The last few years, menstruation has been getting increasingly interesting.
I’m all for saving the world, reducing carbon footprints, and minimising on waste in every sense of the word. However, when I’m on my period, the planet just isn’t my priority, my comfort and convenience is. When considering how gnarly some “time of the months” can get, I think I’m totally entitled to that concept, as are you. There is no point in adopting a reusable menstrual method if it just doesn’t work for you, or makes you uncomfortable to the point where you’re dreading your period even more than you usually do. In the grand scheme of things, your 5-day period is not producing any more waste than a baby would over the course of one day. So let’s take guilt out of the equation, and back to the point that reusable products should be about: comfort, economics and genital health.
There are many women, beauty and health gurus and so on, that raved about the menstrual cup when it hit the market. I swear on newly potted plants that I couldn’t think of anything more awful, it was the literal embodiment of ‘nope.’ Though there are others who love it and think it’s the best way to go about a menstrual cycle. Hats off to them I say, I’m still aboard the nope train heading straight to Nopesville. It did get me thinking about reusability though, as that had understandably been a foreign concept when on the subject of vaginal bleeding.
What really got me into research mode however, was the idea of a more comfortable and healthier period. Tampons don’t work for me at all anymore, they make the cramping worse and I can never get the absorbency correct as my periods are unpredictable. I’m also certain that having a wad of cotton shoved up there absorbing everything for four or more hours is really not appreciated by our genitalia. Then the pads, oh the mainstream pads, they’re so god-awfully uncomfortable, causing irritation due to the heavy use of chemicals and plastic-y materials coupled with the non-breathability factor. It just turns into a sweaty, chaffy panty stew you rather not be making. So I needed options, tried and tested options which gave me a selection of better methods. Below, I present the findings to you, dear reader, and may your periods be better from now until menopause:
- No plastic backing, meaning less irritation.
- A shelf-life of five years at least.
- A hearty variety of sizes, from pantyliner to night catcher.
- Suitable to wear following childbirth
- Saves money over time
- Soft, breathable fabric
- Kinder to the environment than disposables
- Avoid the risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome associated with tampons
- Avoid exposure to chemicals that are used on disposables
- Comes in an assortment of cute styles and patterns
- So very comfortable, and suitable for sports
Tip: You don’t have to go all out when first trying re-usable pads, alternate between your usual methods and these. Personally, I like Gladrag for just the days when I have a lighter flow, that’s when I think Gladrags really shine. For the heaviest day I’m all about the disposables. There’s just too much to be dealing with when it’s that heavy. They’re also wonderful to use overnight, as it really is the healthiest way to menstruate with plenty of breathability and natural comfort.
- Very well designed, ultra comfortable underwear, that can work instead of, or as a backup for your usual menstrual products.
- Composed of moisture-wicking cotton and natural anti-microbial lining
- Super-absorbent fabric, holds up to 2 regular tampons’ worth so you never feel too *moist*.
- You never have to worry about ruining your very expensive panties with stains.
- Full coverage from front to back.
- Modern, stylish and discreet.
- Leak-resistant barrier, so you stay fresh ‘n’ dry, even when you feel blah and crampy.
- Every different kind of underwear style you can imagine, even leotards and unitards.
- Simply rinse, keep in a bikini bag and then wash with coloured clothing on a normal wash cycle when it’s laundry time.
Just because I’m opposed to cupping, if I did have to use a cup, this would be my first choice due to it’s clever design, overall look, and good reviews.
- Innovative design that minimises the mess and leakage associated with traditional menstrual cups.
- Moves with your body and is ideal for active women and women on the go.
- Soft and flexible, one size fits all women.
- Great for the environment (say goodbye to endless pads and tampons heading for landfill and sewers).
- Ideal for women whether they have a light or heavy flow.
- It’s easy to clean, the unique ‘lip’ design of the FemmyCycle means that there’s no danger of spilling the liquid inside when you remove it.
- To reuse during a cycle, simple tip the contents down the toilet, wash the cup with hand soap and warm water and rinse – then it’s ready to use again.
- Disinfecting is easy too – simply soak in 10% white vinegar and 90% warm water for 5 minutes, before and after your menstrual cycle.
For some tips from an experienced user, check out Miranda’s video from “Slashed Beauty’s” YouTube channel, and her very helpful tips for using a menstrual cup.
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