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Menstruation occurs roughly every 28 days when your body sheds the lining of the uterus because fertilization did not occur during the month. Menstrual flow can continue for up to 1 week and varies in heaviness from day to day and month to month. On the heaviest days, you'll require more absorbent protection than you will on lighter days. Heavier protection is also recommended overnight when you are unlikely to change your feminine protection often. There are two main types of protection products for menstruation: tampons and maxi pads. Tampons are worn inside of the body and are removed by pulling on a string. Maxi pads have adhesive on one side and are attached to the fabric of your panties. Both types of protection come in many different types and styles, allowing you to select the type that is right for you. Pantyliners are a third type of protection that is intended for very light flow, spotting or for vaginal discharge during other times of the month. Like maxi pads, pantyliners stick onto your underwear, but they are much thinner and less absorbent.

Women are prone to a variety of feminine hygiene problems. Some women develop vaginal dryness due to menopause or other conditions. Dryness can lead to feelings of discomfort, but these can often be relieved with vaginal moisturizing creams and gels. You can also develop infections in the vaginal area that cause itching and other symptoms. If you believe you have an infection, you should visit your doctor for a diagnosis. In the event that you are diagnosed with a yeast infection, you can likely use an over-the-counter anti-fungal medication to address the problem. Be sure to follow your doctor's advice regarding yeast infection treatment or treatment of any other type of infection.

Many women struggle with embarrassing feminine odor problems due to discharge, sweat and other reasons. If you're concerned about freshness, feminine hygiene products could be the solution. There are a wide variety of personal care products on the market designed to fight odors, including douches that clean the inside of the vagina and special washes for cleaning outside. You'll also find deodorant and powder sprays and freshening wipes available to suit your needs.

Menopause has the potential to cause a variety of symptoms, and one of the most common and troubling of these is hot flashes. There are a number of interventions for dealing with hot flashes like cooling gels, towelettes and compresses. These can be beneficial for alleviating discomfort without having to use medications or supplements.

Tampon inserted

Tampon design varies between companies and across product lines in order to offer a variety of applicators, materials and absorbencies. Tampon applicators may be made of plastic or cardboard, and are similar in design to a syringe. The applicator consists of two tubes, an "outer," or barrel, and "inner," or plunger. The outer tube has a smooth surface to aid insertion and sometimes comes with a rounded end that is petaled.

The two main differences are in the way the tampon expands when in use; applicator tampons generally expand axially (increase in length), while digital tampons will expand radially (increase in diameter). Most tampons have a cord or string for removal. The majority of tampons sold are made of rayon, or a blend of rayon and cotton. Organic cotton tampons are made from only 100% cotton.

FDA News Update