Women, this one’s for you! Men, you can move along. Catch ya next time!
Who here actually ENJOYS getting their period every month? I’ll tell ya, I used to despise it. I hated feeling wet, I hated sticking my fingers near my hoo-ha several times a day, I hated “accidents”, the list could go on and on. Anyone else out there feel me?
For me, all the hatred for the “time of the month” is in the past. I wouldn’t necessarily say I LOVE having my period every month, but I no longer hate that week and actually look forward to using my new period products.
So what’s the secret? What changed me? Let me tell you about it…
CLOTH PADS and a MENSTRUAL CUP.
Ew. Gross. CLOTH PADS?! A cup you put IN your vagina? Yep! That’s the answer. Super simple and a ton of benefits! Save money, don’t contribute to landfills, keep chemicals off of/out of your vagina. WIN!
Cloth Pads: These babies feel like clouds between your crotch. Cloth pads were the first reusable period product I tried. I started with one big one for overnight and a thin panty liner from Pink Lemonade Shop. I was so in love with them that I did laundry multiple times during that first week so I could wear them again and again. I was never going to let my vagina touch another disposable pad again. These things didn’t leak and didn’t make me feel gross and wet. In fact, the material of them seriously felt like heaven and I couldn’t wait to put it on.
I know a lot of people don’t even use pads, however the panty liners were excellent for spotting or back up protection. For night protection, I like letting my vag have a break and free bleed through the night. It is also super duper bad for you to wear tampons to bed because of toxic shock syndrome. So if you are thinking you wouldn’t ever use pads, I’d reconsider! If I’m not going to be leaving the house I also like wearing pads because of how wonderful they feel and they are so simple.
Caring for them is easy! This was one thing that scared me, but it is seriously SO easy. For my Norwex, I hang a laundry bag from the inside of my linen closet to collect dirty clothes. Cloth pads have the same care as my Norwex so it made sense to use this same bag for the pads. When one is dirty I rinse it with cold water, wring it out and throw it in the bag. At the end of my cycle I do a “Norwex Load” and wash it all together. No fabric softener, no dryer sheets, no bleach. Super easy. Wash, Dry and put away until next month! They do get some light stains that can be sun bleached out, but I could care less if something I use on my vagina and no one sees has stains on it.
What to start with: To try cloth pads I purchased a 6 inch undyed bamboo velour pantyliner and a 11 inch minky overnight pad. The 6 inch liner is perfect for extra protection and spotting days. The 11 inch did a fab job for over nights! I would suggest the longer ones if you have a pretty heavy flow or are a back sleeper, but they worked just fine for my average flow stomach sleeper self.
Once I was IN LOVE with cloth pads, I made a larger purchase. Including what I already have my stock now includes: eight of the 6-inch liners (plus 3 from free samples of other brands-I don’t like to use those), four 11-inch overnight pads, and four 9-inch day pads. As far as materials go, you can’t really go wrong. Minky is SUPER soft, bamboo jersey and cotton jersey are soft and nice on hot days because they are lighter.
So far this amount has been PLENTY to get me through. Even if I use the cup less often, I still have more than enough. However, I don’t have a super heavy flow and my period only lasts 4-5 days. When I wear the cup I only use the over nights and panty liners.
I have tried a couple other brands and haven’t been impressed, yet. A few Etsy stores offered a free liner to try and I didn’t like how they fit as much as my Pink Lemonade ones. If you have a suggestion of a great place, let me know!
Menstrual Cup: Pretty much the best thing ever. No more shoving tampons up my vagina that contain chemicals and no more filling up those landfills! Plus, I only usually have to touch down there twice a day! I purchased the Diva cup for myself and found it the cheapest (with prime) on Amazon.
I insert this bad boy in the morning and then will empty it in the evening. Then, I try to make it work where I can wear a pad for the rest of the evening. If I wanted to keep wearing this thing then I would dump around 5 or 6. This of course depends on how heavy your flow is BUT it can hold a good amount of blood and you can usually go this long even on HEAVY days. They can also be worn over night if you don’t want to use a pad at night.
The best thing is once you figure out how to insert it, there are ZERO leaks. EVEN WHEN SWIMMING. Guys, I inserted this thing in the morning, swam from maybe 11am-5pm and never had to worry about changing a tampon or something leaking and causing a ton of embarrassment. Winner, winner, chicken dinner!
Learning Curve: So it isn’t the easiest thing to use at first. My first week I had to use a panty liner as backup protection every day. It was a bit frustrating. It hurt to put in, I wasn’t getting a suction, and I could feel it every time I walked or moved. Don’t let that discourage you. I watched this video on youtube and finally started to get positive results when wearing it. I would try and explain it to you, but she does a great job at it and I don’t think it would be understood as well in text.
One big thing that I will add is that cutting off the long tip (for removal) helped a ton. I started with just a little and then eventually cut the whole thing off. You can get it out easily enough without needing the long stem unless you have a really long vaginal canal. The other suggestion I have is to push it way up there. It isn’t going to get lost. Promise. When you need to remove it you push like you are trying to take a poop and it comes right down far enough for you to get a grip on it! Grip it then push the top together to squeeze it out and you’re done! While you are learning how to insert and get a hang of how it works, make sure to wear a liner as backup protection!
Hang in there through this learning phase. I promise you that it is more than worth it!
Cleaning: During daily use I empty the cup into the toilet and give it a rinse and scrub with water and my fingers. I don’t use any soaps on it. Then reinsert or set it aside for tomorrows use. At the end of the week I boil it submerged in water for about 5 minutes to sterilize. I have never been out and about and needed to dump this thing in a public restroom. It simply doesn’t need removed that often. However if you did find yourself in a situation where you needed to empty it on the go, all you need to do is empty and reinsert. No need to wash, just do that once you are home!
I hope that this all sounds simple to you because trust me, it is. This whole thing is a easy process and you don’t have to be messing with your hoo-ha several times a day. Nor deal with painful inserting or pulling tampons out. Especially on just spotting days! This is a one time purchase and lasts for years so you will save a ton of money.
Again I’ll also mention all of the disposable products you will be keeping out of the landfill AND you won’t be exposing your vagina to all of the chemicals found in feminine products. You use organic you say? Still filling a landfill and costing you WAY too much money!
What’s it hurt to give these products a try? I promise you will never look back. I can’t tell you enough how they have changed my life.
Do your vagina a favor. Try cloth pads and a cup. It’ll thank you.