Don’t Go All the Way (Reusables for Your Nether Regions)

Cozy, I tell you. Cozy.

Cozy, I tell you. Cozy.

You don’t always have to go all the way, you know. Heehee.

When I started using cloth reusable menstrual pads, I had an “all or nothing” mentality. I thought I had to quit using disposable products completely, as if I were trying to quit caffeine cold turkey. I didn’t realize that I didn’t have to go ALL THE WAY right away.

Ease into it, ladies. If you’re unsure, take your time. Buy a sample. Test the waters.

You could get a couple of pads to practice with at home, when you’re relaxed and comfortable, and keep using whatever you’re used to when you leave the house.

Or, you could just wear the cloth pads at night for a while to see how you like them, and continue with the old familiar stuff during the day. (I LOVE wearing the cloth pads at night – it feels like fleece jammie pants on my hoo-ha!)

You could buy the Diva Cup and experiment with it when you’re at home. You can leave it in for twelve hours, so you might find you aren’t afraid to leave the house with it in anyway.

I have a feeling that you would love the changes, and you would eventually use the cloth pads more and more. You would find that they don’t stink like disposables. You would find that laundering them is not a big deal like you thought it would be. You would find that you love not going to the store for more each month. You would find that you love not wearing plastic on your nether regions. You would find that you feel … cozy down there. You might even find that some weird irritations you were having might go away.

I have a feeling you would eventually just switch over all the way… but you can go slow at first. You have my permission to not go all the way.

***

The views expressed here are my own and are not necessarily those of the Lunapads company. I am not a doctor and do not offer medical advice.

You can read more about my partnership with Lunapads  and my personal love of cloth menstrual pads.

I do not sell Lunapads, but I promote them. I am a Lunapads Ambassador and I receive a straight percentage of any sales I refer. If you would like to purchase Lunapads yourself, please use MY code 515013 (and, let’s be honest, to give me my kickback!). Enter 515013 in the “Ambassador Referral” box at checkout. (Don’t worry: you can still use other coupon codes in the “discount code” box, such as “AMBFIVE” for 5% off, in conjunction with my ambassador code.)

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Periods and Preparedness (What’s Your Period Gonna Do in a Zombie Apocalypse?)

Why do we never talk about periods when we talk about preparedness? I think reusable menstrual products should be a part of every preparedness kit and home storage. In a zombie apocalypse, would you seriously be able to get to the store for disposable pads?! Just kidding. Kind of. Mormons don’t believe in a zombie apocalypse.*

As an LDS woman, I follow the counsel of my church to be self-reliant. This includes being prepared for emergencies. We are financially careful; I have a year’s supply of food storage in the house; I have a 72-hour kit for each member of my family (including my dog). We are prepared to shelter-in-place or to get out of the house in seconds. And, yet, in all of that preparing, I never really thought about periods!

Sure, I added a few tampons to my 72-hour kits, but, umm, it wasn’t until I started using reusable cloth pads regularly that I gave any thought to long-term menstrual planning. (Heehee, that just sounds ridiculous!)

Even if you’re not down with reusable pads or the DivaCup (tampon alternative) in your daily life, let’s talk about scenarios in which it would behoove you to have them in your home storage or 72-hour kits anyway.

If someone in your home lost a job, you would be cutting expenses. Wouldn’t it be great to rely on your reusable products when your period comes? You could save $5-10 per month, easily, by switching during times of crisis.

What if there were a local emergency in your area? For example, if a tree fell on part of your house (which recently happened to two different friends of ours), or a hurricane or a flood came, and you were evacuated, you would grab your 72-hour kits and head to the shelter – or to your grandma’s house in the woods. And then your period might decide to start. Like me, you may have put a couple tampons in your 72-hour kit, but that wouldn’t be enough. Then what? The stores are closed for the emergency, and your grandma stopped keeping pads in the house about thirty years ago. Looks like you’re stuffing towels in your pants.

