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What’s the best sanitary wear for running?

Running and Hygiene

Running and Hygiene

Practicing good hygiene is as important during menstruation as at any other time of the month, and good hygiene for sportswomen is no different, it goes without saying that sanitary napkins or tampons should be changed frequently especially before and directly after a run.

Sanitary wear has come a long way from the days of suspender belts and thick towels, but as with all running equipment you need to test and try out what suits you best. From the range that exists the following pros and cons may be considered:

  • Sanitary towels, napkins or pads , these exist also with “wings” around the panties. However, the drawback of some brands is that they bunch up while running. You should try to find the thinnest type that is the most absorbent. Another con is that you have to wear a panty for them to adhere to, because with many running shorts or leggings these days you don’t need to wear panties.
  • Tampons are inserted into the vagina to stop flow. These are excellent for catching heavy flow. You can even try inserting two side by side. But the drawbacks are that they can leak, and they might also pop out when they get full and heavy with bleeding from the jogging movement, so it is safer to still have a sanitary pad as a backup. A pro is that they are very small and compact and you can easily pop an extra one in the pocket of your running gear for a quick change.
  • Menstrual cups these are a Finnish invention and are a flexible cup/device either made of silicone, soft plastic or rubber inserted into vagina to catch the flow. They are claimed to be sports-friendly although difficult to get accustomed to and a bit fiddly. For the converted there is apparently no looking back. Please see comment below – The first menstrual cup was invented by Leona Chalmers, an American actress in the 1930s.

Other articles in this section related to the Women’s menstrual cycle:

Who is Cassandra Davis head of the Women’s section ? | Cass |



  1. Hi,
    thank you for crediting us as the inventors of the menstrual cup. However, it is not true. The first menstrual cup was invented by Leona Chalmers, an American actress in the 1930s. She patented the idea and the design of her device made of rubber.
    We at Lunette have developed our own menstrual cup design 2005, made of medical-grade silicone and that design is of course a true Finnish invention. But menstrual cups have existed a long time before, and today there are dozens of companies all over the world manufacturing their own products for internal menstrual care.


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