Photo by Zohre Nemati on Unsplash
I have to start by saying this post IS for everyone. It is just as important for women to know their options as it is for men (to share those options with the women in their life). For about seven years, I have been doing self-investigating research on female care products (this is based on my own experience, not medical advice).
When I found out about cotton sprayed with pesticides and being dyed when I was in graduate school, I just couldn't believe it. Immediately, I made the most obvious and easiest switch--organic pads and tampons.
Organic pads- I will use these in a pinch, but I think are still irritating.
Organic tampons- The thought of using these again is like nails on a chalkboard. Plus, have you ever put one in water and seen all of the fibers that come off? That same thing has to happen inside the body as the cotton gets saturated. *P.S. not a fan of the wipes found through the link (or any in general). Our lady parts are self cleaning.
About three years later, I came across cups. Buying one online was a little too much of a commitment right away, so I tried these:
Disposable cups- Since I have purchased reusable options and have a preference for non-inserted support, I have not purchased these. However, to me these are more comfortable placing and removing than the silicon cups to me. Also, they can be thrown away which can make it a little more user-friendly when you are in a multi-bathroom environment.
Then, I made the investment to purchase a:
Reusable cup- It doesn't leak if placed correctly. Taking it out can be slightly uncomfortable with the suction thing that happens (know what I'm talking about?). It's not that horrible, and I used it for awhile, but I was always paranoid and it could be challenging to clean out in public places. Oh, I purchased the clear and am so glad. I think it would be so hard to tell if it was entirely clean if it was colored.
Then I found out about:
Sponges- These were slightly uncomfortable putting in, but much easier to remove. I also felt more freedom and not as paranoid (i.e. no problem to do a yoga class). Still the same issue being in public restrooms, but it was easy to clean. After trying the sponges, I couldn't stand the thought of utilizing something more rigid than that.
However, I took time to trial and error with all of the options above. It only seemed practical to mix things up and use what I thought was most appropriate.
It sure took a while for me to get the courage to try this:
Reusable Pads- I can hear you now: "--What? Really? How does that work? How do I wash them? Will it feel awkward?" Yes, really and no, not awkward! My first experience was surprisingly wonderful. It felt the most comfortable out of all the options I had tried. I used different sizes, just like regular pads to fit my needs during every part of my cycle. Washing was easy, once you get over having a soaking bucket around. I rinsed, placed in a bucket with soap, and let sit for 24 hours. Then they went into the washer...I dry mine too (but don't take my word on the proper techniques, this is just what works for me). I have been using these for the past three years. I honestly can't believe it has been that long! It has been a taboo choice, but it shouldn't be! Believe me, I thought it was weird and disgusting too, But, the thing is, it wasn't. Over time, my cycles have become about two days shorter (from 7 to 5, which is healthier and happier, obviously). Also, back pain and cramping although it was minimal, is less now. I will never go back to another invasive product after my experience with these. And really, it was about a $100 investment. I am not a mathematician, but I know I have saved my pocket and the environment. Now that's a win-win!
I remember about two years ago being in the subway in London waiting for the tube seeing ads for these:
Thinx- My husband pointed them out, because honestly, I didn't even know what the ad was for. Granted, he was pointing it out as a joke. I thought it was way out there and really, ridiculous. I couldn't understand who would want to do that. In my head, reusable period undies was on a different planet compared to my reusable pads. Why? Honestly, I do not know. About twelve weeks ago, I thought it was time. I finally came to terms with the fact that it couldn't be that much different than what I had been doing the past three years, I mean really, come on...what is the difference? So, I took the plunge...
I was immediately surprised at the sleek-ness of them, no bulk whatsoever (especially compared to the reusable pads!). As far as absorption goes, the three pairs I ordered could hold 2-3 tampons worth. I didn't experience any leakage issues. Phew. I have to say that I do prefer the high waisted style over the briefs, which I got two pairs of (and only one high-waisted). However, I also like mom jeans, so I should have known! I just couldn't quite tell how tall they'd be on me and didn't want them hanging out over top of my pants. For the record, I did not have this issue with the high-waisted style, they fit perfectly!!! I felt comfortable, free, and dry--much more so than any other option mentioned above. I just have to note that they are snug (and they have to be to some degree to prevent leaking, which makes sense). But, keep in mind, I'm the lady who hasn't worn a real bra in three years, with one of the reasons being that I cannot stand feeling anything holding me in. So when it comes down to it, they are a great option and I prefer the high-waisted style, even over the reusable pads! I'm still surprised, but I'm glad I took the leap. The lightweighted-ness/thin-ness of their technology is remarkable!
So, what do you think? Did you even know some of these were options? Are you going to try any? Thin(x)k about it, and let me know! #GetSatiated
P.S. All links are exact brands/styles I utilized (as always)!