This post is for the ladies. I’m sure you’ve gathered that by the title already, but I thought I’d put out a fair warning to any men who might be reading this. I do think men should understand how women’s bodies work, but I realize men (and women) may not want to read about it here. Fair warning!
How many menstrual cycles do women have over a lifetime? A lot. If you figure 12 or so per year, starting at around age 12 and continuing until oh, age 45-50, you’re looking at 400+ periods. Subtract for times of pregnancy or lactational amenorrhea, and you’re still probably dealing with a visit from Aunt Flo a few hundred times. Yay.
If you’re buying a pack of pads or a box of tampons each month or so, the costs over time can be expensive. Watching for sales and stacking with coupons is helpful, and I’ve also sent away for some free samples to have on hand.
Some current free samples and coupons:
There is some controversy regarding the use of tampons, though. Some people are concerned with the chemicals within, and dioxins and other stuff like that which could be harmful. Organic tampons do exist. But then there’s that pesky problem of regularly spending money on the products.
Some women use a reusable menstrual cup, such as a Diva Cup*, Moon Cup* or a Keeper*. Please note that most of these cups have two sizes — one for if you’ve not had a vaginal childbirth and one if you have.
A few years ago, I won a Keeper from a giveaway done by Mrs. Money (see her Keeper review). I didn’t have a chance to use it immediately after winning, but a few months ago I finally gave it a shot.
I had a hard time with it at first. There is a learning curve! I gave up and used disposable products for that cycle. The next one though, I thought I’d try it again, and I was able to get it to work a lot easier. I’m still getting used to it and it wasn’t totally leak-free at all times, but I think a few more cycles and I should be more comfortable with it.
In terms of actual comfort, it was more of a challenge to um, place the thing than a tampon. Removing it was also a challenge at times. But, once it was in position, I was fine and didn’t notice it.
Considering the Keeper is reusable and is made of a natural material, I definitely want to keep using it in the future at least part-time. A $30ish reusable menstrual cup could last 10+ years. Say you spend $5/month on disposable products and have 12 cycles in a year — that’s $600, plus inflation.
You can purchase reusable menstrual pads and liners, if you’re so inclined to do that laundry. I have 3 FuzziBunz menstrual pads, but I don’t think they’re made anymore. I’d like to purchase some additional reusable liners to use as backup, so if you have any recommendations I’m all ears. Then again, a disposable pack of liners can be inexpensive and last a lot longer, if used as backup.
If you’re handy with a sewing machine, you can create your own reusable menstrual pads or liners. Also at that link is a no-sew idea.
Do you use reusable menstrual products? Your thoughts?