Feminine Hygiene Products

Disposable feminine hygiene products fall into two main categories: internal (tampons) and external protection (pads and liners.)   Many women will use a combination of tampons, pads and liners to care for their needs. These products provide discrete, reliable and convenient protection.



Pads and liners

External protection comes in a range of pads and pant liners, each of which in turn are available in a wide variety of styles and absorbancies etc.

Pads will have a waterproof backsheet and a top sheet which prevents against rewet and gives comfort. The core of the product will be made from absorbent cellulose fluff pulp fibres. ‘Ultra’ style slender pads will contain superabsorbent gelling materials and will have an acquisition layer, whereas the thicker ‘Maxi’ type pad will not.

Pant liners generally will be made simply from cellulose fluff pulp fibres.

Both will have other design features which depending on the brand may include adhesive strips, contouring, wings, etc.

Pads are designed for use during menstruation. Liners are designed for use on a daily basis or to give added security when using a tampon, or for very light flow at the beginning or end of a period.



These come in two varieties: applicator or digital. Most women will choose to use one particular type and will seldom switch between the two. 

Tampons are a very simple product which are made from cotton and/or rayon.

Tampons provide discreet comfortable internal protection and enable women greater freedom in terms of clothing and activities during their period.  Tampons can be used by anyone once they have begun menstruation, although typically young girls will prefer to use pads.

AHPMA members comply with a Voluntary Code of Practice which ensures a high standard of manufacturing processes and user guidlines. A copy is available on request.

AHPMA UK Voluntary Code of Practice for Tampon Manufacturers and Distributors

Facts and figures on Menstruation (pdf)


Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS)

Toxic Shock Syndrome is a very rare but serious illness which can affect any member of the population regardless of age or sex. Typically it will occur following localised infections caused by burns, wounds, surgical procedures, etc. A proportion of cases are linked to menstruation and tampon use.

Toxic Shock Syndrome Information Service: (www.tssis.com)