Your period can be a messy affair, but would you swap your pads and tampons out for menstruation products you can use over and over again for the sake of Mother Nature? From cloth pads to menstrual cups, find out if you should go green with reusable menstruation supplies.
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Benefits of reusable menstrual cups and pads

When Aunt Flo comes a-knockin', the options for managing your time of the month go beyond the use-and-toss pads and tampons you're most familiar with. Here are a few points that may make you want to switch to reusable menstruation products.

  • Gentle on your girly bits - "Washable all-cotton pads like GladRags and reusable menstrual cups are free of the plastics, adhesives, artificial fragrances and chemical gels disposable menstrual products usually contain, helping you to avoid unnecessary exposure at one of the most sensitive parts of your body," says GladRags owner Tracy Puhl.
  • Alternative to disposables - Many women like Barbie T. of Texas just aren't fans of tampons, so she used the Instead Softcup when she was younger and still for swimming now.
  • Good for Planet Earth - Keeper.com reports that more than 12 billion pads and tampons are used once and then disposed of each year. That's a whole lot of landfill waste.
  • Reusable cups and pads equal cash - Albeit a larger initial cost for reusable menstruation products, over the life of your menstrual cycle you'll actually save money with cloth pads and menstrual cups.

Why people pass on reusable pads and tampons

At first glance, you may be gung-ho about seizing the chance to be eco-friendly with your periods. But, it may not be right for everyone. Here are a few disadvantages to ponder before making the switch to cloth pads and menstruation cups.

  • May not be IUD-safe - Geena M. of California really wanted to try menstrual cups, but is nervous after reading that using menstrual cups can cause your IUD to tear the cervix. Chat with your doctor to see if it's right for you.
  • Post-period cleanup - Although you can technically just toss them directly into the washer, cleanup could seem like a hassle versus the throwaway variety of sanitary supplies.
  • Messy if not used properly - Practice makes perfect, but it only took Natalie M. of California one bad install for her to say "forget it."
  • Purchasing isn't as convenient - Unlike disposable pads and tampons that are easy to find at any corner liquor store, reusable menstruation products are often only found at health food markets and online.

Reusable menstruation products

Thinking of making the switch? Here are a few cloth pads and menstrual cups you may want to consider:

GladRags

Price: (GladRags, $35)

GladRags

Makers of eco-friendly reusable cloth pads, GladRags makes disposable menstruation products a thing of the past and can be coupled with menstrual cups like in this Moon Cup Kit.

Lunapads

Price: (Lunapads $140)

Lundapads

Reusable cloth pads by Lunapads have changed the way women feel about their periods.

Party in my Pants

Price: (Party in my pants, $46)

Party in my pants

Especially for fans of cloth diapers, postpartum mamas can make the same eco-friendly choice for themselves with the Mama Mini-kit.

Keeper's Moon Cup

Keeper

Price: (Keeper, $35)

With the potential to last 10 years, The Keeper's well-known latex menstrual cup now also comes in a silicone variety called The Moon Cup.

Read more period facts

How switching to a menstrual cup will change your life
TTC with an irregular cycle
How to balance your hormones and life

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