Period Products You Need to Know About

cycle living Feb 23, 2020

When I first got my period, I could use a pad or a tampon. Regular or maxi was about as far as the period product options went.

Ok wait, that's not completely true... my friend showed me her 'applicator tampon' and I remember thinking it was the fanciest thing ever!

A tool that took away that god-awful dry scratchy feeling of inserting a tampon, genius!

But let's be real, applicator tampons ain't got nothing on what 2020 has to offer us ladies in the department of feminine hygiene!

I've got some seriously cool products to tell you about today, and some that are also a little bit strange, like the mermaid tampon...

Anyway, let's take a look at what's on offer, shall we?

Period Undies

I’m starting with these because they are currently my fav period product to use!

How they work

Looking at them, you’d think they were just a regular pair of undies but they contain additional layers in the crutch that absorb your blood just like a pad would.

You’ll hardly even notice the extra layers though, it’s just like wearing a normal pair of undies! And just like pads, they come with different absorbency rates depending on your flow.

What you need to know

You’ll need to rinse and then wash them. I personally just rinse mine in the shower until the water runs clear and then wash them with the rest of my clothes. No biggie.

Why you need them in your period kit

They’re so flipping handy to have around!

For starters, you can wear them when you know your period is due but hasn't arrived yet, or when you think it might be coming.

They’re ultra-comfortable. No bulky pads, tampon strings or fluffing about with a menstrual cup. I don't think it gets any easier.

 

And, they're perfect for teens!

Give her the comfort of knowing she's protected from leaks or unexpected periods showing up without having to wear a pad ‘just in case’.

And lastly, you can wear them as a back up when you’re period is really heavy. You know, those days when you’re just not sure if you can trust your tampon or not?!

Menstrual cups

They’re kind of the darling of period products at the moment. And I’m certainly a fan-girl!

How they work

So it’s basically a little cup (with a stem) made of soft, flexible silicone or latex. You insert it into your vagina (a bit like you do with a tampon) and it just sits in there collecting your blood while you go about your day, being fabulous!

What you need to know

They come in a range of shapes, sizes and firmness. To be honest, it might take trying a couple before you find the one you like best. The first one I tried had a very firm stem that kind of poked me as I walked, it wasn’t good!

Also, they can take a little getting used to but don’t give up! Most of the ladies I know that use them (me included) totally love them and would never go back to tampons.

Why you need them in your period kit

Ok so firstly, they don’t dry out & irritate your vagina like a tampon does (those things don't discriminate with their absorbing, they suck up all moisture along with your menstrual fluids)

Cups can safely be left in longer than a tampon, including overnight! And they’re environmentally friendly - what’s good for Mama Nature is good for us all.

My recommendation

I love my juju cup and recommend choosing their un-dyed cup (clear).

Menstrual disc

I’ve just ordered one of these!

They work in a similar way to a menstrual cup except that a menstrual disc is a lot flatter in shape and they actually sit right up around your cervix.

They're meant to be even more comfortable than a cup, hold more menstrual fluid and can stay in during sex because of their flat shape.

I suspect it might be messy to remove though because of the way it needs to come back out…guess I’ll find out soon enough!

FYI - You can get both reusable and disposable menstrual discs.

Menstrual sponge

These are the mermaid tampons I mentioned earlier! Is that what you think of when you see the sea sponge below?

The idea behind these is really quite simple and to me, they sound like they'd be pretty comfortable!

 

From what I’ve read, you just wet it with warm water to help it soften up, then pinch the end and put it inside so it can soak up your menstrual fluids. You clean it under running water.

I haven’t tried one of these personally but they can be used as an alternative to disposable tampons and they should last at least 3 months, depending on which type you decide to get.

Tampliner

A tampon and panty liner all-in-one. These are so clever!

The liner actually sits in between your labia (not on your undies like most other liners do) so it really contours to your body. It's attached to the tampon via a breathable 'virtual applicator'.

 

When you remove the tampon it neatly wraps itself back into the applicator so it's ready for the bin with no mess.

Here's a video that explains exactly how they work.

Reusable Tampon Applicators

If you've always found tampons hard or uncomfortable to insert, you'll love an applicator. They make the whole process less 'scratchy' because the smooth applicator slides in so much easier than a dry tampon does!

Here's the world first reusable applicator.

Or, if you'd prefer, you can also buy disposable applicators from brands such as TOM organics.

Hey, cotton is a heavily sprayed crop and these things are going inside your highly absorbent vagina…choose organic ok?

And don’t ever leave a tampon in for longer than 8 hours because you can get something called Toxic Shock Syndrome.

One last thing about tampons, be a binner, not a flusher…flushing your tampon down the toilet is not cool. Don’t do it.

Reusable Pads & Bamboo Pads

Yep reusable pads! It's actually what women used before disposable pads came along and they're well-loved by ladies who are conscious of minimising their waste *high five to them*

Reusable pads are usually made of cotton and as you can imagine, require you to wash them after use! There are some seriously cute designs out there, take a look on Etsy or instagram and you'll easily find some.

If you're not keen on doing the reusable thing (no judgement here), maybe you'd like some bamboo pads! They're incredibly soft and more eco-friendly than cotton because bamboo is naturally pest-resistant (no pesticides needed) and grows quickly.

I use and recommend Tsuno for many reasons, one being that they donate 50% of their profits to help girls education and menstrual hygiene support for those who can't afford. What a bunch of legends!

Another great brand I found recently is Bamboo Babe who make pads that are completely biodegradable, including their packaging.

  

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