About two years ago, I stopped using tampons. They were leaving me dry and sore and I couldn't stop thinking about all the damn chemicals in them. The final straw finally came one day at the end of my cycle. I removed the tampon, did my business, and then tried in vain to flush the damn thing down the toilet. It had suctioned itself to the side of the basin and would not budge. As I stood there flushing, the only thing I could think was:
I'm putting this where?
I promptly put my hands on a Diva Cup and started using that.
During my research, however, I ran across something else. Cloth pads. In particular, I ran across the HagRag.
Now, I know this may make me seem weird(er). But ever since I was a teenager and I read those Clan of the Cave Bear books, I've been interested in reusable pads. Because, you know, why not? I used cloth diapers with my son, and that was no big deal. It wasn't gross or yucky. In fact, I like them so much better than the disposables!
I sent off for a Sample Pad, and patiently waited for it to arrive. When it did, I was totally enamored! It was cute and soft and looked like pajamas. I don't know about you, but when I'm starting my cycle, all I want is to curl up in some jammies and watch movies or read. What with having a job and all, that's usually not practical. Jammies I can take with me and wear undercover? That is so awesome!
I started this year to build a collection that would be suitable for getting me through a cycle without having to do laundry twice a day. While my collection is not "complete", I have switched over from the Diva Cup to the cloth pads almost completely.
I digress: I do enjoy the Diva Cup, and it does work and well and I'll be covering my experience with mine in a later edition of the How Granola? News.
I very much enjoy them. They're soft and fun and versatile and really work well. You can adjust the absorbency by changing the liners. You can get cute, fun bags to carry them in, so you can whisk away to the restroom without strangers looking at you like you're one of those people.
One of the things I noticed when I was wearing disposable pads before getting my Diva Cup, was that they smell. If you use pads, you may know what I mean. It's horrid! I actually thought for a while that there was something wrong with women that we smell this way and that this could not be natural, and no wonder they make so many feminine products with deodorants!
You know what? It's totally the chemicals in the disposable pads (mmmm…. Now there's a thought! Where are we putting that, again?). When I started using the cloth pads, the smell disappeared. There is still an odor, sure, because it's your body and your body makes odors. But it's light and, frankly, in comparison to the disposable pads, it smells almost clean. It definitely smells normal and natural and you don't feel like the person standing in line behind you surely can smell that.
I've started collecting cloth pads for Monkey Do, so that she has a set all ready for her when she finally gets her cycle. SweetPea still swears by her tampons, but she also wears boxer briefs, so I don't think the cloth pads would work, anyway.
What's the savings? You can get some information about that here. But it just makes sense… Think about how many pads or tampons you use for each cycle. Twelve cycles a month, over the course of about 40 years? That's a lot of waste product, pollution, chemicals and money! Not to mention the risk to our health from Toxic Shock Syndrome.
To me, reusable feminine hygiene products are the obvious answer, no matter which option you choose.