What if there were a larger crisis? A state-wide or nation-wide crisis? (Sorry, I’ve been reading a lot of post-apocalyptic fiction lately.) What if shipments were delayed? What if the store was out of tampons? Or, worse, what if the stores were closed permanently? What if you were trapped in your home and had to shelter-in-place? How long would your disposable supply in your house last?

On the other hand, how long would your reusable stash last? You guessed it: indefinitely.

Reusable products also take up less space in your kits than disposable products would. One DivaCup would take the place of several dozen boxes of tampons, since they last for several years. Reusable pads last indefinitely (I’ve been using mine for about five years and they are in perfect condition), and would take the place of a whole landfill worth of pads.

Even if you no longer menstruate due to menopause, surgery, illness, cancer, hysterectomy, or pregnancy, what about your daughters and granddaughters? What about your sisters? What about all the people in your life who aren’t prepared? Dang, just throw a couple reusable pads in that kit and be somebody’s hero.

If you’re the kind of person who believes in preparedness as much as I do, make sure you’re thinking about your period too! That’s all I’m saying.

***

And, by the way, something rolling around in my head was a post about how reusable pads would save your butt in a zombie apocalypse, but someone beat me to it: 10 Reasons Menstrual Cups Will Save Your Ass in a Zombie Apocalypse. (A slight bit irreverent, but periods are a bit irreverent.)

***

*Although the LDS church promotes self-reliance and provident living, it probably does not promote the idea of post-apocalyptic fiction. Or zombies. Or the use of the word “ass” (sorry). Or any doomsday scenarios whatsoever. We are simply supposed to be prepared. We cannot help others in any kind of crisis without first helping ourselves. For more info, visit www.providentliving.org.

***

The views expressed here are my own and are not necessarily those of the Lunapads company. I am not a doctor and do not offer medical advice.

You can read more about my partnership with Lunapads  and my personal love of cloth menstrual pads.

I do not sell Lunapads, but I promote them. I am a Lunapads Ambassador and I receive a straight percentage of any sales I refer. If you would like to purchase Lunapads yourself, please use MY code 515013 for 5% off your total purchase (and, let’s be honest, to give me my kickback!). Enter 515013 in the “Ambassador Code” box at checkout. (Don’t worry: you can still use other coupon codes in the “discount code” box, in conjunction with my ambassador code.)

[Girls Only Please] Anne’s First Lunapads Experience

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

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

***

Fine Print:

-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.

[Girls Only Please] My Personal Lunapads Story

LunapadsWhy I do I use reusable cloth menstrual pads, you may ask? Well, let me tell you!

It started when my fertility doctor suggested that, because of my endometriosis, I stop wearing tampons. (Keep in mind that this was just one doctor’s opinion.) He believed that tampons could exacerbate the symptoms of endometriosis for several reasons. First, we don’t know what causes endometriosis, and adding the chemicals from tampons might not be a good idea. Tampons have some pretty controversial (i.e., toxic) chemicals in them. Second, endometriosis comes with painful cramps, so using my muscles down there to hold in a tampon might worsen the cramps. I had never thought about it before.

Ok, I thought, what do I do now? I had used tampons since I was about 14. Pads were gross and they were for babies. I reluctantly re-taught myself how to use pads. I hated them. It was gross, stinky, uncomfortable, and sweaty. Somehow, I came across the Lunapads site. I had never heard of reusable pads. For the cost of several months’ worth of disposable pads, I got enough reusable pads to last indefinitely.

They were super cute! I loved them. Suddenly, my period seemed a little more fun and a little less gross. They were so cozy. It was a little weird getting used to the whole thing, but I felt weirdly happy about it all. They were a little bulkier, but I got used to it. Now, when I have to wear a disposable pad or a tampon for some reason, I am pretty grouchy.

The Lunapads come in different sizes, shapes, absorbencies, patterns, and colors. Later, after I really got into this way of doing things, I tried the Lunapanties, which are padded underwear that can hold reusable pad inserts. Now I think all underwear should be slightly padded. Come on, let’s be honest, women are messy! The Lunapads company also sell reusable Diva Cups, which are an alternative to tampons.

