Natural Alternatives for Feminine Hygiene {And Reasons Why it Matters}

Warning: While this post does not go into deep details about my personal menstrual cycle, it does touch on it.  So, all you fellas out there who know me in real life - just know you are free to keep reading or free to click here and browse my website.  Put some beard cream or deodorant in your cart and call it a day.  All you ladies out there - carry on and be encouraged!  :) You should also know that I have included affiliate links in this post.  This means that if you purchase certain items after clicking on it from this post, I will be compensated in some way (at no extra cost to you).  Thank you for supporting my family and this blog! 

Original Photo by:Rudolf Getel

Today I want to talk to you about four alternatives to mainstream feminine hygiene products.  I know this may be new territory for some of you, and that is okay.  I didn't really explore any of these options until about 2 years ago myself.  Before I get to the options, let's discuss why we would even want to use alternative hygiene products. Why does it even matter?

Reasons I decided to seek out alternative options for feminine hygiene: 
  • I was very frustrated with how much money I spent on pads/tampons each month.  I used to use this kind of pad, these liners, and these tampons.  I spent $20-$30 each month on these products.  That is over $200 a year on items that I just threw away-literally!
  • I didn't even know what I was putting in or against me.  Do you know what's in your pads and tampons? A lot of them contain bleached rayon, plastics, fragrance, and chemicals.  Exposure to these can produce headaches, cramping, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, endometriosis, and even cancer.  Um, these are NOT things I need while I'm on my period - or ever for that matter!
  • I felt like I was creating a lot of waste.  I have now discovered that even the process of making pads and tampons is quite wasteful (just watch a few YouTube videos).
  • I've been making and selling my own skin care products for 3 years, and this was just one more way to live a more natural lifestyle.
  • I know two people who found mold on their tampons.  That was enough for me to never want to use them again!
So, what are we supposed to use? Here are four options that I recommend: 
1.  Menstrual Cup
When I first heard about a menstrual cup, I was both shocked and amazed.  My interest was quickly peeked, and I purchased my first one right away.  You insert the cup, empty it every 12 hours (or more on heavy days), and remove and clean it when you are done with your cycle.  You then reuse it every month.  Out of all the cups I've tried, I love and use the Diva Cup.  Other popular brands include Lunette, Moon Cup, and Skoon Cup.

Since using the menstrual cup, my periods are far shorter than they used to be (I'm talking a few days shorter).  I also rarely get cramps anymore, and my period doesn't set me back like it used to.  In other words, I no longer dread it!  It's truly almost like I don't even have a period at all. 

I will be doing a review and giveaway of the Diva Cup soon, so look for that!  You can purchase a Diva cup here or at Vitacost.com (that's my affiliate link - you save money by using it as a first time customer AND it's cheaper at Vitacost than anywhere else).

I could write an entire series on menstrual cups, but I'll spare you all the details and let you research more yourself.  Feel free to email me at lexie at lexie naturals dot com with any questions you may have.  It may take me 1-3 weeks to answer you, and if I get too many I will just write another post answering some of the questions.  :) 
2.  Reusable Cloth Pads

The first thing I remember hearing about reusable cloth pads (or "mama cloth") was that it shortened the period.  I honestly didn't believe this, or see the science in how this could be true, but IT IS!  

I've been using reusable cloth pads for well over a year now.  I prefer to use them the first night of my period instead of my menstrual cup because that's when I have a super heavy flow.  I also use cloth liners for the first day or two while wearing the Diva Cup (just in case).  

Reusable cloth pads are so comfortable that you don't even feel like you have anything on.  They are also easier to clean than you'd imagine.  I keep mine in a bag in the bathroom.  I simply fold them up and snap them before putting them in the bag.  When my period is over, I unsnap them and throw them in the wash.  I do a cold rinse, then warm/hot wash, then another rinse.  You can rinse them then wash with cloth diapers or even other clothes.  

So far, I've only used these from AGs Creations and these from Tea With Frodo Designs.  I like different things about both of them, and I like having more than one "brand" around.  You can purchase AG's Creations through her Etsy store (and you can enter to win a regular size pad using the Rafflecopter below).  And make sure you check out Tea With Frodo Designs on Facebook!  You can see all her amazing creations there, and you can order right from her Facebook page.  If you do, make sure you mention that you heard about her from Lexie:Naturals!  :) 
3.  Sea Sponge

I have never tried the sea sponge, but they work much like a tampon (just reusable).  You insert the sponge, remove it, rinse it, and reinsert it.  It should be changed every 3-6 hours and needs to be replaced about every 6 months. 

You can purchase the Sea Sponge here

4.  Natural Organic Cotton Pads 

I personally only use the menstrual cup and cloth pads; however, I realize that those options aren't for everyone.  So, if you just MUST use disposable pads, I'd opt for natural organic ones.  You can purchase these from Amazon or Vitacost. They are made with 100% biodegradable and compostable organic cotton.  

Every woman is different, and I certainly don't judge anyone for what kind of menstrual hygiene products she prefers!  These are just my suggestions for ways to make your life a little more natural.  
You may also find these resources helpful:

What kind of feminine hygiene products do YOU prefer?

Do you have any questions about the menstrual cup or cloth pads?

Click "comments" below to leave your comment!  And don't forget to enter the giveaway for a cloth pad!  

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