Monday, 28 July 2014

Reusable vs Disposable

Greetings underlings! This is informative message, so listen up.

Ok, hang on. This is a talk about periods. So any of you uncomfortable with that idea, feel free to shush and get over it. It’s a thing, it happens to half the population twelve (ish) times a year and are a part of that cycle which can create new life.

There are lots of more icky things I could talk about.

SO, now that’s out of the way, I want to discuss the various types of protection. No, wait, come back. SIT.

The truth is, most of what you find on the supermarket shelves are awful. They’re bad for environment, they’re bad for your wallet and they’re not exactly that nice on your body, whatever their marketing campaigns say. Tampons (I said sit!) are bleached to within an inch of their life and you put that inside of you.

But lets just focus on the environmental aspect for a small moment. Every single pad and tampon you use ends up in landfill. We’ve stopped chucking away bottles, cans, cardboard and food, amongst other things and yet we still buy one-use sanitary protection. Why? Because there isn’t any alternative?

If you answered yes to that question, then I have news for you. Because there are alternatives and all of them are better for you in almost every way.

For those of you comfortable with the idea of tampons, there is the Mooncup, made of soft medical grade silicon. It’s comfortable, safe and much more effective. Tampons can leave fibres behind, cause dryness and, as mentioned before, they’re bleached white. And, worst of all, they have been linked with TSS or Toxic Shock Syndrome. Don’t know what that is? Here’s a quote from Better Health:

Women who have their period (are menstruating) are most likely to get TSS, as it is thought to be associated with tampon use. The underlying mechanisms are not fully understood, but one theory is that the bacteria naturally present in the vagina can over-grow in the presence of a blood-soaked tampon.

The Mooncup, on the other hand, doesn’t actually take in the blood and because it’s made of silicone, there’s nothing for bacteria to grab onto. (Stop me if I’m getting too scientific.)

It does take a few attempts to get it placed right but then can any of us say we got to grips with tampons on day one? Once you have it where you want it, the likelihood of seepage is very slight. Tampons, on the other hand, have a capacity and, once that’s reached, it’ll hold no more. When you decide to empty the Mooncup, it has a stem you can pull – much like the string tampons have but which sits inside of you a lot better. Just wash it out – if you’re using a public toilet, the advice is to take a bottle of water or to wipe it out with toilet paper – and simply re-insert. For more information, I heartily suggest checking out their website,

But the main message? A single Mooncup is around £20 and will last you a very, very long time. Depending on what brand you use, how heavy your period is and how long it normally lasts, you could be seeing the financial benefit within a year, perhaps two. It’s brilliant for the environment – even the packaging can be recycled – and at no point do you have to worry about what it’s doing to your body.

So that’s the Mooncup but what about those of you who prefer pads? Well, take a quick skip around the internet with the words ‘reusable sanitary pad’. There are a lot of sites out there who’ll supply you with well made, comfortable, beautiful and, most importantly, reusable pads, from Ebay to places like GladRags, an American company specifically set up to provide sustainable solutions. Find them at . Sadly their postage and packaging for countries other than their own are a little too high for me, but there are plenty of UK based sellers too.

These pads are generally designed with the environment, your body and your wallet in mind. Yes, they are more expensive than buying disposable but, much like the Mooncup, the initial money spent is recouped by not having to buy more. You clean them by chucking them in the washing machine – don’t use conditioner in the wash or the pad won’t be as absorbent – giving them a bit of a stretch when they come out and putting them somewhere to dry. GladRags will sell you a special soaking pot if your pads need a bit of extra help to get the stain out. And yes, they will stain a little over time but the patterned ones generally help disguise that somewhat and, if you wash them quickly enough, you may never get a stain at all. You can get pads in all the various types that are on offer as disposables, including everyday panty liners.

Personally, I use a Mooncup and, aside from the occasional starting issue of placing it, I haven’t looked back. Because I’m a bit paranoid, I use a panty liner during the first few days, just in case. It works incredibly well for me and I feel a lot better for having made the switch. Aside from any other issue, I don’t have to fret about rushing to the supermarket because I’ve run out.

If you use disposables, it’s time to reconsider. If you want to see what others think, check out GladRags and Mooncup for review after review of women who changed over to reusables and couldn’t be happier.

You won’t be disappointed.

1 comment:

  1. Kittyface, I have just discovered that you can get these brands from Amazon as well for quite a decent price and I'm actually a bit excited, lol. Yay!