Choosing Sanitary Products
Reusable Sanitary Products may seem like a bit of a leap of faith, they are not yet widely available, and as such you may well be a pioneer among your friends too! So where to turn to for advice on which reusable sanitary product to choose?
Fortunately, at Earthwise Girls we've done all the research for you, and have actually tried all the reusable sanitary towels, cups and sponges that we stock - which puts us in the unique position of being able to talk openly and knowledgeably about them. Earthwise Girls offers a completely free, discreet advice service about reusable sanitary towels (aka sanitary pads/eco sanpro/reusable menstrual wear), menstrual cups and menstrual sea sponges. Simply use the contact us form here on the website, or call Christine on 01865 408040.
A quick buyers guide to reusable sanitary products:
Reusable sanitary towels or pads
Shaped to suit your underwear, with wings that fasten underneath using one or more poppers. Pad lengths are quoted in the product descriptions to assist you with choosing, or take a look at our washable sanitary pad size guide. We have a few brands in stock, all with different features:
- Imse Vimse Organic Washable Menstrual Pads - offers good value, sold in packs of 3, all organic unbleached cotton, no colour options, 3 sizes, contains leakproof barrier, plastic poppers.
- Angel Padz - made in the UK by a WAHM (work at home mum), sold singly, various colour options, 3 sizes, uses hemp for absorbency, leakproof barrier in pads (not in panty liners), metal poppers.
- Wemoon Natural Menstrual Pads - made in Australia, sold singly, cotton outer, lots of colour choices, 5 sizes, highly absorbent, leakproof barrier, metal poppers, matching storage purses available. Latex free.
- Lunapads - made in Canada, sold singly, several colour choices. 2 sizes of panty liner and 3 sizes of pad - the pads are a 2 part system where you increase absorbency by adding additional liners. Change the liner, not the whole pad.
- Honour Your Flow Sanitary Towels - made in the UK by a WAHM, 4 sizes including generously shaped Night pads, bamboo/wool option available, choice of colours, sold singly.
- Popolini - made in Austria, a flexible system that comes as a kit, choose the right insert for the absorbency required, pop it into the outer pad, then use as normal. Unbleached or organic cotton only, one size.
- Ma Petite Chou - made in the UK from up-cycled fabric. One size (reg/med) pad, and a small panty liner currently in the range. Uses bamboo next to the skin, very soft and cozy!
- Eco Femme - made in India by a women's empowerment project, aiming to promote healthy menstrual practises. Profits made from international sales are used to help fund inexpensive reusable pads for Indian women. The range includes panty liners, day pads, night pads and a pouch.
Tip: After use, reusable sanitary towels should be stored in cold salty water to prevent stains from setting, and can then be washed with your normal laundry. We recommend washing at 40 degrees. Fabric softener should NOT be used, as over time this will decrease the absorbency of your reusable sanitary pads. With care, your reusable sanitary pads should last for 3-5 years, possibly longer.
Several sizing options are available, as with disposable sanitary towels, and you will find that we offer reusable panty liners, sanitary towels in various absorbency and sizes, as well as highly absorbent night pads and maternity pads for really heavy days or post-partum bleeding.
Reusable menstrual cups are worn internally, they sit lower than a tampon and simply collect your flow. Made from medical grade silicone, a single menstrual cup will last up to ten years, offering fantastic value for money. If you're worried about leaks while you get used to using one, we have washable panty liners, as well as Natracare disposable panty liners, available.
- Mooncup - made in UK, established 2002, choice of 2 sizes: B for those who haven't had a baby or are under 30, A for those who have given birth or are over 30, supplied with unbleached organic cotton storage bag and detailed instructions in several languages, winner of 2007 Best Buy Award from Ethical Consumer, all materials are as ethical and eco-friendly as possible. Mooncup also employ 2 fully trained nurse advisers who can provide telephone advice on choosing and using the Mooncup, wherever you bought your Mooncup.
- Femmecup - made in Far East for British company, established 2007, single size only (one size fits all), supplied with cotton storage bag and instructions.
- LadyCup / PinkCup - made in Czech Republic, available in two sizes and a selection of colours, supplied with colourful cotton storage bag and instructions. The inside of the cup has been made to be smooth for easy cleaning.
- Lunette - made in Finland, available in two sizes and a range of colours plus clear, supplied with a coloured satin storage bag and instructions. Individually wrapped disinfectant cup wipes also available.
Tip: if worn overnight, try drying the stem of the menstrual cup with a little toilet tissue before removing to give better grip!
Menstrual sea sponge tampons
The use of natural sea sponges as tampons has been going on for many years, and unsurprisingly, the soft natural sponges are not only absorbent, but very comfortable to wear. Worn internally like a tampon, menstrual sponges absorb your menstrual flow, and when they need changing, you may notice a bubbling sensation or feel the sponge starting to slip lower. They are quite easy to insert and remove, though if you prefer you can carefully sew a little dental floss to your menstrual sponge to aid removal.
- Jam Sponge - sourced from the Mediterranean Ocean, 2 sponges supplied in a kit with a red storage bag, several small plastic bags, instructions, and a badge!
- Moon Times Sea Sponge Tampons - supplied in a pack of 2 with a storage bag and full instructions.
Tip: before re-inserting your sponge, rinse with warm water (and squeeze out) for a more comfortable experience!