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A reusable cloth pad

Considering Period Underwear or Reusable Pads?

A reusable cloth pad

Every woman's menstrual cycle is different. But it's probably safe to say that we as women get our periods roughly every month, for roughly 5-7 days, for roughly 30-40 years. That's A LOT of tampons and pads touching our lady bits inside and out, likely carrying potentially harmful chemicals, and eventually ending up in landfills.

But it doesn't have to be this way. I've covered menstrual cups in a recent post, but these cups aren't the only alternative to traditional (and even organic) tampons and pads. There are also period underwear and reusable cloth pads, which have made pretty impressive strides in efficacy and fashion over the past few years.

Let's dive in and take a look at why so many women are using them.

What's so great about period underwear?

For starters, today's period underwear is looking more and more like traditional underwear—which is helpful for your self-esteem when you're already dealing with your period and all that comes with it. The only difference is that there's a thicker, more absorbent layer within the reusable underwear that prevents blood from leaking out (for the most part).

Another nice thing about period underwear is that they're more sustainable and better for the environment than even organic pads and tampons. Pair the eco-friendly appeal with the fact that you're not forking over $10-$20 per month on tampons and pads, and you can see the economical benefit as well.

Some women have also reported less cramping with period underwear, likely because they're not using a tampon. And because it's not advisable to wear tampons for more than 8 hours at a time, period underwear can be useful for overnight wear.

What's not so great about period underwear?

I can tell you from personal experience that period underwear isn't the end-all solution for most period woes. It works better as a backup or on lighter days, especially if you normally have a heavy period. Just like tampons and pads, it can hold fluids up to a point.

Another potential downside is the odor. If you've worn pads, then you know what I mean. And you'll have to wash them regularly and ideally separately from the rest of your laundry, which can be a hassle.

While period underwear looks like most traditional underwear, it does have its fashionable limits. If you're particular about what you wear down there, you might not find them to be as adorable as some claim them to be.

What about reusable cloth pads?

Similar to period underwear, cloth pads are reusable and more environmentally friendly than their traditional counterparts. They're washable as well but come in a variety of sizes and absorbency levels, so they can accommodate a heavier flow than period underwear. And the fashion world has made its mark here. Just do a quick Etsy search, and you'll see what I mean!

Bottom line? You know your flow more than anyone, so give these a shot to discover what works best for you.


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