5 Alternatives to Regular Pads and Tampons
Menstruation is something that most women experience every month for 20+ years of their lives. I would guess that most of us did not have an empowering experience surrounding our first menstrual cycle or we may have forgotten what that experience was like altogether!
Reclaiming our menstrual cycle is a huge and very powerful step in living a more empowered, authentic life. If we are going to experience this cycle every month for years of our lives, why not make it a beautiful experience?
Many women choose to find alternative options to pads and tampons because there is a very dangerous side to these products. Made with genetically modified (GMO) cotton, bleached with the most toxic metal known to man mercury and laced with xeon-estrogens, it's no wonder that so many women are fed up with the lack of regulation and misinformation. Read more about the specific processes and why these companies do not have to disclose this information here.
In terms of having a powerful experience menstruating each month, commercial pads and tampons can hinder the sacred aspect of the whole thing. There are odors, you feel like you're wearing a diaper, disposal can be tricky and more.
One of the easiest ways to revolutionize your cycle is to change the products that you are using. There are SO many excellent options on the market and so the days of only pads or tampons is in the past.
We are excited to share with you 5 alternative options and the benefits of each one!
- 5 Alternatives to Commercial Pads and Tampons -
1. Menstrual Cups My personal favorite, menstrual cups are made of medical grade silicon or rubber and are inserted into the vagina just like a tampon. Menstrual cups can hold more blood than a maxi tampon and are incredibly comfortable. I really like menstrual cups because they can be used for up to 12 hours and because they are not made with toxic chemicals like tampons, the risk of TSS is drastically lower. They also allow us to truly see our own menstrual blood ( a lot can be told about your health by the color of your blood, amount of clots, etc.) and give us the opportunity to offer our blood to the earth. Menstrual cups are about $25 and last 5+ years so they are very economical and also support the earth since there is nothing to throw away! My personal favorite menstrual cup is the Lena Cup (listed below) because it continues to be the top rated menstrual cup for all types of women. Women with low sitting cervixes or different shaped vaginas continue to rate the Lena Cup as #1! Read the in depth blog post about menstrual cups here.
Pros: extremely economical, last 5 to 10 years, does not leak if inserted correctly, allows one to fully connect to menstrual blood, offers option to offer blood to earth
Cons: may be uncomfortable to use at first, slight learning curve initially, is holding your menstrual blood inside of you
2. Organic Reusable Pads
Organic reusable pads are excellent options for women who are uncomfortable inserting anything inside of their body. Reusable pads are also eco-friendly because they are simply washed between uses rather than being thrown away. I personally like to use reusable pads on the last day of my cycle when my flow is so light that I don't want to insert my menstrual cup. And, they even come in adorable patterns and colors!
Pros: economical overtime, good for Mother Earth, a great option for women who prefer to free bleed
Cons: expensive initially to get multiples, may become saturated with blood quickly
3. Period Panties If you have a Facebook account, likely you've seen ads for period panties. There are a few different brands on the market and I personally really like Racked. Period panties are underwear that have a built in pad in the underwear. They are comfortable and look like normal, cute underwear! This is another good option for women who want to free bleed or avoid inserting anything inside of their body. Articles have been coming out recently showing that the popular brand Thinx stole the idea from the much smaller company Racked. Personally, I no longer support Thinx and will continue to choose to support other companies. It's up to you though to make that decision.
Pros: allow one to free bleed, comfortable, stylish
Cons: expensive to purchase initially, take a long time to dry (must be air dried), made with synthetic materials
4. Sea Sponges Using sea sponges has gained popularity over the last few years. Some women absolutely rave about their sea sponge experiences and so I decided to add it to this list! These sea sponges have been ethically harvested from the ocean and are inserted just like you would a tampon. When removing the sea sponge, you simply squeeze the sponge over the sink or onto the earth, rinse with water and then reinsert. It's really important to note that not all sea sponges are created equal. I've seen posts online that you can save money by going to a craft store and buying the sea sponges normally used for painting. This is not wise!! There are different grades of sponges and you do not want to be inserting one that has been chemically treated! Always purchase from a company specializing in sponges for menstrual cycles like the options below.
Pros: economical, made of natural sea sponges that are ethically harvested from the ocean, comfortable, able to connect to menstrual blood
Cons: may be purchasing sea sponges that are not high quality enough to be inserted, can only be used ten times or so before needing to be discarded, may harbor some bacteria