seen the ones specifically designed for menstrual cramps in ages, but I've purchased the ones for general back ache/injury in a different section for the same purpose. I think they are in the same area as the icy hot and maybe the ace bandages and they are shown being work on the neck/shoulders on the box.
andi1235 10th-May-2014 06:18 pm (UTC)
I have the same problem with pads sometimes, and I was all set to suggest the purple Always as well, but I see you had problems with them, :(. What about wrapping your underwear with multiple pads? Do a large pad you know you're ok with, and another one sideways wrapped around the front, or something. I've done similar when I've been out of the Always and it works ok. Since pads cost a stupid amount, maybe see if you can find cheaper thin ones that work for you (I've even seen them at the dollar store sometimes). Then it wouldn't be so expensive to use 2 or 3 at a time. Or even just commission some super long/wide cloth pads, since you said you use those. Etsy has people who make things to spec, I believe.
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