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Reusable Menstrual Products

Reusable Menstrual Products

There are lots of products out there that have reusable and disposable products available. Here I am going to give you an alternative to disposable products for women that some of you may not even realize exist. The obvious difference between the reusable and disposable is that one will be reused a number of times and the other wont. Hence a reusable product will also create less waste.

Now this is an interesting topic.  Most people I start this conversation with are initially grossed out by the word’s reusable and menstrual being used in the same sentence. 

The funny thing is that it has only been since the late 1800’s  that a disposable version of a menstrual pad has been available.  But before then women had to deal with is in many different ways, which I am not going to get into to much detail.

Today we have two reusable options available to us:  Re-usable menstrual pads and menstrual cups.

Menstrual Cups

Now this is something that I have used for the past 8 years and I absolutely swear by them.  I actually had no choice to start with as I found I could not use any of the disposable menstrual products after giving birth because they irritated me severely.  Now having experienced them myself, I would never go back to the alternative as this is such a brilliant product.

Basically, the modern menstrual cup is a reusable alternative to tampons.

I believe it is one of the most convenient, economical, and environmentally friendly forms of period protection. Menstrual cups collect your flow rather than absorbing it, so you can use your cup for up to 12 hours without irritation or dryness.

They hold around 15-30ml (Depending on the size and brand), which is for most women will cope with a full day without emptying.  I personally found that I needed to empty it in the morning when I got up and in the evening before I went off to bed.

While you have it in you can swim, run, bike, or whatever and get on with your normal day. Because it is all internal, there is no smell and you feel very clean, in fact there are no boxes hanging around so no-one even knows you have got your period. 

You might think these are a fairly modern invention... well they are not, in fact you may be surprised to discover that they have been around for about 80 years we have just never heard of them.
However, there have been several new brands of menstrual cups that have been brought out in the last few years. While there are loads of different brands available, the menstrual cups are essentially all very similar and offer only minor differences from one brand to another. Most of the cups come in 2 sizes.

The first size is designed for younger women who have not had a baby. The second size is designed for older women or women who have had a baby. All of the cups have slightly different size recommendations, so it is best to check before you invest in a size.  And it pays to note that the size for after you have had your baby is only slightly larger than the one for before you have the baby. 

 In my experience a menstrual cup will last (with proper care) for a number of years,  Personally I was a bit daunted by the upfront outlay because the initial outlay is high, but I figured out that I have saved well over $1000 since I started using it 8 years ago.

 Reusable Cloth Menstrual Pads, Mama pads or Mama Cloth.

The modern version of a reusable pad is quite different to what you would expect.  They generally have a waterproof layer that sits against your underwear, with a clip that secures it around your underwear.

It then has layers of absorbent fabric on the top.  Modern fabrics like bamboo and hemp are really trim so they are thin yet super absorbent.  They are really comfortable and because of the waterproofing they give you the same security that you would expect from a disposable one.

Cloth Pads are much softer on the skin, and because they are made from fabric instead of plastics they also allow airflow, which can help prevent thrush and rashes. They don’t tend to smell like the disposable pads do either.  Of course, being reusable they are also much better for the environment than disposables.

Reusable pads can also be used as panty liners for incontinence or to keep your underwear clean and dry between periods, during pregnancy, or even after having your baby. Cloth Pads come in loads of different shapes, sizes, absorbency and fabrics.  There is a pad to suit everyone.

Washing Cloth Pads can be as easy as tossing them in the washing machine.  You change them as often as you would a disposable, so in that respect it is no different to using disposable pads. The main difference is that after you finish with a cloth pad, you toss it in the wash and re use it and a disposable one you toss it in the rubbish.

The other obvious benefit is that over time you will save a significant amount of money too.

Period Underwear

Period underwear are amazing!!!!  They look and feel just like your normal underwear, but can hold and absorb up to five regular pads or tampons worth of blood.  They are pretty much the same as a reusable pad but cooler!!!

Depending on your flow, you may choose to wear period underwear as an alternative to pads, tampons or cups, or in conjunction with other menstrual products. 

Period underwear is especially great for young women who are new to getting a period because they can literally were them to school as normal underwear and if they get their period unexpectedly they are fully covered!!!

What can you do… your own research and give it a go. 

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