I’ve been using cloth pads, the very same set of cloth pads in fact, from GladRags for over 4 years now. Before I switched, I thought the idea of reusable pads was really gross, but I have become a complete convert. The benefits far outweigh any inconvenience, and it’s honestly not so gross after all. These are four important reasons to switch to cloth pads or other reusable alternative.
Typical disposable pads and tampons are made from unwanted ingredients like plastic, bleach, and dioxins. The plastic sheeting on disposable pads can cause irritation and a susceptibility to yeast infections. The residue from bleaching is sometimes an unknown allergy for women. Dioxins have been shown to cause reproductive issues, interfere with hormones, and cause cancer.
2. Cost Effective
Cloth pads seems like they’re expensive because the upfront cost is larger. However, they last for years and years which means once you’ve bought them, you’re set. I would say $8 a month on disposable pads is a fair estimation (plus tax, ugh, at least it’s going to be lifted in Canada), then I’ll multiple that by 12 months which equals $96 a year. Whereas I spent about $90 on my set of cloth pads 4 years ago. To compare, that’s $384 for 4 years of disposable pads or $90 for 4+ years of cloth pads. This means I’ve already saved just $6 shy of $300, and that number will continue to grow as time goes on.
Over a lifetime, the average women will use 12,000 to 16,000 disposable pads and/or tampons. That is a huge amount of waste accumulating very quickly. As I mentioned above, over 5 years just one cloth pad replaces approximately 120 disposable pads or tampons. It’s not just a monetary savings, it’s also keeping all that additional waste out of our landfills.
4. More Comfortable
I was surprised how much more comfortable cloth pads were than disposable. Because these are made of cloth, cotton in particular, they just feel like your underwear does already. I was worried about them being bulky, but there are so many options for sizes and thicknesses. With all this possible customization, you end up with exactly what you need.
If pads aren’t your style, there are alternatives to tampons that have the above advantages as well. Menstrual cups and sea sponges are healthy, reusable options to be used in place of tampons. If you still don’t want to go the reusable route, there are some more natural, chemical-free and/or organic brands of disposable pads and tampons available that at least provide the health benefits.
Have you made the switch to cloth pads, a menstrual cup, or sea sponge? What did you think?