This is another mess issue. The problem with sleeping while bleeding is that I tend to sleep for a lot longer than most menstrual products will be effective. I have made serious messes by oversleeping a product, even when I wake up in the middle of the night to change them. To avoid having to be wide awake for any length of time, I would be a lazy ass and sleep with a towel over the wet mess instead of changing the sheets right away. I've never made a huge, huge mess while sleeping with someone else, partly because historically I haven't tended to spend that long asleep with another person, and partly because pill periods are light enough to not make much mess.
For my first period, I woke myself up in the middle of the night with an alarm to change products. After that I got lazy and relied on combinations of products, mainly the most absorbant tampons I could find with a full-coverage kind of pad as a back up. The pad worked better if it actually managed to hold blood in place instead of letting it flow around, since I usually sleep on my front and risk blood running forward into a puddle.
I only recently encountered the idea of using more than one tampon at once. This struck me as rather ingenious -- except that increasing the absorbancy of tampons is the main factor that increases risk of toxic shock syndrome. Convenience vs. health.
This is another reason I dig the reusable cup: all night effectiveness-- and I was using it for a couple of pill-free months.
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