5 Alternative Menstrual Products Other Than The Usual Pads Or Tampons

By Yiing Zhi - April 21, 2021
5 Alternative Menstrual Products Other Than The Usual Pads Or Tampons

Everyone who menstruates knows the struggle of finding a suitable product, and/or the cost of these products. Menstruation typically happens every month, and since most menstrual products happen to be of one-time usage and disposable, they can rack up high costs and high waste. As with most disposable products, pads and tampons contain quite a lot of plastic, besides the obviously absorbent parts. That isn't exactly environmental-friendly either, and some products may not be suitable for all to use. But as the years have progressed, there are now some alternative menstrual products that aren't disposable pads and tampons, so they could be healthier and cost less in the long run.

Check Out These Alternative Menstrual Products!

1) Reusable Cloth Pads

Let's start off with something familiar. Pads, but reusable ones. Reusable pads are typically made with cloth, and depending on where you get them from, they can be organic. Just like regular disposable pads, cloth pads are also available in different sizes to suit your needs. Without plastic components, they may be better for those with sensitive skin as well. The best benefit, of course, is that it's definitely an eco-friendly option. Zero-waste store The Hive sells them.

2) Menstrual Cups

Next up, we have menstrual cups. Menstrual cups are funnel-shaped cups that are inserted into the vagina. Think of it as a tampon, except that instead of being absorbent, it collects the fluid. Menstrual cups also come in different sizes, and it is said that if you're used to a tampon, you should find using a menstrual cup alright. The thought of inserting a menstrual cup for the first time can be daunting, but there are various tips and tricks as well as folding methods to help make it more comfortable. The Hive also provides menstrual cups.  

3) Period Underwear

Just like regular underwear, except that it's super absorbent. Period underwear seems to have surged in popularity recently, and it's quite easy to see the appeal. There's no extra step (like putting on a pad), and nothing is going up anywhere for those who find that scary/uncomfortable, so it easily seems like the most comfortable option among all the menstrual products. Many brands selling intimates now carry period underwear, so it's not just a matter of finding the best one for you. They come in different sizes and absorbencies, and you don't need to keep changing them--they usually can be worn for 8-12 hours, depending on your flow.

4) Menstrual Sponges

It is exactly what it is. A sponge, like maybe what you use for the dishes, except that that this sponge is used to absorb menstrual fluid. It has been described as a "soft tampon", which may make things more comfortable, but the only issue is that people are divided on its safety, since sponges can contain yeast, sand, and mold among other things--they are sea sponges after all--which has the potential to cause infections and toxic shock syndrome among other things. These health concerns cause it to be less marketed, but it remains an option. Just be sure what you're getting yourself into with this.

5) Menstrual Discs

The menstrual disc is like a menstrual cup, but it looks like a disc, and is positioned differently than a menstrual cup. The menstrual cup goes in your vaginal canal and below the cervix, while the disc sits higher up at the vaginal fornix, where the canal meets the cervix. You insert it like how you would insert a cup, but push it higher up; a landmark is apparently the pubic bone--you want to push it past that as high as it can go so that it completely covers the cervix. Most menstrual discs are disposable, but since they can be worn up to 12 hours depending on your flow, it still creates less waste than disposable pads/tampons. Also, since menstrual discs are that high up, you can also engage in sexual intercourse with the disc in, if that's what you like. Very enthusiastic movements may dislodge it, but there's no way to find out till you give it a go.

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