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Most of us are on a run for grabbing menstrual pads as an inclusion in the monthly grocery list. When you’re running these errands you must’ve seen napkins that claim to be organic or more modern reusable menstrual products. Haven’t you wondered why these pads to be green or reusable for a long time? Why should you say no to sanitary napkins?
Most women tend to use stuff that’s readily available at the drugstore – standard sanitary pads or tampons. Public awareness about health issues and the impact on the environment should be discussed. Period taboo and intimate hygiene should no more be a taboo subject.
It’s high time to explore various reusable, cheaper, and safer alternatives to sanitary napkins.
- 6 Eco-Friendly Alternatives To Sanitary Pads
- Benefits Of Eco-Friendly Alternatives To Sanitary Pads
- Frequently Asked Questions
6 Eco-Friendly Alternatives To Sanitary Pads
1. Try Switching To A Reusable Menstrual Cup
What is a menstrual cup?
Have you ever used one?
Menstrual cups are gaining popularity amongst urban women these days. These cups are made up of medical-grade silicone and are available in different sizes. The menstrual cup can be folded and inserted into the vagina. Later it unfolds itself and fixes firmly to the wall of the cervix.
You can opt from two sizes of the cup, depending upon the position and height of the cervix and your menstrual flow. These cups can hold up to 12 hours of flow against the 4-6 hours sustainable sanitary napkin. The menstrual cups hold about 25-30ml of fluid on an average. You have to empty the content, rinse and reinsert the cup for further use.
These silicone cups are considered eco-friendly as a single cup can be reused for a year. This prevents the pile-up of non-biodegradable waste from tampons and sanitary pads.
She cup, Rustic Arts, Silky Cup, Mooncup, etc. are few brands of menstrual cups available in India. They can be purchased at nominal costs and last long enough. What more you want?
Heavy periods! It’s time to switch to menstrual cups.
2. Replace With Reusable Cloth Pads
How many sanitary napkins does a woman use in her lifetime? Any guesses??
Approximately 16,000! OMG!
This means more waste and more money to be spent each month. Used sanitary napkins cannot be decomposed and lead to more landfills and destruction of the ecosystem. There is also a risk of the spread of infection.
So, Say No To Sanitary Napkins!
Women across the globe are catching up with the trend of using eco-friendly alternatives to sanitary napkins. These are made from breathable fabrics that can be washed and reused comfortably. Women prone to allergies or skin irritation can choose cloth pads. The cloth pads are available in a variety of sizes and absorbency levels to suit everyone.
You can now make your own pad to best suit your flow and comfort. For women who are not comfortable with the use of menstrual cups can opt for pads made from cotton and bamboo. Being plastic-free these are safe for sensitive skin.
3. Give Period-Proof Underwear A Shot
Already tried cotton pads? Menstrual cups too? But, feel not so comfortable? Give period-proof underwear a chance, nothing else required. These are very good eco-friendly alternatives to sanitary pads. The absorbent underwear eliminates the fear of leakage or stains. These are lightweight with super-absorbent materials.
Period-proof underwear can be worn only on days with the comparatively lighter flow (day 1and 4). On the other days of heavy menstrual flow, these panties can be coupled with pads or tampons or a panty liner to have a stain-free period.
Depending upon your flow you might need several pairs of period-panties. You’ll have to make time for washing, drying and reusing them. They’re slightly expensive than the usual underwear but you can swear by their comfort and ease of use.
4. Try Tampons Without An Applicator
Tampons – it’s a huge hit amongst women under the age of 41 years. Do you want to stick to something friendlier and familiar, and save the environment too? Go on stack up tampons without an applicator.
You have to insert these tampons with your fingers instead of a plastic applicator. This will reduce plastic waste than standard brands.
Tampons give you more physical freedom during periods. You can select from different sizes and absorbency levels. Doctors recommend changing a tampon every 4-8 hours depending on your flow.
Beware: The use of synthetic tampons may increase the risk of urinary tract infections.
5. Use The Comfortable Softdisc
Softdiscs, also known as softcups are similar to the reusable menstrual cups. These can be inserted into the vagina to accumulate the blood flow without absorbing it. The only difference between a softdisc and the menstrual cup is that the prior is not reusable.
