I have always struggled with my period. I have had cramps since day 1 of my journey into womanhood, and have always hated those few days a month. In addition to bad cramps, I have always considered incredibly demeaning the amount of money that a woman has to spend on menstrual products every single month. I have always thought it was not really fair to pay for a product so much, when it really is a necessity and not an accessory?
The Truth About Disposable Pads
Disposable Pads are unnecessarily expensive
Well, clearly, I hadn’t considered carefully the implications with producing a product as a disposable menstrual pad. Just like with many brands, the money you pay go in a wide variety of elements that contribute to the final product. Not only the basic manufacturing, but also the packaging and the marketing. A modern era’s clichè.
They are not biodegradable, and can have devastating consequences for the environment
A part from the monetary aspect, I was not happy at all about the devastating ecological consequences of my “monthly gift”. Using an average of 10 disposable menstrual pads a month, that would mean a staggering number of 120 pads disposed every year, which would have counted to about 1800 pads used and disposed of since the inception of being a “woman”. This is without counting disposable tampons and panty liners.
They are soaked with “anti-odours” chemicals
Ever wonder what the blue liquid which fights bad smell that you see in commercials is? Well, they are chemicals. The truth is that menstrual pads are NOT comfortable at all. They irritate your skin and the sticky wings sometimes can really be a pain to put in place properly.
These points were more than enough for me to STOP using disposable pads and looking for reusable options. After an extensive research and hours of Youtube video reviews, I have decided to buy my first reusable pad. And I will never turn back!
I have purchased my first reusable pads on Amazon from Heartfelt and I am actually really impressed with the performance.
The Pros About Bamboo Charcoal Reusable Pads
They are incredibly soft
I have been truly surprised by how soft these pads are. I had read a lot of reviews claiming that the pads are bulky and uncomfortable which I have to disagree with. Looking back at disposable pads, I am astonished by how rough and unpleasing they were compared to these ones!
The black colour of the bamboo charcoal helps reduce the “gross” factor
Reusable pads come in a wide variety of colours, and among the most common ones, you can find white cotton ones and black bamboo fleece ones. They are both extremely absorbent, but the black ones contribute making our period easier in terms of reducing the actual visibility of the blood. Yes, the blood will still be there, but at least you won’t be grossed out every time you make a stop to the bathroom!
The fleece is really absorbent
I have used these pads overnight and had no leaks. Yes, there may be some side spilling going on, but the wings are made of an absorbent material too so the blood should not stain your bed sheets.
They feature 2 clips designed to keep the pad in place, and to be used on the go
Thanks to 2 clips these pads are really designed to stay in place and avoid messy accidents. This doesn’t mean that they will 100% not move, but they really do a good job in not moving around too much. As an added bonus, the two clips can be used also to close the pad on itself once finished using it, especially if you are out and need to change.
They do a pretty good job in retaining bad odours
Considering that no perfumes or weird chemicals are added, these pads can really retain bad odours. This does not mean that they will smell like fresh bouquet, but the fleece does a pretty good job with keeping nasty feelings in.
They are super easy to clean
Once you have finished using one, all you need to do is rinse the pad under hot running water and squeeze to remove the blood. Once you see that the water is becoming clear, you can throw it in the washing machine. Alternatively, if you need to reuse the pad and don’t have time to wait for a whole wash load to finish, you can also soak them in a bowl of hot water with a few drops of anti-bacterial laundry detergent.
This is what I usually do: after I have squeeze any excess out, I rub the fleece with some natural soap to clean the surface. I then soak them for about 1 hour in a hot water bowl with some laundry anti-bacterial liquid. Once rinsed, they will take 3-4 hours to dry, which is ok as I will have another pad ready to use. It’s all about planning ahead!
The Cons About Reusable Pads
I find them challenging to wear when outdoors
I have to be entirely honest but I am not too keen in wearing these pads when I am at work or out for a whole day, especially when I am on the first days of the period. I cannot get my head around having to change the pad and leaving its soaking wet companion my bag’s pocket. Nope. The cup is the answer! I use OrganiCup and could not be happier with the results. On the contrary, reusable pads to me are perfect to use in the comfort of your house.
The washing up takes up a bit of time and patience
Sustainable products are often possible thanks to our willingness to give up a little of our time and consciously decide to “go back in time” and try to live more slowly. Yes, it is much more “convenient” to just use and toss. But this is not what a zero waste lifestyle is about. Just give up a little bit of your time and energy for the planet and your health and it I promise it will be worth it!
Require frequent cleaning
They are not the best solution on-the-go