Honestly don’t wretch, I have got you sista.
Like you reading this who still wears normal sanitary towels/tampons i would be exiting this blog sharpish and thinking GROSS.
Apart from the waste and cost, our sanitary products are laden with toxins.
The very products that are sitting right against our highly permeable are of our vulva.
This is a good article to read HERE from Friends of the Earth.
Bet that’s not something you’ve thought about before…nope me neither, and believe me its is something I WISH i’d learnt sooner.
- Inflammation in the pelvic region.
- Cancer in the ovaries.
- Damaged immune system.
- Hormonal dysfunction.
- Malfunctioning of the thyroid.
- Vaginal allergies.
- Ailments related to the endometrium.
I suffered 18 years of crippling cystitis, went private, had numerous operations and spent 10 years on a daily antibiotic. In my early years of marriage i spent most nights eating my dinner on the toilet using the wash basket as my table. It was terrible. Having my first child helped a little but it came back again and in my late 30s it started to flair up and I knew that there was no way I was going back to daily antibiotics.
So I started researching…after all That’s a precious part of my body and it needs treated well, and thats when I realised all the scented shower gels, femfresh and SANITARY TOWELS could be to blame.
Time to DITCH those!
We want sanitary products that are free of chlorine, dyes, and pesticides. That way I know I’m going to be free of itch, chaffing and sensitivity in my lady bits!
I made the switch three years ago and they have completely changed my cycle, and Cystis: GONE and I mean GONE.
I have also seen a reduction in my cramps and my flow has dropped from 5 days to 3. My mood-swings are much better due to a mixture of the cloth sanitary towels and essential oils to help alleviate PMS.
So whats your alternative?
- Organic disposables (i use TOTM from tesco/boots)
- Cloth reusable (I use Lilah Pads)
- Menstrual Cup
- Period pants ( i use flux and pantys brand)
Personally (and i think this swap is as personal as it gets) i didn’t want a moon cup, though i hear great reports especially if you are a Tampon wearer. The period pants are amazing as a back up on heavy days and on the last few days (great also if you have a weak bladder or for sports).
Reusable sanitary towels are a complete game changer and I wished I’d swapped years ago. If you have daughters about to start their cycle, I’d highly recommend starting them with reusables.
A cloth pad can last up to five years, you’ll never run out again and have to “make do” with petrol station emergency pads. There is NO smell with the cloth pads as it’s actually the mix of blood and chemicals that cause that smell 😉
Q&A on reusable pads (these are a few questions that I had covered in my instagram live).
Staining and washing? I pad that are 3 years old and have some light staining – but that doesnt really bother me as i know they are clean and its only myself wearing them.
I also choose to go with light coloured pads as then I can visually see that they were clean. As soon as I take mine off i rinse under the tap, close it up with the poppers and then put in wash bag and into the machine. I wash mine just with my normal washing and then either put over the clothes horse or hang to dry. If it is only a little light discharge i don’t bother rinsing, just chuck in the wash.
Is it not weird for your boys seeing them? We don’t hide anything in our home, or make anything dirty or wrong. So if the boys were to ask what they were id just tell them they were sanitary towels. Actually they high fived me on a recent trip to london when I found period pants – they understand and I hope this will make them better husbands in the future.
Do they move about? The poppers keep them in place. The other good thing is no sticky pad to catch in your pubic hair! I have found that somedays i can be heavier at the front and then at the back, since the pad isn’t stuck to my pants you have the freedom without needing to change to just shift it a little.
Leakage? I haven’t had any leak throughs with mine. If you experience any – perhaps move up to a larger pad or where period pants. Simone from Lilah pads will also make custom pads for you should you feel you need something special. I have had the thickness of heavy pads made with the length of overnight and an extra little piece of gushy material. Labia Pads are also great for those first few heavy hours.
How many do you need? This would depend on your flow and length of cycle. I change mine maybe 2/3 times a day on day one. If i wake and need to change before i shower, i will use a organic disposable and then use a reusable after i have showered. The brand I use (Lilah pads) have night, heavy, medium and panty liners to choose from. Day 3 im down to one. Again we are all so very different.
Do They hold more than normal pads: YES
What to wash them with: I just use Bio D washing powder. If you feel they need a deep clean, after washing, soak them in some sodium percarbonate.
Suitable for Bladder Weakness: YES – period pants might be best
I’d love to try them but i’m too scared! Honestly I hear you. I started off with the organic disposables and then just needed to try them. I faint at the sight of blood in water, so this was a MASSIVE thing for me to try, but honestly, it’s no bother. After all your own body is producing the blood, its part of womanhood, and actually quite empowering.
Heavy flow, what do you do? You just treat them like a normal pad, and if you need to change it more often that’s ok. They are absorb really well though, and you do forget you have them on. No more chaffing or waddling about!
What to do if you cant get them soaking straight away? I would say you could go a few hours without soaking them. Just run them under the tap as soon as you get home. I know people have old tubs that the soak them in, but i prefer to rinse them as soon as I can. If you are heading out in the morning and you won’t have the chance to soak, maybe wear a organic disposable heading out and then when you are changing put your reusable on, that way you’ll be home to be able to soak it! You can get wet/dirty bags to put them in, so you could fold and popper them up and pop in the bag till you get home. There is very little smell from them, if any!
Teenagers and school? This was a great question. Again incase of any embarrassing situations, organic disposable pads for school wear, then reusable ones at home. Also the Moon cup or period pants.
My best advice – TRY THEM. Start of with reusable panty liners and work your way up – that’s what I did. Ditching plastic/scented sanitary wear will be one of the best decisions you will make as a woman.
I just wish I had done it 20 years ago!
Here’s what some of my followers have said:
“The change I’ve witnessed using a cup is genuinely phenomenal! You can visibly see a change. Colour, length of period, cramping….all totally transformed! And after two pregnancies I struggled to achieve I’ve had a super simple natural pregnancy! Honestly life changing. With some pro+ in there too making so much difference.”
“3 years unexplained infertility (aged 27), had many treatments including IVF ending in miscarriage. Switched to menstrual cup, low toxin cleaning/living & daily Progessence PhytoPlus…natural conception 5 months later, due next week! No doubt in my mind that the changes I made supported this!!”
“I agree so so much!!! I have three daughters two who now have periods and the difference being able to wear period pants has made to them they don’t worry about leaking during a lesson at school or having to ask to go to the toilet mid lesson and get a negative mark. They are so much better. However people need to be so much better educated about periods and the bodies of those who have them!!!!”
“Laura!!! Totally agree with you here. Been using reusable pads for nearly a year now (and pro plus!) forgot them on a weekend to the north coast and had to buy horrible (what I used to use!) sanitary pads!! The smell and discomfort was wild 😩 and then got thrush for the first time ever a few days later!
I would never go back from reusables, they are the best.
(Sorry for the TMI, thought I’d join you!) 😂🙊”
Laura J xx