Today, the protection options for runners are much improved. But which one is right for you?

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Today, the protection options for runners are much improved. But which one is right for you during that time of the month?

Pads
These work well on short runs and for women who would like to avoid insertion—but chafing can be an issue, especially on hot days.

Tampons
Old faithful. These standbys are popular for a reason—but convenience does come at an environmental cost.

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Cups
Menstrual cups have been around since the 1920s but only recently have experienced a resurgence, since they are great for the environment and heavy bleeding. Some women have issues during exercise as the device doesn’t always stay in place.

Birth Control/IUDs
Barrett says this solution is popular among her active patients who want to minimize PMS side effects as progesterone often decreases bleeding. Obviously, this is not an option for runners trying to conceive.

Sponge
A renewable resource, sponges keep our waste out of landfills. Leakage during running is possible but light. The biggest hurdle for many is that the removal process can be messy—and you have to be okay with cleaning in your sink.

Period Panties
New to the market, these underwear work without the use of additional accessories. Again, a great environmental alternative, but be wary of chafing and be okay with a VPL if you’re going the capris route.