Here I will share the evolution of my menstrual products. And I’m telling you because I think everyone has their perfect product or combination of products, but you have to test them out, tweak them, and figure out what’s right for you.
I grew up thinking there were only two ways to “manage” your period — you started with pads and then you graduated to tampons. And that was that.
I got my first period at the age of 14. I didn’t even hear of any alternatives to disposable pads or tampons until I was in my third year of college.
I can’t recall when or how, but I was eventually introduced to the knowledge that something called menstrual cups existed.
Looking further into them and how they worked had me squirming in my seat.
Blood collecting where?! But it could spill everywhere.
Insert it how? What do you mean I would have to go near my vagina with something other than a safe plastic applicator?
I baulked in a class that such things existed. A classmate piped in, “Yeah, haven’t you heard? They’re really not that big of a deal. I’ve used one.” [Obviously these weren’t her exact words, but it’s the gist of it].
A few years later and I’m an avid cup user. I’ve got a collection inside of an old tea box in the second drawer to the right in my bathroom.
I think alternate period products are gaining more popularity, but maybe I don’t have a clear judgement because I’ve entangled myself into the menstrual community. But someone has to do it!
So, I’m going to take you through all the ways in which you can beautifully coincide with your period once a month. Well, all the ways I’m currently aware of.
We’re all know of disposable pads and tampons. So much so that I’m not even going to bother in going over them. You’ve heard of them.
Moving along, let’s touch on menstrual cups. We’ve all heard of them. They’re a great alternative to tampons if you’re not into the waste produced by tampons or all of the chemical housed in those little cotton wads. They’re great for swimming, sports, and you can sleep in them. They last up to around 10 years, if cared for properly.
Next, let’s talk about reusable pads, a somewhat up and coming alternative to disposable pads. Often they’re made out of cotton and other fabrics meant to absorb without irritating.
Lesser known on the list are sponges. Now, these aren’t your run of them mill sponges used to wash dishes. Nope, often they’re sea sponges that are used much like tampons, worn inside your vagina to absorb, be removed, rinsed and reinserted. Although you’re creating less waste then if you were using tampons, the sponges do deteriorate over time and have to be replaced more frequently than say a cup. I struggled with the process of inserting and removing them. So, in the drawer they remain for now
And my newest discovery? Period underwear. Wait what? Isn’t that like a diaper? Not in the slightest.
I’m going to let you in on a secret that I don’t think many women talk about. I leak. I leak a little bit of blood no matter what I use. Tampon, cup, sponge, doesn’t matter. My solution was always extra thin panty liners. But I absolutely detest them. They irritate me to the point of feeling like I’m in the beginning stages of an UTI.
I tried reusable pads, and will try them again, but thus far they have been too bulky for me, and I haven’t gotten a good cleaning system down.
But these period panties?? Pure menstrual magic.
I normally have a few days of light spotting before and after my period, and there are three days of normal bleeding.
Now, instead of having to wear those pesky disposable liners or wear my cup when I really don’t need it, I can just slip into my undies. Not only am I covered with just them on my light days, but I can use them as my back up to my cup when I have a heavier flow.
And that’s that. This is where I’m at in my menstrual product journey. I’m curious to see if there are any more inventions for us ladies in the future, or just improvements on the products we have.
[The RubyCup has been my go to cup, check it out here with my affiliate link.]