6 Feminine Product Options That Get My Panty Liners in a Bunch6 Feminine Product Options That Get My Panty Liners in a Bunch

6 Feminine Product Options That Get My Panty Liners in a Bunch

Aunt Flo is not this complicated, so why are my tampons?

Have you shopped for feminine hygiene products lately? It’s easier to get a backdated purchase order from a government agency than it is to figure out which pads or tampons to buy these days. At this point, I’m ready to throw in the moist towelette and start using those horrific reusable pads or a menstrual cup, even at the risk of turning my bathroom into the prom scene of Carrie.

I remember the days of going into the store, grabbing one of two blue boxes and going on my way. Now I can stand there for a good 20 minutes and still come home with the wrong thing. This is one area of my life where I just don’t want or need options, including the following impractical choices:

1. Length
While extra long pads are sort of like a soothing body pillow for my crotch, they’re just not practical. I get that we’re all unique snowflakes, but isn’t the length of the pink canoe somewhat universal? If you’re bleeding onto the south pole of an extra long pad, you might want to get yourself checked.

2. Thickness
Sure, sometimes an extra thick pad is in order. What I don’t understand are the thin ones. My experience with the panty liner has been less than positive. No one likes to say (or hear) the word ‘panty.’ More importantly, while they might look dainty when first attached, when you check in later, they have typically turned upside down, folded into an origami flapping bird, and are nesting in your whatnot.

3. Scented
Can we agree that adding a scent to tampons is like trying to cover up the odor of a three-day-old corpse with a clove orange? If you’ve got so much airflow down there that the scent is wafting, you’ve got bigger problems.

4. Sport
I’ve never been good at sports, nor am I an avid exerciser. Do I need to be reminded of that every time I grab for the tampon box with that headphone-wearing female jogger? Is she trying to tell me that athletes need special tampons because the common couch potato’s tampon would just drop right out of their active jog boxes? They are all the same. Let’s not twat-shame with ‘sport’ descriptors.

5. Wings
Before they invented wings, it was simpler time. A time when I didn’t need to spend 5 extra minutes in the bathroom peeling off stickers and swaddling my crotch panel with weak adhesive for no particular reason. My pads were always wide enough to protect my dainties from flying debris without being mummy wrapped.

6. Everything Else
Super, super plus, pearl, gentle glide, chlorine-free organic, slender, silk, overnight, odor-lock, leak-guard, extra heavy, unscented, tween, ultra, jumbo, infinity, eternity, extreme, glow in the dark, toile, chevron, pumpkin spice, salted caramel and gluten free. No. No. No!

Don’t reach for the re-useable pads just yet (or without plastic gloves and a pair of tongs). Stay focused and try your best to filter out the flexi wings and cardboard applicators. If all else fails and you end up accidentally buying the scented extra long sport tampons, just get some headphones and go for a jog.


This original piece by Susan Maccarelli was written exclusively for In the Powder Rooma division of Hold My Purse Productions, LLC. Edited image © depositphotos.com/seb_ra. 

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Pecked to Death by Chickens.com is Susan’s humor blog, though occasionally she’ll author a poignant post revealing her soft underbelly (euphemism AND literal description). Susan also helps other bloggers get featured on the websites they aspire to, via her blog resource site BeyondYourBlog.com. Features on BlogHer, Blunt Moms, Bonbon Break, and In the Powder Room help feed her attention seeking behavior.

Keep the conversation going...



  1. says

    When Gloria Steinem was calling for more options for women through the Women’s Movement, this was definitely not what she had in mind. But at least we’ll have sufficient padding should we ever break through the glass ceiling.

  2. says

    Heelarious! I’ve never been happier to be in early onset menopause than after reading this article. I forgot about the nightmare that is the feminine hygiene aisle at Target. Why so many choices? Let’s all go back to “The Red Tent!” Great post, Susan!

  3. says

    As horrible as this is, what is worse than the public humiliation of having someone “older” pull out your tampon cache in high school and shout “oh. look at this. HOW BITTY AND CUTE!”

    (hilarious, Susan, you are so funny…)

      • Leslie Marinelli says

        OMG – me too! I was like, “Whaaaaaat?!” Alexandra, I think it’s probably better to only need “BITTY AND CUTE” little tampons than the other way around. Your friend is lucky you didn’t call her out on her need for the JUMBO SIZED ones.

  4. says

    Mmmmm. salted caramel.

    Wait, was that not supposed to sound good? Uh-oh.

    Your piece slays me–and reminds me why it took seven hours in the feminine hygiene aisle with my teenage daughter the first time I tried to explain the options to her. By the end, she was all, “I’ll just wad up some toilet paper and call it good, Mom!”

  5. says

    Love this! Gluten-free–haha. And yes re the panty liners. Perfect description. Sometimes they get all up in there and it’s just not comfortable. I end up not feeling fresh as well as feeling a bit assaulted.

    • mary says

      My best friend saw that I was using scented pads and would say “ooh what is that delightful aroma?” I am in no need at this time for any of these products…but feel equally over-whelmed when purchasing “incontinent” products for my mother!! I am guessing by the time all the “boomers” are wearing diapers there will be a discount store specializing in diapers! I would by diapers with Led Zepplin or the Beatles printed on them!!! LOL

    • Kelley says

      My husband tried to convince me to make that part of our wedding vows…I vow not to send you to the store for feminine hygiene products. So far in 20 years I have not made him do that…but it was a close call when I had to make him stop on the way home from work to pick up nursing pads.

      • says

        I’d agree to the no sending him to the store part, but i would have a caveat that anything expressed in my vows could be reneged on at any time if I had PMS or just decided that I had changed my mind :o)

  6. says

    1, Wings are the devil’s invention. is anyone being honest who denies that those things always end up sticking to other body parts and causing considerable pain and discomfort?

    2. I am a sucker for the Tampon box with the string of pearls on them, as though if I buy them, I will be very glamorous and 1950s. And I don’t even use tampons, that’s what a sucker I am.


    • says

      Hahaha – tampons as decor? I was sure everyone else but me was wearing wings, because it is very hard to find wingless, in fact, that is what got me started with this post. I bought wingless only to get them home and find I had somehow selected wings!!

  7. Kaly says

    Love. So funny. So many options and so few that actually work. Leak guard always makes me feel like I’m installing some sort of security system.

  8. Noelle says

    I use the extra long overnight pads with wings in addition to the plastic applicator ultra sized tampons (all unscented). My flow is just that d*mn heavy. I’ve been checked – I just have what is laughingly called “a heavy flow”. I’d kill for a diva cup. Because even with all that so called protection, I smell by the end of the day. I long for menopause.

      • Beckie says

        I have to use the mega pads and tampons too. But I hate wings. Then the rest of the month I get to use incontinence pads…another fun aisle…thanks to having a baby. And just when I have it figured out they come out with more options…what they need is a tiny pad that expands when you sneeze or laugh…

        • says

          Get a patent! I lucked out on the bladder thing – maybe because of c-sections? I’m sure I will be peeing on myself in no time though. I’m not sure, but maybe after we have kids all women can just start wearing absorbant Bounty clothing below the waist and solve all the problems.

    • Kim says

      YES! I love that others have similar problems. Ok, well, not that you guys have similar problems, but mostly that I’m not alone.

  9. says

    I don’t know about the average size of the pink canoe. The article about the new sex toy that the female wears during, for enhancement, showed it in a human hand and in a cartoon demo. It has adjustable arms for fit, looks like a tick, is therefore blue, and is HUGE.

    • says

      I’m sure every OB/GYN would school me on the many shapes and sizes, but how long can it be? My husband’s favorite response to most things I ask is ‘You’d be surprised’. It probably applies here.

  10. says

    “No one likes to say (or hear) the word ‘panty.’” You got that right. Can’t we all just say underwear? What I don’t get, though, is the pantyliners for thongs?!?!?!?

  11. Stacie Harrison says

    My daughter lived in San Francisco for awhile and worked in an organic grocery store. She told me she had to pay $12 for a small box of “organic” tampons. They were like cotton balls that you insert with your finger! Is it really necessary to have organic tampons?? I’m thankful I had a hysterectomy at 26! This is BS I will never, ever, ever miss! And yes! Twat-shaming is my new word of the day! Hilarious!

    • says

      Stacie, I remember the o.b. tampons being big in the 90’s and they had no applicator – ick! No thanks. Organic – ugh! Do we have to worry about pesticides down there now too?

  12. says

    I agree! Why are there so many choices. I feel like an idiot standing there as a 36 year old woman and not being able to find a simple box of tampons. Not to mention that I am typically buying them when I need them *wink* and not in the mood to be trifled with!

  13. says

    WAY too funny! And now I have to go study more twitter. Like why I can’t tweet out this line “Can we agree that adding a scent to tampons is like trying to cover up the odor of a three-day-old corpse with a clove orange?” AND the link at the same time!!!!!!!!

  14. Kim says

    Regarding the “long’ products. Unfortunately, I understand why these are necessary. I’m a hefty girl (200+) with monsterously heavy flow, and as sweat flows between your cleavage, for example, liquid tends to. Well, ok, look, bluntly, during heavy flow, blood tends to follow along the crack area before being absorbed by the pad. The extra long pads can give you just enough extra absorbency for the flow before it hits the back of your panties and pants/shorts/skirts.
    I see it as a safety feature. :D.
    Oh, and a shout out to Noelle – just saw your post above. LOL