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Reusable Cloth Menstrual Pad Basics

Reusable Cloth Menstrual Pad Basics

Are you ready to dig in and learn all about reusable cloth menstrual pads? Then stay right here and keep reading to learn all the reusable cloth menstrual pad basics that you need to know.

 

What’s the Difference

Cloth menstrual pads are not much different than disposable pads. They are used in the same way. The pad is attached to your underwear and soaks us the blood. Disposable pads are thrown out and add to landfills while cloth pads are washed and reused over and over again for many years. Cloth pads can be bought on websites such as amazon and Etsy or made by hand. There is not much difference between the way you use either pad making the transition not so difficult.

Cloth Vs. Disposable Pad Basics

 

Disposable

Bleached to make white

Contributes to landfils

New pads must be bought when you run out

May cause rashes for some women

Can be thrown out

 

Cloth pads

Environmentally friendly since reusable and have no plastic wrapping

Less overall waste

Saves money

Can be made at home

Helps small business

Comfortable

Made with less chemicals or non at all

More breathable so carry less odor

Up front cost is more

Must be washed

 

Reusable Cloth menstrual pad Basics- How to Use

Cloth pads are used in much the same way as disposables. Disposables have an adhesive that allows it to attach to the underwear. Cloth pads may have a snap or button to keep it in place.You will need cloth pads in a variety of sizes for light days up to heavy days. Depending on how often you are able to wash the pads will depend on how many you need for one cycle. I was able to get away with only four pads but had to wash them all one time during my cycle. I used Pink Lemonade Shop minky pads found on Etsy.com in size 7 in, 8 in, 9 in and 10 in. The 7 in is good for everyday or light days, the 8 in for light to medium, 9 in for medium to heavy and the 10 in for heavy to overnight. I found these to be very absorbent and easy to use and wash. I was impressed with how well they held up during heavy days and over night. I had almost no leaking and they stayed in place.

Washing

“Rinse the used pad in the sink with cold/warm water. You can let them soak in the water if you want to or ring them out and put into a bag until you can wash in washer. I rinsed them out after each use making sure all the blood was out as best as possible and then put into a baggie until I could wash in washer. I then washed the pads with my regular laundry and dried it in the dryer also. I then was able to reuse the pads. The minky pads did not stain and are very soft and comfortable. There are many small business and people who make and sell cloth pads. Etsy is a great place to find some and Amazon.com. You can also look for instructions to make your own”

The link my favorite cloth pad shop- the Pink Lemonade Shop is below. 

http://pinklemonadeshop.3dcartstores.com/

Reusable cloth menstrual pad basics- How to get started

Some of the larger companies that sell cloth pads offer a free panty liner if you pay shipping to test out their product before you make a larger purchase. All cloth pads are slightly different with slightly different designs. I prefer the all in one m pads which are what the minky pads are. Much like a disposable pad all in one pads are very simple. Just use the snaps or Velcro to secure the wings. A different type of cloth pad has removable inserts. This allows you to use the same base pad all day and just change the insert. Also this type can be adjusted for heavy flow data by adding extra inserts.

I paid $5 for a sample of the Luna pad liner. It has a very soft top and wide wings with small closure. It is a 6 inch light pad. Check out Lunapads.com

image
image imageLuna pad Panty liner

Party in your pants at partyinyourpants.com also offers a sample liner if you pay shipping. They let you pick between a thong liner, a mini liner and a deluxe liner. The thong and mini liner are 7 inches long and the deluxe liner is 9.5 inches. They also let you pick if you want solid, floral or a fun novelty print and you can choose between cotton and flannel for material. My total came to $3.99 for shipping.

Gladrags.com also offer a panty liner for $5.95. Their liners are normally $13.95. The liners from Luna pads, party in your pants and Glad Rags all were about $11-$14 and went up from there. Paying shipping for these samples, only one per household per terms and conditions on Luna pads and party in your pants, is a great help when your on a tight budget. The liners work great with a menstrual cup like the Eva cup. I have a post on what a menstrual cup is, how to use it and the one I tried the Eva cup in an earlier post. Since cloth pads can be expensive I really like that I could find some for just shipping. Etsy has many people seeking cloth pads of different styles also. I also found free cloth pad patterns on Pinterest. With some inexpensive towels, old t-shirts or other articles of clothing you no longer wear or some clearance fabric, a little bit of sewing know how, either by hand or with a sewing machine you can try to make your own cloth pads for a fraction of the cost of buying them.

