I have been sitting on this information for over a year now and I truly believe now it the time to share my thoughts! It is not common for Black women to speak of feminine care in a descriptive matter and I want to be the one to break the silence. Growing up, talking about feminine hygiene was taboo. Thankfully, with all the talk and research of reproductive issues and health issues, I can educate my daughters and little sisters about the importance of asking questions about what’s going on with their bodies because for me at their age, I didn’t have a clue! I want to be able to speak freely of the importance of what we use for that time of the month and ways we can improve our overall health and hygiene.
Since the age of 14, I’ve had all sorts of experiences and incidents revolving around my menstrual cycle: heavy flows, sporadic cycles, severe cramping and migraines and much more! When I got married at 19 and shortly after became pregnant, my periods were pretty much non-existent! Nursing and shortly after a year, I’m pregnant again and again and again and honestly, I enjoyed not having a period for nearly 7 years!! But in recent years, after my last nursing phase, my periods returned with migraines and even infections! Yes! You read correctly… INFECTIONS! Even an emergency room visit and a $300 bill when I thought I lost my tampon! 🙂
My periods last for a full week and wearing disposable pads were not good for my body. My skin would break out and sometimes, even worst, infection. I’ve had enough and decided to do some research. For a few years, before I decided to try reusable products, I was interested in trying. Even before then, I wanted to make my own products. Anyway, fast forward to mid-2017, I researched products that would benefit my lifestyle. I then purchased luna cups and reusable pads. Speaking of benefits, I would like to list some of the things I was looking forward to not dealing with when I decided on my reusable products…
- I HATE traditional, disposable PADS!! With a passion!! For years I’ve suffered and when I found that I had an option outside of “free-flowing” I was all for it!
- Comfort- Traditional pads were so uncomfortable no matter the size I tried. I wore overnight pads in the evening and overnight for the simple fact that I leaked and wasted a lot of clothes ( and bedding) in the process. Having my husband wake up before I did and witnessing his wife in a literal bloodbath is embarrassing and unattractive (even though he wouldn’t admit it)
- No leaking- I would have to wear swimsuit bottoms over my underwear to ensure that I won’t stain my clothes for the first few days of my period because my flow always started so heavy. Don’t believe me? Ask my sister! 🙂
- Protective and discreet- I would hate to wear dress pants and dresses while on my period because I could feel pads through my clothes if that makes sense and because I despise tampons and always had a heavy flow, pads were my only option!
- No irritations or infections- Mind you, I am immaculate when it comes to my hygiene, so when I tell you I’ve suffered from infection and rashes due to the disposable pads believe me when I tell you it had nothing to do with my up-keep.
If you were like me and dealt with severe cramping and rashes, your disposable pads were probably to blame. Disposable pads use plastics, which block airflow to your vagina, and not surprisingly, can encourage a painful rash. Disposables also use artificial fibers, which are super-absorbent but will also absorb all the moisture in your vagina, increasing your chances of severe pain and infections. These disposables pads are made with synthetic fibers, plastics and other harsh things harmful to your body and then is bleached to give you that appearance of purity and sanitation. Can you imagine putting bleach down there?! Well, if you wear disposable pads, that’s exactly what you’re doing! Add other synthetic chemicals and artificial fragrances to the mix, and you’ve got a recipe for side effects like allergic reactions, hormone disruption, reproductive and gynecological disorders. It’s almost crazy to believe that something so small can impact you in such a huge way! We always talk about what we put in our bodies but we also need to be mindful what we use on it especially during the time when your body is releasing toxins and waste out of you.
So I know many are thinking “How in the world is it cleaner than a disposable pad if you have to touch it?” Well, my answer would be to each their own. For me, I’ve gotten over the whole “ugh” phase because I’ve changed plenty of diapers and soiled babies over the years. Plus with all of the incidents, I’m used to cleaning up after myself! But cleaning the cloth pads and menstrual cups and even staying fresh with them on is easier than you think!
If you are a visual person like myself, check out this video on cleaning your cloth pads from one of my favorite YouTubers, Glamizini (start at 10:49):
Here’s a video on how to clean your menstrual cups (Start at 2:22):
These ladies don’t use the same brand I use, but the cleaning and maintenance is practically the same.
If you have the guts to try this out, let me know and share your thoughts! But please understand, this is only for educational purposes and in no way am I trying to convince you to go green. There are so many ways feminine hygiene has improved, so do your own research!