Readers, please don’t read this if you are squeamish about periods. It’s about <gasp> periods! My friend, Anne, has jumped on the reusable-cloth-pad-bandwagon and she’s never falling off. I asked her to share her story, from the perspective of a first-timer. I think that anyone considering Lunapads would find a first-timer’s story to be valuable. However, Anne has always been <ahem> a little blunt… and she isn’t about to change that, ha! Thank you, Anne!
As you know, Mrs. Okayest Mom is a Lunapads Ambassador. (You can read about my personal story here.) Being a Lunapads Ambassador means that I DO NOT SELL their products, but I do PROMOTE their products for a personal kick-back. I tell it to you straight, my friends! Enter my code at checkout for 5% off: 515013
Here is Anne’s Story:
When my friend Mrs. Okayest first posted about Lunapads, I read her story and almost immediately went to the website and ordered The Deluxe Starter pack for myself. Ten years ago I would have thought of the potential mess/ hassle/ smell/ leak potential of using cloth pads and balked. After all, how many times have I read about a historical heroine’s stack of cloths for her monthlies (or however they refer to it) and instantly given up any desire to live in an historical era? So why did I decide to try reusable cloth menstrual pads? I may have been a bit on the crunchy side in college. I love nature, and I want to “save the environment” as much as I can: I recycle, reuse, use natural products, shop local and organic. Well, maybe not all the time, but I try. On the other hand, my babies wore disposables. I TRIED cloth diapers, really I did, but they leaked instantly every time. My clothes and Tempurpedic bed could not take it. After the first week, my husband dutifully ran out for a box of Pampers and we never looked back, despite my lingering guilty conscience (I comforted myself reading that in areas with drought, disposables are the more environmentally friendly option because of the amount of water a washer uses. Just because I don’t live in an area with drought …). So believe me when I say that as much as I do try to be environmentally conscious and deem it a worthy cause, I did not try Lunapads with the Earth’s interests at heart, but with my own, and I’m never looking back.
Mrs. Okayest and Anne, circa 1993. Not sure if my perm or her pose is funnier.
Here we reach a divide. I’ve always been very comfortable talking about my body, medical issues, bodily functions, etc. Ask Mrs. Okayest – I taught her how to use tampons when we were in high school together. Therefore, I am going to go into very specific detail about why I was interested in Lunapads. For those of you not interested in the full story, but simply looking for a review of the product, I will ask you one question. Would you rather sit naked on a pillow or a piece of sandpaper? Three further positive points: 1) The ick factor is no more and possibly less than with disposable pads. 2) They do NOT leak any more than disposable pads – ie. right around the wings if you don’t change it often enough. 3) The clean-up is not bad at all, and it means that you aren’t left with a smelly trash can (even the little ones with the lids, like I use, smell bad with used pads and tampons in them). One negative: Once you add the inserts for heavier days, they get a little bulky. For my heaviest days, I have taken to using tampons instead of adding inserts to the pad. For slightly heavy and lighter days, the pad without insert holds quite a lot (and does not feel wet or yucky at all). And I do have VERY heavy heavy days (the largest super absorbency tampon lasts ONE hour), so the pad even without insert could work well for someone without quite so heavy a period.
