A DIFFERENT KIND OF MOON CYCLE
Many girls and women use disposable pads and tampons when they have their period in order to absorb their menstrual flow. However, other girls and women use neither—they utilize alternative methods such as cloth pads, sea sponges, and menstrual cups. The reasons they do so are quite numerous, but three of the most significant reasons why are:
(1) Most store-bought pads and tampons are made with bleach and other chemicals that probably aren’t very good for a woman’s body, (2) Hundreds of thousands of disposable pads and tampons fill landfills and wash up on beaches every year—a big source of pollution, and (3) It saves a lot of money—since alternative menstrual products can be used again, you don’t have to keep constantly buying more.
I’m here to let you know about three kinds of these products and how they work!
If you prefer to use pads over a product that is inserted into your vagina, cotton pads are a great idea. Cotton is a highly breathable and absorbent material, making it an excellent fabric for girls and women with sensitive skin. Cotton pads can be thick or thin for different stages of menstrual flow, and you just wash them when you’re done with them and presto, ready to re-use for your next period! They usually last for up to about five years.
Sea sponges are literally that—dried and cleaned sea sponges that are small and fit comfortably in your vagina. Since they are sponges, they are highly absorbent, and you can take them out and wash them every 4-6 hours during your period. Many women who are prone to yeast infections like sea sponges because they are not made from any kind of synthetic material. They last about half a year and are relatively inexpensive. Also, they can be disposed of in an environmentally friendly way.
Menstrual cups are small cups with a tab on the end for removal, usually made from rubber or silicone. They are capable of holding a great deal of menstrual blood, collecting the blood rather than absorbing it and can be left in for a longer amount of time than a tampon—you just take it out and clean it a couple of times a day. Girls and women who find their vaginal tissues are dried out by tampons often like this alternative method.
ONE LAST WORD
There’s nothing wrong with using pads or tampons if you find that’s what works best for you! There are also organic and cotton pads and tampons on the mass market as well if you find that’s better for your body. It is always helpful to talk to a trusted adult before you decide to try an alternative menstrual product or if you need assistance in figuring out exactly how it works.
For cloth pads, you can go to www.gladrags.com
For sea sponges, you can go to www.pandorapads.com/sponge.htm
For a rubber menstrual cup you can go to www.keeper.com and for silicone menstrual cups go to www.mooncup.co.uk