Let’s talk about periods!

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Let’s talk about periods!

January 26, 2015

Let’s talk periods ladies! And before we do let me confess – even as a grown woman with 2 children I was still that person who played a skilled game of Tetris with the box of tampons in the shopping basket. Yep, grabbing toilet bowl cleaner, paper towel, soap, pretty much anything to cover that box of “feminine products”

So with that out the way I will also say this past month has been very big in the way of learning to talk about all things periods. In my search to find out more about cloth pads and menstrual cups I discovered Red Deer had nothing to offer, short of a few Diva cups on shelves of big box retailers with no one to ask questions. That is when Ashley and I had our light bulb moment – let’s fill the gap and sell them ourselves.

The driving force behind all of this is my continual desire to reduce the amount of garbage we throw out, be greener and save money… and to replace my cloth diaper buying addiction as our youngest potty trains. This allowed me to open up to the idea and really get on board with reusable pads and menstrual cups. Ashley and I researched companies like crazy, sent emails, made phone calls, spent countless hours dissecting product lines and company values. We finally chose a Canadian Company ran by a stay at home mom, Tree Hugger Cloth Pads from Winnipeg, Manitoba. Crystal started her business from her home and has done amazing things with her business, tune into Dragons Den on January 28th and watch them pitch to the dragons!

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After much research, here are a few benefits to reusable cloth pads and cups.

  • Money Savings – Same logic as cloth diapering but on a larger scale. If you think about it, a woman has her period on average from 15 – 55 years… that’s 40 lovely years, once a month that nature blesses you with the gift of a period (sense the sarcasm) Give or take a few years, save a few years for pregnancy and breastfeeding etc. But that is 480 cycles, or 2400 days that you have your period in your lifetime. You can buy a box of tampons or pads for around $8-10 but that gets you through 1 maybe 2 cycles depending on each person. You are looking at nearly $5000 to supply yourself with disposable products throughout your life time. Tree Hugger Cloth Pads range from $10.50 for a panty liner to $16 for an overnight/postpartum pad. You can build your entire stash that you will need for around $200-300 including a laundry bag, purse bag etc. Cloth pads will generally last 10-15 years before they need replaced. So even a high estimate with replacing your “stash” 3 times over your cycles lifetime you pay $900 for cloth of $5000 for disposables to go straight in the trash. A menstrual cup will cost you around $40 and that is literally all you need for the next ten years before they are advised to be replaced. Some women also use a cloth panty liner as a “cup back up” at least until they are confident with the cup. That is nearly a $4000 savings over disposables.
  • Health – Because feminine hygiene products are classified as a healthcare device, manufacturers are not required by law to disclose what they contain. Some pads contain dioxins, synthetic fibers and petrochemical additives. These are what’s sitting on your skin, being absorbed into your body for 5 straight days out of every month in a disposable pad or in your body if you use tampons. Synthetics and plastic also restrict the free flow of air and can trap heat and dampness, potentially promoting the growth of yeast and bacteria in your vaginal area. Some woman also report fewer cramps when using cloth pads or menstrual cups (I will personally update my experience on that after a few more cycles)
  • lunette cupsComfort – I feel like I am comparing this all to cloth diapers but really, would you rather sit on a piece of plastic filled with absorbing mystery gel or a soft minky or bamboo fabric? The Tree Hugger Cloth Pads honestly feel like a pillow. They don’t bunch or twist or shift, even when working out or sleeping. They are also the same thickness, length and width as a Kotex or Shoppers Drug Mart Brand heavy pad.
  • Environmental – Did you know that one disposable pad contains the same amount of plastic as 4 shopping bags? Disposable pads and tampon applicators take up so much room in landfills (average of 20,000 in a woman’s lifetime gets discarded into the trash) These products take an incredibly long time to break down.blue cup

Now that you know how amazing they are, let me address the issues that most women have with making the switch:

The ick factor- blood, and some people are not okay with blood… ever. Let’s be honest, you have to deal  with blood regardless of the products you use. Plastic or cloth, tampons, cups or pads, it’s blood. You see it, you deal with it. When you are done with your pad, simply toss it into a wet bag, and every 2 days toss them into the wash with a fragrance and dye free soap, tumble dry. Easy!fox2 mink

Stain factor- surprisingly this is not a huge issue. Very few woman report having to actually work stains out. If you do end up with the odd stain any stain remover will work or the Buncha Farmers stain sticks are pretty popular solutions.

The cup “installation” factor- this takes a few tries, just like a tampon ladies, you will know when you have this mastered. This is why it’s a popular idea to use a pantyliner just in case for the first few tries. You also only have to remove and empty your cup once every 12 hours, so don’t panic about the public washroom thing. Simply rinse and re-insert and you are good for another 12 hours!!

Now that I have flooded your brain with information, don’t be afraid to come out of your comfort zone! I have made the switch so I no longer have to play shopping basket Tetris, but I also no longer an embarrassed grown woman when talking about periods either.

Elisabeth

For more information on your local source for Tree Hugger Cloth Pads, menstrual cups and a full line of accessories to compliment reusable products, click:

 www.freespiritnaturals.ca or www.facebook.com/freespiritnaturals

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A lot of the information in this article was found at: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/05/22/feminine-hygiene-products.aspx

 

 

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