Reusable Pads to try from Amazon

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Thank you for reading about reusable cloth menstrual pad basics. This is just an introduction to what they are, how to use them and where to look to find them.

How to use a Menstrual Cup- My Story

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How to use a Menstrual Cup

How can a period be eco-friendly and in my opinion way better? I thought it couldn’t be a thing but I discovered that this is absolutely possible. It takes a little bit of research, a little bit of practice and a lot of patience but I wouldn’t go back to how I used to take care of my period ever. Instead I decided I needed learn how to use a menstrual cup. So that is what I did and now it has been over 5 years and there is no turning back to tampons ever.

What is a menstrual cup you may be wondering or you are just starting your menstrual cup investigation. Then follow along as I cover what a menstrual cup is, how to use it and my very own first hand account of the first time I used a menstrual cup.

 

What is a menstrual cup

It is 100% medical grade silicone Eco friendly hygienic tampon alternative.

Why use a menstrual cup?

No risk of TSS.

Eco friendly

Last 1-15 years depending on how you take care of it

Less expensive over buying pads and tampons

Not bleached or chemically treated

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Almost all menstrual cups come in two sizes, a smaller size for women under 30 who have never given birth and a larger size for women over 30 and/or have given birth.

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All about the Eva Cup

I bought the Eva cup which is made in the USA and shipped from California. I watched a bunch of YouTube videos on different cups and how to insert and remove them. The most helpful is precious stars pads https://m.youtube.com/channel/UC5jJ_1US1DjRYJF_WU4sQ5w 

She does an amazing job of comparing a ton of different brands of menstrual cups and cloth pads.

I searched and found the USA made Eva cup by Anigan. I had a great experience with this company that is based in California and shipping was super fast. Over the last 5 years since I originally bought and wrote this review the price has increased but it is still a good cup for the price.

There are actually many reusable menstrual cup brands. Each brand and cup is slightly different. Now that I have been using a cup for awhile I like the Super Jennie which is a higher capacity. But I would never had been able to start with that cup. So when making a menstrual cup selection there are some things to take into consideration.

Check out this post all about menstrual cups to help you decide what you should be looking for in a cup according to your needs. The cup that works for me might or might not work for you.

http://www.theclassybrokegirls.com/reusable-menstru…ps-or-disposable/

The Eva cup came with a little draw string bag to carry it and an instruction booklet.

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With cup in bag
With cup in bag

 

How to insert a menstrual cup

The booklet says to hold in half to make the rim have a U shape. I tried the u fold and found that this fold did not make the cup small enough to get in. I also tried the push down fold which makes the rim small but there is a thick part of the cup that I found difficult to get in. Finally after 3 tries through out the first day of my period I was able to get the cup in with the seven fold and a little bit of coconut oil to coat it. With this fold the cup went right in and I did not feel it.

U fold
U fold

Removal:

Wash hands. Find the bottom of the cup which has a stem that can be trimmed if it bothers you if you have a low cervix. Squat and bear down. Find the stem and reach farther to pinch the bottom of the cup to break the suction. Pull out and empty the contents into the toilet.

Usage:

Menstrual cups can be worn up to 12 hours depending on your flow. There is no risk of TSS. It can be worn over night. Before the first use it is recommended to sterilize it by boiling it for 5-8 minutes in a pot of water. Repeat at end of each period.

My hands on Experience

Day one

Thursday. This was a work day for me. My Eva cup had arrived on Monday. I practiced a few different folds when it arrived. Sterilized it and put it in the little bag to put in my purse. I was all ready to use it for the first day of my period. I knew it was coming any day. Thursday morning I grabbed a cloth panty liner just in case it came and I couldn’t get the cup in at work. It did come that day. I grabbed my little bad with my cup in it, it nicely hide in my hand. In the bathroom I rinsed it off and tried to insert it with first the u fold. That didn’t work. I then tried the push down fold, that went in a little more but not enough. First, I washed it off, put it back in the bag and went back to work.

