How I learnt to embrace my blood, instead of plugging it up.
For years and years the whole idea of regular supermarket pads really grossed me out. I was a tampon woman through and through.
I just wanted to get my period over and done with asap with as little impact and inconvenience as possible.
But then in 2012 I started to think differently about a lot of things including 'that time of the month’.
As I began to understand the deeper significance of menstruation it suddenly seemed so wrong to obstruct the letting go of blood through the use of tampons.
My first transition away from tampons was using a menstrual cup which was a bit problematic and messy.
There were a few leakages in the beginning which I’m sure happens to everyone but the following incident is what made me decide to stop using them.
I was in a public toilet one day and my cup felt full so I took it out and emptied it’s contents into the toilet. Then it dawned on me, I needed to rinse the cup clean before re-inserting it!
There I was, bloody cup in hand, a queue of women waiting outside my cubicle, and no means to discreetly rinse my cup.
Maybe I should have been able to confidently open the door, march over to the basin and have bloody water swirling around the sink before going down the drain, but I just couldn’t.
Instead I waited until there was no one queuing up and then I quickly scurried out, rinsed, and quick stepped back into the cubicle.
That was the end of my menstrual cup experiment. Cups felt intrusive to me and I just didn’t like them enough to persevere.
Next I tried reusable cloth pads which ended up being was a way more pleasant than I thought it would be.
Having fabric next to my skin felt good and much nicer than chemically infused disposable pads. It also felt good not to be contributing to waste and landfill.
I’ve tried several different brands of cloth pads over the years and my all time favourites are from Ecopads Australia pictured below.
The fabric and finish on these pads is of a very high quality. One side has chord facing (pictured is navy blue chord but looks more black in this photo) and a decorative print on the other.
And see those press studs? They have a dual purpose. One to secure the pad around your undies and the other is to discreetly wrap and secure the pad once its been used.
There is a worthy cause behind Ecopads Australia too. With every pad you buy they donate one to young girls in India.
An alternative to fabric reusable pads is ‘period undies’ and my favourite brand is FLUX Undies. I have the ‘Flux Boyshort - Light’ and they feel so good to wear, especially at night. (Btw, I also bought the regular Flux Boyshort and it’s too much like a nappy for me so I’m steering clear of that one.
Have questions about reusable menstrual products? Let’s chat in the comments!
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