It’s kinder to the environment
This one is obvious. Instead of using and throwing away tens of thousands of disposable pads and tampons during your menstruating years, you reuse a few dozen. Reusable pads don’t rot in landfill for years or pose a risk to wildlife. In an article for Juno Magazine, Tamsin Hopkins states that
“In 2013, the Marine Conservation Society collected 1,291 pads/panty liners and 428 tampons along 96.67km of beaches surveyed during the Big Beach Clean-up.”
I’ve been using cloth pads for 5 years now and a menstrual cup for about 6. I haven’t had to replace either yet!
It feels better
The closest you’ll get to sweaty plastic in a reusable pad is a layer of PUL (not all CSP have one) – just like plastic, it prevents leaks. But unlike plastic, PUL is breathable! Natural materials used in cloth pads are also much softer against your skin.
Cloth Pads are usually secured in place underneath the gusset of your underwear with poppers rather than stuck on. Unlike sticky disposable backing, poppers don’t undo themselves and don’t stick onto skin!
The composition of disposable pads does not have to be disclosed by manufacturers, so you simply have no idea what you’re putting onto your skin – for 24 hours on several days every month of the year! Chemicals used in pads such as styrene, chloromethane, chloroethane, chloroform and acetone have been found to be carcinogens, reproductive toxicants, neurotoxins and irritants.
Cloth pads and menstrual cups form trustworthy manufacturers contain no chemicals or hidden ingredients, and many are made with organic cotton materials.
Many women report that after switching to cloth their periods are shorter, less heavy, with less cramping…
Cloth Pads can be as plain or as colourful as you’d like them to be. And the increase in CSP popularity is leading to an even wider variety of prints and patterns. Even menstrual cups are now available in all colours under the rainbow!
This is actually the one downside of cloth pads, particularly if you are into fashion … the term “Paddict” says it all!
It’s “tailor made”
You only buy what you actually need. If you are using pads only, you can put together a stash to match your cycle – a number of liners, some light pads, some for medium and heavier flow. No need to buy multipacks that then sit and take up space for weeks. Most women who use a menstrual cup have a handful of liners as back up. And one cup – that’s it!
Even better: With so many different brands available now, you are likely to find a length, thickness, shape and material combination of pad that suits you perfectly at different stages of your cycle. Buying single pads or trial packs can be a great way to try out different brands.
GoReal estimates that
“a woman will use 15,000 pads or tampons in her menstruating life costing up to £2000”.
That’s an average £0.133 per pad/tampon, with an average use over 38 years of 32.9 pads/tampons per month.
Based on that, over the past 5 years I would’ve spent £263.15 on 1974 pads and tampons (and paid for disposing them).
Instead, I’ve spent €53.85 on 11 cloth pads (NOT a paddict!) and about €30 at the time on my cup … all are still in monthly use.
Have you switched to Cloth Pads? Let me know in the comments how you feel about using them.
You might also be interested in How to use Cloth Sanitary Pads.