1. You will reduce your menstrual cramps, infections and skin rashes.
If you suffer intense pain during your period and are using disposable pad, consider using alternatives like washable pads or 100% organic cotton products. Disposable pads also use plastics, which block airflow to your vagina, and not surprisingly, can encourage a painful rash. Disposables also use synthetic fibers like rayon which are super-absorbent, but will also absorb all the moisture in your vagina, increasing your chances of severe pain and infections -- especially if you are wearing one for hours, all day, and all week. Once I switched to reusable cloth pads, my own severe cramping was reduced to nil -- a real menstrual miracle.
2. Reusable options are much healthier for you.
Disposables are typically made with a combination of plastics, cotton, synthetic fibers and wood pulp. Conventionally produced cotton is one of the most toxic crops grown, using 20 percent of the world’s pesticide and herbicides. These materials are then bleached with chlorine dioxide, creating polluting, harmful and bio-accumulative byproducts like dioxin, which not only end up in the environment, but also remain in our bodies for decades. Add other synthetic chemicals and artificial fragrances to the mix, and you've got a recipe for side effects like allergic reactions, hormone disruption, reproductive and gynecological disorders like endometriosis. .
3. You will save loads of money.
If the health reasons don't sway you, maybe the numbers will be more convincing. Granted, reusables have a larger initial cost, but they last much, much longer. With proper care, cloth pads can last for years (my own cloth napkins are six years old and are still going strong). Compare this to the disposable that has a lifespan of a few hours before it's thrown away, forcing you to buy more and more -- all of them ending up in a landfill.
You can do the math: assuming a woman menstruates for 40 years, buys a N450 pack for a month, you can do the rest.
4. You will help save the environment.
Switching to reusables is a striking example of how seemingly small personal choices can have a tremendous positive impact on our environment. The plastics in a pad will take hundreds of years to decompose. The process of manufacturing these disposables also pollutes our waterways, air and animal habitats. Switching to reusables can make a difference.
5. You will support independent companies.
If you are already leery of handing your money over to big, faceless corporations that probably don't have your best interests in mind, check out the companies that specialize in providing safe and healthier alternatives.
6. Its sanitary, doesn't leak and easier to clean than you think.
When talking about reusable options, one is inevitably faced with the questions: "is it clean?" and "will it leak?" Our washable pads use a removable liner for extra absorption, and many have a waterproof lining sewn inside. It may be a tad bulkier, but occasional bulk is infinitely better than a lifetime of health problems. With the right maintenance, reusable products are just as sanitary. For washable pads, we recommend soaking them overnight in water before washing.
7. Heck, it's pretty. And empowering.
Forget those boring, bleached white synthetic products -- reusable options are bursting with color, patterns, unique designs -- personality. I don't know what the background science may be, but surely bright colors can help alleviate any premenstrual syndrome-related moodiness.
We would also do well to remember that non-disposables are nothing new; women have been using sea sponges and rags forever. The culture of concealment surrounding menstruation has influenced women to feel ashamed about their bodies, and this imposed shame makes us docile, unquestioning consumers of products that are neither good for us, nor the environment.