Can I tell you a secret? I don’t hate my period anymore! When I was that awkward teenage girl using disposable sanitary napkins I felt like I was wearing a diaper. I was too nervous and scared to try tampons until my cousin gave me one while we were at the beach one summer. Even then they were so dry and messy and stinky and let’s not even talk about the cramps! I really hated my period.
Then I had kids and took a period break while breastfeeding and that was nice until it returned about a year later. After my second baby, I was introduced to a few things that have since changed the way I look at my period – mama cloth and menstrual cups.
Please stay with me for a minute, I promise I’m just a regular mom and not some hippie crazy woman! I started using cloth diapers on my youngest baby and during that time I was introduced to mama cloth and menstrual cups. My first thought was probably very similar to what you’re thinking right now, “There is NO WAY I’m EVER going to try THAT!” or “Oh My Goodness, this is the craziest thing I’ve ever heard of!”
I finally got brave one day and ordered a few reusable cloth menstrual pads (mama cloth) and a Diva Cup. I figured if I was brave enough to try cloth diapers and love them that I would try this, too. I have to tell you, I no longer hate my period! The ickiness is gone! The smell is gone! The cramps are gone! No more sneaking tampons in my purse and hoping that people don’t hear me as I open the crinkly paper! No more running out and having to make that rush trip to the store. Why is it that no one told me about this when I was younger?? Why was this never an option before?
Reusable menstrual products aren’t a new phenomena. Menstrual cups have actually been around for 80+ years and reusable pads have been along for as long as women have been having periods.
The picture above is just a sample of reusable menstrual products that are on the market today. Some women prefer pads while others prefer menstrual cups. I personally prefer the pads on the super light, spotty days and for backup on super heavy days. I prefer the menstrual cup for most days and nights.
Interesting fact about menstrual cups – you only have to empty them every 8-10 hours! That’s right, you can go almost all day without having to worry about your period. Just insert (very similarly to a tampon) the cup and forget it for 8-10 hours. Even on my heaviest days I only have to empty it once a day. This means you don’t have to worry about your period while you’re at work or school. Seriously, some days I have to remind myself that I have it in because I barely even realize it’s there. Can you say that about a tampon??
While I prefer the cup, the cloth pad is nicer than disposable pads. They are soft and feel much like your own underwear (in fact they even make underwear with built-in pads), but you still need to change them about the same as a disposable pad. I like to pre-rinse mine in the sink to remove most of the blood before I wash them, but it’s not necessary. Reusable pads can be fun for teenagers, too, because they come in lots of different fun prints and colors.
There is a slight learning curve when learning how to insert a menstrual cup, but you’ll become a pro after your first month of using them. Since using these reusable menstrual products, I have shorter periods (usually only 3-4 full days), and I rarely have cramps or pain at all. In fact, I don’t dread “that” time of the month any longer.
To learn more about the different types of reusable menstrual products you can read, A Greener Period – Menstrual Cups, Mama Cloth and More. One of our other contributors, Kim, has a series of videos on menstrual cups. If you still have any questions just leave them in the comments section and I’ll be happy to answer them.
What are you waiting for? Are you ready to love your period!!