Reusable Sanitary Pads: Pros and Cons
The reasons to switch to reusable sanitary pads can be varied. For some, they are trying to eliminate single use products and plastic consumption. For others, they are trying to lighten their exposure to toxins. And others may find disposables irritate their vulva or vagina (or both!). If you are trying to figure out if reusable sanitary pads are for you, it can be helpful to list out the pros and cons. So without further ado, we will weigh them out here.
Reusable sanitary pads can be used over and over again just like the name implies. Clearly this is better for the environment than something you use once and then toss away. Reusable sanitary pads will last about 5-10 years depending on use and care.
Shorter, lighter periods
Fialuna surveyed over one hundred reusable sanitary pad users and 45% of them reported shorter periods after making the switch and 48% stated their periods became lighter. Obviously there is no guarantee this will be the case for you, but these figures suggest there is a good chance you may experience the same.
In addition to periods becoming shorter and lighter after switching to reusable sanitary pads, 44% of those surveyed said that their period pains became noticeably less severe. For those that suffer from painful periods, this is a reason in itself to give them a try!
Always on hand
If your period catches you by surprise, you always have your reusable sanitary pads on hand a ready to go. You can’t run out like you can with disposables.
If you have more time than money and are on a really tight budget, you can your own reusable sanitary pads. This will take quite a bit of time, but it’s not particularly difficult if you have the patience. If you are handy with a sewing machine, it's even more simple. If you’d like to sew your own by hand check out this video. If you do decide to make your own, you will probably quickly realise why quality cloth sanitary pads cost as much as they do. They take a fair amount of time to cut out, sew together and get the right type and amount of fabric needed.
Switch to reusable sanitary pads and you’ll soon find out how comfortable they are. Compared to disposables, you won’t experience that sweaty plasticky feeling. Honestly, it just feels like you are wearing your underwear.
Support small business
The majority of businesses are selling reusable sanitary pads are small. There are certainly a few mid size businesses selling reusable sanitary pads, but none in the same realm as the Johnson & Johnsons or Kimberly Clarks that sell the disposables!
Reusable sanitary pads are very safe to use and pose no risk of toxic shock syndrome (tss) because they are not used internally.
No bin of smelly wrapped used pads sitting in the toilet/bathroom.
No more crinkling plastic noise of disposable pads alerting everyone else in the toilets that you are on your period.
Reusable sanitary pads come in a variety of absorbencies, but what you will find is that they are much more absorbent than disposables claiming similar absorbency levels.
Reusable sanitary pads do not have a sticky back the way disposables do and they can end up shifting about. Most users find they are able to stop the shifting with better underwear.
Although reusable sanitary pads are likely to save you money in the long run (they can last 5-10 years!!), the initial expense does not come cheap. They take time to make and therefore the cost of labour is a significant factor impacting their sales price – especially for higher quality pads made in the UK.
Dealing with blood
If you aren’t comfortable dealing with you menstrual blood, this isn’t going to be a great option for you. You can use a washing machine, but ideally you should rinse your pads thoroughly before putting them in the machine. This requires coming into contact with your own blood.
Some users may find that washing the pads is a hassle.
Although it’s relatively easy to carry soiled pads in a wet bag when you are out and about, it’s not as easy as just chucking them in the bin. This is particularly true if you are travelling and don’t have access to washing facilities. Disposables also take up less room in your bag than reusable sanitary pads.
Fialuna surveyed over 100 women about using reusable sanitary pads. Of those surveyed, an astonishing 86% said they would never go back to disposables and 100% said they would recommend them to a friend. If that doesn’t convince you to try one reusable pad at least once, then I’m not sure what will!
If you use reusable sanitary pads, we’d love to hear what you love about them. Tell us in the comments.
Ready to get started? Check out our line of reusable sanitary pads here.