Let’s talk about feminine hygiene products!
So technically this might not exactly fit with the general topics of this blog but since I do talk about the quality of the things you put on your skin, I wanted to post about this so that you are more aware of some options you might not know about.
We often start off just assuming that pads and tampons are our only good choices when it comes to that time of the month. And while I haven’t switched to cloth pads or panty liners, I did switch about 6 years ago to using a menstrual cup. The Diva Cup to actually give you the info on the brand I use. Regular commercial tampons are just really not healthy for you. Technically neither are the bleached and chemically processed pads and panty liners (though those are better than tampons usually.) Not to mention that the scented ones are even worse for you.
Since I don’t want to personally explain all of the details (and in fact there are people who have done WAY more research than I have on the topic) I’m going to share with you the following very helpful video.
This is basically an excellent half hour crash course on menstrual cups that goes into a lot more detail about the who what when where and why of everything as well as including some options I haven’t used personally.
And one other thing to note: I DO use a pantiliner for spotting just so any tiny rare bit that escapes the menstrual cup doesn’t ruin my underwear. It’s not been much after getting used to using the cup but it is enough to ruin your favorite gray pair of undies (or at least I can’t seem to ever get the stains out. I only wear cotton undies. I think if I wore nylon or some of the other materials, washing them out would be less of a problem.)
One of the things that’s been concerning me lately though has been the adhesives on the pads. I have actually broken out in a rash on my thigh before when one wasn’t fully stuck to my underwear. It didn’t stick to my skin but the exposure to the adhesive seemed to actually cause the rash. Which I can also say I’ve had that problem with a few select bandaides as well depending on where they are on my body (finger seems to never be a problem – leg I seem to have more of a reaction.) Some adhesives just seem more toxic than others.
Adhesive is an arena where it’s a balancing act between convenience and chemicals. So I just ordered some organic cotton panitliners to try … though there’s absolutely zero info on its adhesive even there. I have such a hard time finding underwear that I love that I just haven’t yet explored the non-adhesive fabric pantiliner options. There are a few out there. Though even fewer if you wear thong underwear.
So to recap:
- Watch the video above – you will thank me.
- Pick out and try a menstrual cup. You may even find that cramping is far less after a couple of months with a cup so if you are switching from using tampons there’s some additional incentive there to give this a shot.
- Pads & Pantiliners: Check out more organic options when it comes to pads and definitely skip anything scented OR check out the cloth pantiliner options. You can however use a menstrual cup before you start your period if you’re fairly regular so if you want to skip pads altogether it is possible.
Update Aug 2015:
I gave up on pads and liners with the diva cup and everything has been fine. I’m just little more careful with positioning it and there are no leaks. I did buy a few extra pairs of underwear that would be cheap to replace though just in case.
There’s also something else I just saw that people might want to try, period panties: