Ok, so it has been a while since I’ve made a periodtastic post and after all, isn’t this why most of us read this blog anyways? … not to read about my life, but to read about the fun of menstruation and feminine hygiene 😀
I wanted to test out the Stayfree Secure that I’ve been reading so much about. According to what I’ve read, Stayfree Secure was supposed to be the “lower-end version” of the regular Stayfree which we are so accustomed to in North America. With the ones I’ve found in the Asian mart’s, they did not appear to be of lower grade, but in fact, had contours and patterns even better than the standard Stayfree. Suffice to say, I really wanted to test them out since I wanted to see how much “lower grade” that it really is, but the version in the picture above is different than the one I had expected. I had found this at a farmer’s store and these ones seemed like the ones you would imagine when maxi pads first became available. They looked like something that your mother or grandmother would have likely used. Even from the package itself, the fact it is still labeled as a “sanitary napkin” (which is rare in Canada) and that they specifically state “beltless” really makes you wonder how old this package really is, haha. The markings on the package says it was packaged in 2004 yet it says best used within 3 years of production. Suffice to say, this would make the package 6-years old. From what I understand, Stayfree Secure is a prominent line of Stayfree products in India, providing a low-cost sanitary napkin solution for women who do not have the money to buy “better grade” menstrual products.
When I got home and took a closer look at the package, I then realized the minor detail, lol. However, I did not feel there were any noticeable quality degradation as a result of being older than the package recommendation. They were selling the package next to laundry detergent, so the pads had a scented smell even though they were unscented natively 😆 Having noticed the fact the package used the terms sanitary napkin and beltless really made me think what I was in-store for when I opened the package – expecting this really flimsy and unimaginable-to-use product. The shape of the pad was quite interesting, resembling a lack of creativity during the design process! All this sanitary napkin is, is seriously a rectangular wad of cotton stuffed between an adhesive bottom and a top-cover. Although I was not overly impressed with the design of the pad itself, I can definitely say that the cottony cover made it worthwhile! I’m sure Maysea and Poh Ching will agree that cottony covers rule too! 🙂
The absorbency and “lock in” feature was quite amazing given the appearance of the quality. I found that this pad would even give some current-day-brand-name pads a run for their money. Their claim of the adhesive system was questionable however. There’s quite a bit of potential movement because the adhesive at the bottom of the pad was, 1) not sticky enough, and 2) did not cover enough area. Should the user be wearing tight underwear, this should not be an issue, but I think its ability to stay-put without wings, tight underwear and good adhesives under rapid activities such as sports would pose quite a leak risk. The tapered end of the pad certainly does help with any front-overflows or rear-overflows. I believe these pads would be inconvenient for use outside of the house though because they are not individually-packaged like we’re all used to, perhaps what one would call a luxury because even when I saw pads for the first time 21 years ago, the pads then were all just out-of-the-package like as shown below. Imagine having to carry a pad in your purse or bag without a separate wrapper and in full-size! Yep, this is definitely the evolution of pads since disposable/beltless pads were made available. The pad is extremely rectangular and it’s literally like a “brick in your underwear” 😆
Although the back of the package gave it away how the pad looks and how serious I was when I say it is “very rectangular” – but here it is… the real-deal.
This is your typical pad you’d find in pad dispensers that dispense “last resort” pads. It has little design and contour, but a huge wad of cotton packed in between the top and low layers. The cottony soft cover feels nice and does not feel abrasive or sticky, even when wet. The thing that seemed to bug me the most was the fact that because the cotton is not packed-tightly like modern pads, when wet, the cotton within shifts around which may cause discomfort and also a potential for menstrual flow to “come back up” or the bunching action may result in uneven distribution of flow/cotton, resulting in an accident. Because of how rectangular the pad is though, after bunching or crunching, the pad does “revert to its original shape” due to the rigidness. Given that this is supposed to be a “low-quality” pad, I certainly cannot be comparing this to brand-name products and expectations. Given that these pads were extremely inexpensive, the comfort and absorbency is definitely on-par!
I’m not quite sure whether the lack of stickiness of the adhesive is as a result of the “expiry” of the pad, but the strip itself is quite thin and would not survive well with loose underwear or rapid movements. This would be a great pad to use at-home since it does not have individual packaging and requires a more watchful eye since the quality may not be as reliable. One thing I will not undermine is the comfort of this particular version of the Stayfree Secure, although I must say this is exactly the type of pad that tampon-users would dub, “feels like wearing a diaper” since it is fairly long, thick and is in the shape of a brick! The pad is not very weighty since after all, it’s just cotton and some light cover material.
Ya, those are my ugly fingers holding it up, haha. But as you can see, this is definitely not a thin pad by any means and would definitely cause a bit of a bulge through underwear (but not visible through pants of course). Let’s just wrap it up and say this pad is definitely worth the cost, but don’t expect miracles out of it. Comfort in terms of thickness is not all that great, but comfort in terms of the feel and texture is excellent. The potential moving cotton within the pad may be of concern, but the absorbency is superior for a low-grade pad. Wrapping the pad for disposal is quite hard due to the lack of adhesiveness and the thickness just compounds the difficulty. It is best just to throw it away as-is, but I’m sure that’d be an unsightly vision for some. Folding it in half also seems like a good way to “cover the mess” but make it compact enough for disposal. I suppose given that these type of pads were more of the 1980’s, early 1990’s development, “getting rid of the evidence” wasn’t on their list of top-priorities when it came to menstrual hygiene.
I can’t wait to get an opportunity to try one of the nicer Stayfree Secure’s that I can get from the Asian mart with the blue/yellow packaging. Those seem to be much closer version of modern Stayfree maxi pads that people use nowadays without the thickness, better contour/design and security through enhanced adhesive and wings.