Share Your Story: Elizabeth
Hi, Elizabeth! Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with reusable period pads with us. How did you discover them?
I've been aware of cloth pads for a while as my interest in waste reduction and reusable products has grown. However, I didn't consider them for personal use until recently. I had been using a menstrual cup, which I was quite satisfied with.
However, I found myself wanting to move away from internal period products and decided to give cloth pads a try. A few years ago, the idea of a cloth pad would've been unappealing to me, but having used cloth diapers for my baby, I thought cloth menstrual pads would be similar. The experience with cloth diapers wasn't intimidating, so I felt comfortable with the idea of cleaning and using cloth pads.
I never imagined I'd use a pad again after abandoning the disposable Always pads I used (and disliked) in middle school. After that, I used tampons for a decade, then either had an IUD, was pregnant, or used a cup because of my aversion to pads. But when I wanted to transition away from internal period products, I was pleasantly surprised by the vast difference between disposable pads and cloth pads! I genuinely love my cloth pads. They're comfortable, attractive, easy to use, silent, breathable, absorbent, and even feel luxurious. I truly appreciate them—for both myself and the earth.
What an engaging journey! Have you now transitioned exclusively to cloth pads, or do you combine them with other period products?
Currently, I'm using cloth pads exclusively. My flow is quite light, so I don't need to worry about leaks or flooding, and I don't need to supplement with a cup. Occasionally, I'll use a cup if I want to participate in certain activities during my period that would be more convenient with a cup. But for the most part, I stick to cloth pads. I've noticed fewer cramps since moving away from internal period products, which I love!
How do you feel when you have to use disposable pads or tampons these days?
Truthfully, I don't know because I don't use them anymore! The last time I used a disposable tampon was probably 7 years ago, and I haven't used disposable pads since middle school. I shudder at the thought of using them. Disposable tampons used to cause severe vaginal dryness for me, resulting in discomfort that lasted beyond my period. Thankfully, I now track my cycle so I can anticipate my period, preventing any surprises.
What advice would you give someone who's unsure about trying cloth pads?
Just give them a try! You might be as surprised as I was when you genuinely fall in love with cloth pads. They're not as daunting to wash or care for as you might imagine, and they're vastly different from disposable pads in all the ways that make disposable pads annoying. They're beneficial for both your body and the earth. Plus, once you've built a stash that suits your needs, you won't have to worry about running out of pads in the middle of your period! If you want to elevate your period experience, invest in a bidet—between cloth pads and my bidet, I feel fresh and clean during my period in ways I never would've believed before I tried it myself.
Photo provided by Elizabeth