|Delux Kit via Lunapads.com|
I've been going back and forth, trying to decide if any menstrual product reviews would fit on my blog, as it's mostly about sexuality, marriage, and sex toy reviews. But as another blogger pointed out, the reproductive system is an important part of sexuality. So, I'm going with it.
Let me start by giving you a bit of background on me. I have insanely heavy periods. Like, crazy holy-crap-how-have-I-not-bled-to-death kinds of periods. It got even worse after I had my IUD put in. Yes, I've consulted the doctors and they pretty much agree that there's nothing wrong with me. I just am. A super pissed off uterus is evidently my lot in life. Now, think of how many pads and tampons I went through every period.
When I heard of reusable pads, my first thought was eww. But then I thought, hey, I did cloth diapers with my kids. How is this worse? Then I thought, hmm. And finally, worth a shot. I didn't have anything to lose by trying washable pads, and I had heard somewhere that some people have a reaction to the chemicals in disposable pads that make their periods worse. Mind you, that's just anecdotal and I have no idea if there was any truth to it, but at this point I was willing to try anything. Enter my discovery of Lunapads.
|Pad and liner via Lunapads.com|
There are two ric-rac straps on each pad. That's the zig-zag ribbon looking strap for you non-sewers. The ric-rac straps are used to hold extra liners, or "inserts" in place. Having a heavier day? You can stack more than one insert together on the same pad.
Please note: Lunapads also sells panty liners, which are all-in-one pieces that you don't use inserts with, and underwear designed for periods.
You may be wondering how they get washed. Honestly, I just give them a quick hand wash before throwing them in the washing machine. Never had a problem.
What I loved: Lunapads are ridiculously easy to use. Unlike other cloth pads that are all one piece, those clever inserts that Lunapads has allow you to just change the insert if you don't bleed through. That is all sorts of handy and means less laundry. When I tried other cloth pads that were all one piece (all the padding was inside the pad) they were difficult to wash and took forever to dry.
I was really worried about the ick factor with using washable pads, but I have to say that it's really not that bad. After one cycle, using washables seemed perfectly normal. I know a lot of people think it's going to be some sort of horror show, but really, it's not. It's no more horrifying than pre-treating your shirt after you spilled coffee.
Now, on to how well they work. After a couple of times through the wash, the pads are very absorbent and very comfortable. The fact that the inserts can be stacked for heavier days, making them fully customizable, is just brilliant. I'm not sure that I've ever, in the many years I've used them, had a leak-through. No sticky, plasticy discomfort that you get with disposable pads, either. No disintegration in your underoos. Have you ever had a disposable pad suddenly disintegrate in your undies for no apparent reason? Not awesome.
Can I talk about the smell for a second? We all know that periods have a certain amount of smell. That's why disposables have the perfumes and whatnot. But, after I made the switch to cloth, the smell pretty much disappeared.
What I didn't: You know what? There wasn't really anything I didn't love.
Final thought: I'm in love with Lunapads. They are so simple to use, and come in a variety of colors, patterns, sizes, and absorbencies. They're so much more comfortable than disposables, better for the environment, and did I mention they save money? They save money. They may look expensive, but think about how much the average person spends on pads and tampons each year.
I was hoping that my period would magically lighten up when I made the switch, like some people claim theirs did. Honestly, it did lighten up, but just a tiny bit. However, most of my very worst period symptoms vanished or greatly improved. I had less severe cramps and I felt like I could actually move around on my period, which I had struggled with for years. Does that mean I am one of those mythical people that was having a reaction to disposables and didn't know it? Maybe. Not being a doctor or scientist, I can't say for sure, but I suspect my body did not like the disposables.
After a few cycles, I decided to pair Lunapads with a Mooncup (UK, not US. They're different companies). It's been exactly what I needed. The Mooncup catches most of the flow, and the Lunapads do the rest. On lighter days (and note, my light days are medium days for everyone else), I just use one or the other. I can now leave the house, do chores, and carry things on my heavy days. I wasn't able to do that before.
It's been over six years since I first started using Lunapads, and am just now thinking that I should maybe purchase a replacement set, as mine are starting to show some wear. In all this time, the only issue I've had is one snap on one of the pads wore out. In six years, that's it. They certainly hold up well.
If you are wondering whether reusable menstrual products are right for you, I highly recommend giving Lunapads a try. Still need a reason to try? Lunapads will send you your own sample pantyliner for just the cost of shipping.