Now for the full story explaining why I tried Lunapads. I have sensitive skin. Everywhere. And it’s getting more and more sensitive. I’ve always found pads a bit itchy, but in the past few years my reaction has increased to the point that I’ve had a hard time not scratching the exterior vaginal skin raw all through my period. I’ve tried anti-itch cream and medicated wipes, but the relief never lasts long. I do wear tampons, which don’t seem to irritate me the same way, but my period is heavy enough that I always have to have a pad too for at least a couple of days. By the end of each period, I would basically have a severe case of diaper rash in the shape of a pad. I don’t even want to talk about the time I sent my husband out for pads on a trip and he came back with the scented kind. In the middle of the night I had to give up and take the thing off and wrap my underwear with toilet paper until I could go buy unscented ones in the morning. If I’m sensitive to whatever’s in regular pads, I’m downright allergic to scented ones. The worst was on my clitoris. It took a good week and a half at least after my period for my poor clit to recover enough to let my husband near it. My periods already last 8 days. Do the math. This problem was definitely impeding my love life (the fact that my ever-increasing sensitive skin issues extended to latex didn’t help much either, but luckily the alternatives have yet to pose a problem). I spent years simply dreading my period and slathering myself with the previously mentioned creams and wipes. I even tried all the diaper rash ointments. They actually helped more than the anti-itch creams, but I felt so gooey and worried that I had visible moist-looking patches appearing on my pants, that I stopped those. Next, I tried the super-expensive, all organic, natural, dye-free, etc. pads. Well, they were even WORSE! Obviously it wasn’t simply the chemicals in pads that bothered me (I actually now suspect it might have been the adhesive, since I also react badly to bandaids). And they leaked and were stiff and crunchy. This was about the time I saw Mrs. Okayest’s post about Lunapads.
I have now used Lunapads for four months, and what a relief it has been! The soft squishy flannel is even softer and more comfortable than underwear. I no longer have diaper rash for two weeks of every month. And the logistical part of the transition has also not been a problem. I bought one of the large wet bags that they sell on the Lunapads site. Both the pads and the bags come in a variety of cute prints. I chose the pinkish ones, figuring they wouldn’t show stains. That has certainly been true, but they wash so clean that I don’t think the pink was necessary for stain concealment. Mrs. Okayest has said that she has an opaque jar with water for soaking her used pads in her bathroom and then she dumps the whole thing in the washer. I actually just rinse them out right away in the sink and then put the rinsed wet ones in the wet bag I keep next to the toilet. I’m not easily grossed out and blood doesn’t bother me, so Mrs. Okayest’s method might work better for someone else. I personally was more grossed out by the idea of having a jar with my period blood coloring the water than I am by just rinsing them in the sink. If I’m out I just keep a ziploc bag in my purse, although Lunapads does sell small wet bags too, which I might eventually purchase for a more pleasing asthetic than a ziploc (I do NOT rinse used pads out in the public bathrooms out of courtesy to other people, but instead wait until I get home). I also love that I don’t have the smelly trash can issue I mentioned above, and, in fact, the pads smell much less than regular pads. Maybe it was my personal bad reaction to pads, but I always had a pretty strong yucky smell with the disposables, and now have nearly no smell with the Lunapads. The pads have so far held up well to washing. At the end of my period, I put the wet bag and the pads through the wash and then store the clean pads in the bag between periods. The Deluxe Starter pack (I think that’s the one I got…) has four longer pads and four shorter ones, with both a winged and a straight insert for each (for anyone wondering, the pads have a little elastic band on each end of the pad, and you simply slip the ends of the insert under the bands). Sometimes I need to wash a couple of the shorter ones to get me through a few lingering light days, but, on the whole, it’s about the right number of pads for a whole period. I now shudder with the memory of disposable pads and will never use them again! And now maybe I can once again indulge myself with fantasies of living in historical eras without the “cloths” putting me off… Oh, and I’m saving the environment!
Mrs. Okayest says: I absolutely love sharing Lunapads with others! (I mean, sharing ABOUT Lunapads- not actually sharing Lunapads. Eww.) If you want to try them, please use the discount code below, which is linked to ME, and I will get a little kickback from the company for referring you. Win-win. If you are unsure if you want to try them, and you’re local to me, I have UNUSED, NEW samples of the products that I can show you.
What do you think? Would you ever consider reusable pads? Why or why not? I’m curious! I am happy to answer any questions you have!
Enter this code at checkout for 5% off: 515013
-I am not a salesperson. I do not sell any products, and I am not trying to get anyone else to sell any products. However, I am an official “Lunapads Ambassador”, which means that I promote their products. I do receive a straight percentage of each purchase I refer.
-My views expressed here are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Lunapads company.
-I am not a doctor and I do not offer medical advice for anyone else’s body other than my own.