I tried again later that day and got it in farther but still not all the way. I decided I would wait until I got home to try again. At home I decided on the push down find with some coconut oil as lubricant. That went way better than at work. I squatted this time instead of sitting on the toilet. I thought I had it in but the cup did not open and I could feel it wanting to come out. Second try. Rinsed it off, did a seven fold, put a little coconut oil on it and tried again. This time it went in. I stood up and didn’t feel anything. I squatted back down, felt for the stem and then checked to make sure it had opened…. Success!

I think the difference the last time was that I found a better position squatting, the seven fold made the rim small and easy to pop open and the coconut oil helped it to slide in.

Will it leak while I sleep? I’ll find out in the morning.

Day two: Friday

Sleeping with the Eva cup in was great. No leaking, no soiled underwear. But getting it out was another story. The first attempt I was able to find the stem but not able to pinch the bottom of the cup like the instructions say. The first attempt was on the toilet. Then I tried squatting and bearing down. I was sort of able to pinch the end of the cup but not enough. After a shower to relax and watching a YouTube video on how to get it out I tried again in my room over a towel in case I dropped it. In the video she said one relax, two that of you can feel the stem that is good and third to reach up to the rim if you could to break the suction. With kneeling and bearing down I was able to find the stem, reach up to break the suction and by bearing down and then pulling the stem with the Eva cup has a sturdy stem I was able to pull it out. The hardest part was getting my fingers in the right position to pinch the cup or stem.  Also the stem was angled toward my tail bone so I had to reach a finger around the cup to angle the stem down more.

My sister and I were heading to the beach and I didn’t want to deal with bleeding through a tampon so I put it back in after washing it. The first time it didn’t open am the way do I had to take it out. I was happy I could get it out way faster that time. After putting in again we were of to the beach. On my second day I was only able to get 6 hours of wear before it started to leak a little. I had put a light panty liner in the bottom of my bathing suit. Normally with a tampon it would have been only 3-4 hours before I would had had change the tampon.Amazingly I was able to get it out on the toilet this time.

Over all the second day was good. There was some problems at first but I was able to get it out and in as needed and besides the normal cramps I get the second day it was almost easy to forget I had my period.

Day three: Saturday

Nothing too exciting about Saturday. No leaking, no problems getting it in or out. Decided to not sleep with the Eva cup in and definitely did not sleep as comfortable thinking about possible leaking overnight.

Day four: Sunday

Sunday I wore my cup for about 16 hours from about 8 am to 12 am. We went to a swimming hole with a waterfall and it was great. No worrying about changing a tampon, leaking or taking it out within 8 hours. I felt comfortable with my cup in and only used a cloth liner as a precaution later in the day after we changed into dry clothes before dinner. No tampons=great day!

Day five: Monday

Used only a cloth pad today. It was a light day and I didn’t feel like I needed to put the cup in.

Reflections

Once I got the hang of putting my cup in and getting it out, I’m in love with it. I have been researching other cups. I would like to get a second one, possibly a slightly longer one like a lady cup or ruby cup. The company that makes the ruby cup donates one to a girl in Africa for every cup purchased, so I think I’m leaning toward the ruby cup and it has good reviews on YouTube.

I also noticed new things about my body and period from using the Eva cup. When I checked my cervix before my period stated it was high and also the first day it was still high which is part of the reason I had so much trouble getting it out the first time I think which is why I am thinking of getting a longer cup for the first and forth days. The second and third days of my period my cervix seemed lower and the cup was easier to grab.

I also found that the second time I tried the seven fold it didn’t want to pop open and the punch down fold worked better going forward.

Hope you learned something new and think about giving a Menstrual cup a try.

For more about menstrual cups, what types and things to consider before you buy one click the link http://www.theclassybrokegirls.com/reusable-menstrual-cups-or-disposable/

To learn all about reusable cloth menstrual pads click this link  http://www.theclassybrokegirls.com/reusable-cloth-menstrual-pads/ ‎

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