Feminine Products In China

I never figured I’d blog about this topic, but seeing as this site is meant to help expat women living in China, I’d be remiss if I didn’t discuss it. That special time once a month, when a special visitor comes.
One thing you’ll notice is that things are smaller in China: I wear an American large top, a recent shirt I bought says it’s a 4XL! Bags of chips come only in single serving bags. There are no gallon pails of ice cream; the largest containers I’ve seen are smaller than the Ben&Jerry’s that I can consume in a single day. So it should come as no surprise that pads come in packages of five or six. Yes, enough for a day…maybe. You have to fill your cart with five to six packages each month. I used to hit up a couple of different stores, all within walking distance of my house, just because it felt strange to buy so many.
Tampons are virtually non-existent in Chinese shops. In large cities you’ll be able to find them in foreign stores, but if you’re brand-loyal, bring a stash with you.
I like the Whisper brand which is like the American brand Always. They’re more expensive (6-7 yuan for a package of 5) but are lightweight and do their job.

A few years ago I won a Diva Cup from a blog. I thought it would be interesting and it’s worked really well and I can get buy with just a package of liners (which, oddly enough, come in packs of 18-20). I love that the cup is reusable and easy to take care of.

Just last week I learned about these sea sponge tampons that can be used for the same purpose. I’m intrigued and might pick some up the next time in the States.
On a related note, I’ve never seen medicine for cramp, pain relief or PMS. I never dealt with any of this until after my son was born and even then it was minor. I’ve since discovered that Evening Primrose Oil softgels are very helpful in combatting PMS. I’d taken it prior to the birth of my daughter, and then kept taking it since I had so much left. When I found that it’s good for PMS, I bought more and continued taking it. I didn’t notice a difference until I stopped taking it–for no reason other than that I was too lazy to take one each day–and then my mood fluctuated as much as the tones in a Chinese sentence!
An interesting cultural note, apparently Chinese women are told to do little housework during this time of the month and girls are exempt from PE class when their monthly visitor arrives. I know in the summer months I see a lot of the middle school girls sitting in the bleachers while the rest of the kids are our for PE. At Speaking of China, blogger Jocelyn writes about how her Chiense husband takes over the cooking and cleaning so that she can rest for a few days each month. How nice is that?