How Switching to Cloth Menstrual Pads Changed My Life
Why I Switched to Cloth Pads
This change was long overdue. It took me a long time to make this switch because for a long time I was ignorant about my options. When I first got my period as a pre-teen the options presented to me for managing my cycle were limited—either a disposable tampon or a disposable pad.
Back in those days I was an avid reader of Seventeen magazine and had read my fair share of tampon horror stories concerning toxic shock syndrome. Therefore, I opted to use disposable pads for the remainder of my teenage years.
As I entered adulthood I was becoming more and more aware of all the ways that disposable pads were not working for me.
Disposable Pads Irritate My Skin
No matter what brand I purchased my very sensitive skin always became irritated. By the end of my period every month my skin would become sore and itchy. I began to think there was something wrong with me—prompting several visits to several doctors who all told me the same thing: I had sensitive skin, and there wasn't much that they could do for me. These problems would go away once my period stopped, and I wasn't wearing a pad anymore.
Disposable Pads Cost a Lot
The second big reason that I made the switch was money. This year I am really taking a long hard look at my finances and how I spend my income. I don't enjoy spending roughly $10 a month on something that I am going to bleed on and then throw away. That's $120 per year!
Making the Switch
When I had my fourth child I decided to cloth diaper. As I was scrolling through a cloth diapering Facebook page one evening I came across some moms discussing wash routines for reusable menstrual pads. It was like a lightning bolt struck me! How had I not thought of something like this before now?
I was initially concerned about cost—I didn't want to spend more money than I already was on something that may or may not work for me. However, it turns out that you can buy a package of six reusable cloth pads on Amazon for under ten bucks! This is less than what I spend per month on disposable pads so I took the chance and made my purchase.
Here is the set that I ended up purchasing.
I have Amazon Prime so shipping was free and fast, and I had the reusable pads at my doorstep within two days. I tried them out immediately. Six pads came in the package I chose and one bag for storing them after they were used.
- Using them was easy enough. I stored them in a bathroom drawer just like I did my disposable pads; the only difference being that I also put the storage bag in the drawer as well.
- They stay in place well. They wrap around your underwear and snap closed. The snaps were easy to use and kept them in place just as well as the disposable pad adhesive and wings did.
- They adsorb well. I was concerned about leaks happening. Turns out I had nothing to be worried about because they seem to adsorb even better than disposable pads did, wicking away the moisture that sometimes would sit on a disposable pad and make me uncomfortable.
- They don't cause itchiness or soreness: The best part is that the soreness and itching I was experiencing never even began when using cloth pads. They are much more comfortable to wear and do not feel like I am "wearing a diaper". Although they are thicker than disposable pads, they are not noticeable through leggings or yoga pants.
When I was ready to change my pad out for a new one it was simple. Instead of tossing the dirty one into the wastebasket I simply folded it up, snapped it closed, and tucked it into the storage bag.
I washed every two days with towels and they did not stain nor smell after washing. It did not add any extra time or effort to my normal clothes washing routine, which was also a concern for me.
Overall I am very happy with the switch that I made to cloth menstrual pads and I'm also very happy to never have to buy another pad again!