About eighteen months ago, I ditched my pads and tampons for eco-friendly alternatives and I’ve wanted to write a review about them but I’ve always been hesitant. I wasn’t sure why? Until now…
I recently started reading Brown Girl Like Me by Jaspreet Kaur. In the book, there is a section about periods and I quickly realised the reason I was hesitant to talk about periods is because growing up in a South Asian household, periods are a taboo subject. We rarely spoke about it. I never spoke to my cousins about it and I learned what I know from talking to my white friends and reading magazines like Just Seventeen (I’m showing my age!)
I’ve decided to take this taboo and kick it to the curb!
Women’s Environmental Network state on their website that menstrual pads can contain up to 90% plastic and 2 billion menstrual items are flushed down Britain’s toilets each year. This is absolutely shocking.
I had been using tampons since my late teens (pads before then) and I had been flushing tampons down the toilet, because that’s what I was told to do.
According to Friends of the Earth, menstrual products flushed down the toilet causes sewers to block (just like wet wipes). Many enter the sea and on beaches and the rest end up being incinerated or sits on landfill. Not to mention the plastic tampon applicators – you can follow Ella Daish about ending period plastic.
It takes quite a bit of getting used to it as it acts like a suction cup and found it a bit of a pain to use. When I’m tired, I could easily change my tampon without even thinking about it but with this, I needed to pay attention all the time. I work from home so emptying the cup wasn’t an issue, not sure how I would get on if I worked in an office. There are cleaning instructions you need to follow after you finished your period to ensure the cup is hygienic. Personally, I found it a bit of a faff but I know other’s who absolutely love it.
As someone who hasn’t worn pads since my teens (and after I had my child), I was a bit reluctant to try these but I didn’t want to go back to tampons.
Again, I did my research and read reviews. I ended up opting for five pairs I found in Sainsburys. I have to say, I was really surprised at them. I expected the pad to be uncomfortable, like I had a nappy on, but it wasn’t like that at all. The brand I bought also included odour control and, as someone who is prone to heavy periods, I was really conscious about leaking through my jeans. This wasn’t an issue at all.
In the morning, I rinsed my the pants I had been wearing last night while I’m in the shower which rinsed off most of the blood (there isn’t actually that much) and then pop it in the washing machine for a proper wash.
It was easy and I prefer period pants, if I go swimming and I’m on my period, I will use my menstrual cup.
The best advice I can give is to do your research, ask your friends and/or family for recommendations.
For both products, always read and follow the instructions.
I appreciate the initial cost my be a bit pricey but in the long run, you will save money and you will be helping the environment.