Softdiscs can go a bit longer between changes as compared to the tampons. This reduces a great amount of waste. These discs are a great alternative for women who are concerned about the feminine hygiene and maintenance of the menstrual cup.
Even if you want to get a feel of how comfortable the cups can be softdiscs is a simpler alternative to try.
6. How About Trying Organic Pads?
Are organic pads better than the regular sanitary napkins you’ve been using all along? Yes, gynecologist recommends the use of organic pads/tampons as they let your skin breathe.
Regular sanitary napkins have synthetic fiber and plastic that causes skin irritation and allergies. However, the organic pads are made of absorbent cellulose that locks menstrual fluid to keep you dry and healthy. The soft cotton cover of these pads is breathable and comfortable.
Benefits Of Eco-Friendly Alternatives To Sanitary Pads
On average a lady uses up to 16,800 disposable pads, tampons or other sanitary material during her lifetime. Experts say this creates unnecessary waste that rapidly accumulates in our environment. This increases the load of non-biodegradable plastic in nature which is bound to harm our future generations.
Researchers and experts suggest switching to eco-friendly and natural alternatives to sanitary napkins. The new generation of women is looking out for alternatives to disposable pads to make a bigger impact on health and the environment. SAY NO TO SANITARY NAPKINS AGAIN!
So if you’re worried about a healthier future or are engaging in awareness activism amongst people here are a few compelling reasons to switch to reusable alternatives for your period:
- Reduces menstrual cramps, infections, and rashes – If you have severe issues of cramps during your menstrual cycle and are still using disposable pads, you must switch to natural alternatives like organic pads, cotton pads, reusable tampons or menstrual cups.
- Reusable sanitary ware is healthier – these are void of plastics, synthetic fibers, and wood pulp which are chemically treated and the harmful byproducts remain in our body and environment for ages. These chemicals cause skin allergies, hormone disruption, reproductive ailments, and even cancer. Thus it’s wise to say no to sanitary napkins (disposables).
- Cheaper Alternatives – The reusable pads or tampons or menstrual cups have a larger initial cost but they last for a long time. This will save you money in the long run and prevent landfills too.
- More hygienic – Reusable alternatives are easier to clean and leak proof. With the right use and proper maintenance reusable products are just as hygienic.
- You save the environment – Change in seemingly small lifestyle choices can have a tremendous impact on the environs. The tons of disposable pads discarded each year will take hundreds of years to decompose. These landfills pollute the water bodies and air, and animal habitat in a drastic way. Switching to natural, eco-friendly options can make a great difference.
We hope that we have introduced you to various eco-friendly alternatives for regular disposable sanitary pads.
It’s time to say no to sanitary napkins and check out on your health quotient and healthy environs to live in.
Which is your favorite reusable product? Do write to us in the comment box below.
Frequently Asked Questions
The use of toilet paper or tissue paper as sanitary pads is unhygienic practice. It’s bad behavior and no sanitary policy has supported its use during periods. You may alternatively use paper towels, which are thicker and durable than the toilet paper (in case of emergencies only).
• Roll the used pad and wrap it in a piece of paper.
• Put the wrapped pad in a trash can. (Never flush your pad or any liners down the toilet as this will cause clogging of plumbing.)
• Wash your hands when you’re done.
Sanitary pads are made of cellulose gel which is chemically treated to absorb menstrual fluid. These ultra-thin pads contain dioxin as byproducts that can cause ovarian cancer. With the advent of technology, people manufacture pads using rayon, non-woven fiber, wood pulp and a combination of these materials.
The first pads were made from paper pulp bandages by nurses in France. These bandages used were very absorbent, and cheap enough to discard later on. This idea was adopted by commercial manufacturers to invent the first disposable pads – the Southball pad.
• Bella Pad
• Whisper Sanitary pad
• Stayfree Secure Sanitary Pad
• Sofy Side Walls Sanitary Pad
• Health Buddy Sanitary Pad
She is a pharmacist by education and working in the field of medical content development for more than 9 years. She has an excellent hold on medical content research and development and has produced valuable data for various pharmaceutical companies.