When my first son arrived (via adoption: no postpartum bleeding from him), I continued to use the Lunapads. I switched to cloth diapers for my son for a little while, and, I must say, reusable pads are WAY easier than cloth diapers. And cloth diapers aren’t too bad, really, but they do have toxic poop on them. At least your Lunapads won’t have that fate. If you use cloth diapers on your child, why on earth wouldn’t you consider cloth pads for yourself?

When my twins arrived a couple of years later (via my body), I had ten weeks of postpartum bleeding. Ten weeks! While these soft flannel pads are much kinder to a postpartum body than disposable pads, I have to admit that particular time in my life was too upside-down for laundry. Unfortunately, I mostly fell off the reusable wagon for a while. Now that things have calmed down a little, I am now (happily) back in the reusable pad saddle.

And my health? I truly believe that quitting tampons has been good for my health. I am not a doctor, and this is *not* medical advice for you, but in my personal down-there life, reusable pads have helped me. I find that my symptoms of endometriosis are more manageable with Lunapads. Just as the doctor predicted, my cramps are somewhat lighter without the tampons. Additionally, I find that I am getting fewer urinary tract infections since I ditched all disposables. It might be a coincidence, but I don’t think so!

***

I have never used my blog to sell promote something before, but I have been so excited about these things for so long and never knew how to talk to people about them. I finally have my chance. 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

***

Fine Print:

-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.

I am a Lunapads Reusable Menstrual Pads Ambassador (and I have a discount code!)

Okay, people, this is gonna get personal. And maybe gross. And definitely awesome.

If you are a man, especially if you are man who is related to me (brother, uncle, cousin, grandpa…), STOP READING NOW. This is about periods!

If you are a woman, especially if you are a woman who:

  • Has periods
  • Has a daughter
  • Is interested in natural products for her body
  • Is interested in the environment
  • Is interested in saving money
  • Is interested in preparedness
  • Uses cloth diapers on your child
  • Is wondering when in the world did menstrual products become so plastic-y and perfumey

….then please keep reading.

Here goes. I use REUSABLE, WASHABLE MENSTRUAL PADS. Are you totally grossed out? Don’t be.

Lunapads Reusable Menstrual Pads

Purty, huh?

Reusable pads are not nearly as gross as you might think. They are not as much hard work as you might think. And they are cozier than you might think. I’ve been using them for several years now, and I have now become an ambassador to the company Lunapads. This means that I can give you a code for 5% off their products, AND I get a kick-back for referring you. So, yes, for the first time, I am using my blog to sell promote something. I tell the world about something I love, and you and I both win.

The first time I used these reusable pads, I was surprised how much better it felt than plastic pads. It was like the difference between wearing an overly scented garbage bag between your legs and wearing a cozy pair of flannel pajama pants between your legs. I was sold.

Quick FAQs:

  • But how does it work? They are shaped exactly like pads, but instead of adhesive, they have a tiny snap. You wear a base pad, and then change the “inserts” throughout the day. Easy.
  • But how do you, you know, deal with them and wash them? Short answer: You can wash them in the washing machine and dry them in the dryer. You can pre-soak them or not. Long answer: I keep an opaque jar in my bathroom, with a mesh laundry bag in it. I fill it with water and just let the pads soak in there. At the end of the day, I either change the water, or I take the jar down to the washing machine. To wash them, I transfer the mesh laundry bag to the washer, and then the dryer – and I never touch them. I wash the whole bag with my other clothes. It doesn’t get anything gross – I promise! The pads don’t even stain if you soak them like I do.
  • Are they bulky? Yes, they are a little bulkier than plastic disposable pads, because you’re using real cotton instead of plastic to soak stuff up. I personally prefer to wear skirts, dresses, or a long shirt to cover my bum when I am wearing reusable pads.
  • Do they leak? Not any more than any other product. Like any menstrual product, change it!
  • Are you crazy? No. Maybe.

 I have never used my blog to sell promote something before, but I have been so excited about these things for so long and never knew how to talk to people about them. I finally have my chance. 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 are 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

 

Fine Print:

-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.

-The views I expressed here are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Lunapads company.