Friday, August 15, 2008

My search for the perfect period panties

Like the majority of American women I used disposable pads and tampons for most of my life. Melissa made it her mission to convert me to cloth. I was skeptical. She sent me half dozen home made cloth mama pads. They are made of bamboo velour and backed by PUL. They have wings and are secured to my panties by a snap.

The next time Aunt Flo came around I was anxious to try them out. The first day I felt strange, like I was flowing and nothing was catching it. I did notice that my flow was considerable less then with disposables but I still wasn’t convinced that I could handle washing and reusing feminine hygene products. Luckjily I have a baby, so I can throw them in the wash with the diapers every other day.

I stuck with it though because I really wanted an alternative to the chemical ridden disposable options out there. By day three I was convinced that cloth period panties was the way to go. My flow was significantly lighter, I had NO CRAMPS-I am usually plagued by cramps in my first few flow days and my period lasted four days instead of my ususal six.

So I did a little reading. The average woman throws away about 275 pounds of tampons, pads and packaging in her lifetime and spends approximately $3000 on sanitary products. According to Michelle C. Larson LAc, LMT in Tucson Green Magazine. Additionally she reported that these items create a significant environmental impact. In 1998, 6.5 million tampons and 13.5 billion pads, plus their packaging were discarded in the U.S.

That doesn’t even touch on the women’s health aspect. There are trace amounts of Dioxin in disposable sanitary products is a carcinogen. Also, the super absorbant quality that makes a tampon so effective also tends to dry the walls of the vagina which can lead to some serious bacterial infections and increases the monthly flow.

Aha! So there was some truth to my flow being lesser then before.

After using only cloth for several months now I can confidently report that my periods are permanently lighter, are shorter and my menstrual symptoms of cramps and overall aches have disappeared. I recently was surprised by Aunt Flo while at a friend’s house. The only option I had was to borrow a disposable pad from her. ICK! After using cloth for so long, the pad felt rough and uncomfortable. I couldn’t wait to go home and get a “real” pad.

Summer is upon us and with that comes swimming season. I am hopeful that I will find a sustainable tampon alternative.


Meghan said...

Try the diva cup :) I have been meaning to tell you about it and keep forgeting. I told Jordan and she thought it was gross but it's really not.

Guinea Pig said...

I'd like panties not pads. The idea of things shifting and stuff makes me a little uncomfortable. You should design a full panty that replaces the idea of a pad. IMO. Keep me up to date huh!