Periods, also known as menstruation, are a monthly cycle, where the body goes through changes and leads to a flow of blood and tissue from the uterus, coming out from the vagina.
Female reproductive system
An egg from one of the ovaries, travels long the fallopian tube to the uterus each month.
In preparation for the egg, the uterus develops a thick lining made up of blood, tissue and fluid.
If the lining is not needed, the lining breaks down, and leaves the body through the vagina.
There are many different period management options available. The most used options are non-disposable pads and tampons. Other options include reusable pads, menstrual cups and period pants.
Menstrual cups are reusable cups made of silicone. They are placed into the vagina and it collects the menstrual blood. You use your finger to remove the cup, emptying the contents down the loo. The cup can then be rinsed clean and used again.
Non-disposable pads come in lots of different shapes and sizes. They stick to underwear and collect the blood flow. They have to be changes every few hours and are disposed of in special bins.
Reusable pads line your underwear and fasten with a snap button to secure them in place. Once used they can be hand or machine washed and used again.
Period pants are a type of reusable underwear that can be worn all day. They absorb the period blood. After use they should be rinsed and then washed, They are available in a range of styles and shape including swimwear.
Tampons are made of cotton, they come in a range if sizes and are inserted inside the vagina, where they soak up the blood flow. They are changed every few hours and are removed by pulling a string which sits outside of the body. They can be disposed of in sanitary bins.