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I've been doing a lot of research, reviews and writing blogs on sustainable menstrual products like Cloth Pads, Menstrual Cup; Saafkin; and how to buy them, As these type of reusable products are both health friendly and environment friendly and free from any chemicals as those in disposable sanitary napkins.
My purpose is to gather enough knowledge and experience to boost -up my daughter's confidence when she attains puberty along with making other women switch towards these products.
By promoting reusable, I don't want girls to be afraid or tensed about periods in school, as I was in my days (Though I used disposable sanitary napkins, which were considered modern in those days).
Recently in order to promote reusable products, I found a kind of fear in teenagers or say school going girls about using Cloth Pads; Mainly because of the mindset of "12 hours protection jingle" through advertisements offered by disposable pads. Let me once again clarify, neither cloth pads nor disposable sanitary napkins can assure no leakage, and it has to be changed in time according to your flow.
However, keeping aside the debate of reusable Vs disposable; I am happy to share my experience with another Product called "Period Panty". Of course it is reusable like your regular underwear, but yes it supports like an Angel on your periods, so here goes my review...
There were period panties available in the market in my teenage, those panties were slightly thicker and had a plastic layer in the middle (by middle I mean the small rectangle area where you place your pad) and a very thin sponge insert, with two straps for holding the insert.
The benefit was almost nil, as in those days we used the adhesive based disposable napkins. The base of the napkin once fixed upon the plastic was very difficult to remove and often tore the pad. Additionally the straps getting soiled gave a wet feeling. Hence I had to discard the panty as using pads alone was a better option relatively.
Recently, I again came across the period panty concept from a brand (Name not revealed). It interested me to give a try after seeing it’s images.
Now talking about these Period Panties;
Frankly, initially I wasn’t willing to buy as I am a Menstrual Cup user and also suffer with inner thigh rashes in the humid climate of Goa. Though the panty also mentioned to be a good back up for the cup users just in case of emergency, I was still in a dilemma as online purchase gives no scope for analysis especially when I am very particular about buying underwear due to my rash problem.
Then I thought of giving it a try considering my daughter who will not be introduced to cups till she reaches adulthood, for her cloth pads are the only option for me to consider (down the line though) and period panty might boost her confidence as there wasn’t any plastic or adhesives like we had in our days; and therefore I decided to give a try myself well in advance prior to giving her.
The panty arrived exactly “on time” and was shown to everyone in my neighborhood as I keep motivating them to switch from disposables.
Hurriedly I washed it in the washing machine along with other laundry and hanged on the cloth line. It wasn’t dry till late evening, thanks to the heavy monsoon of Goa :) and I had to tumble dry it. Post drying it looked and smelled fresh as ever.
Finally on the fourth day my period the panty was inaugurated along with the insert accompanying it (First three days missed due to washing and drying). As my flow reduces from the third day itself, I was sure the panty alone will do wonders.
It took great care of my entire day at work; surprisingly the insert which was without any leak-proof layer seized my flow very well. I changed the insert with a cloth pad later (the straps got slightly soiled, and I had no extra insert too). The cloth pad covered the straps completely and without any worry I sat on the rocking chair and had a peaceful sleep as I was sure the panty will not allow any back leakage which otherwise I face with small to medium sized pads (approx. 26 cm in length).
The panty covers the whole front and back portion with a soft combed cotton leak-proof layer and can be used with the following combinations (Not to forget "Reusable" combos) to get complete protection:
Cloth Pads + Period Panty – Will give you 100% protection; 4 pads or so along with one panty will make your entire day more than “Carefree” or “Stayfree” with no “whispering” required :)
Inserts / Foldable Inserts + Period Panty - Remember the panty is very good insert holder, the straps may get slightly stained but they are absorbent too, and can make your day comfortable. This is a good option for those who are hesitant in drying there cloth pads in open.
Home-made inserts or foldable cloth - Made from old rags or cotton sari will be a suitable and economic option. All you have to invest is only for the panty.
Menstrual Cup + Period Panty – Period panty can hold your flow very well if your cup is full and starts leaking or if it’s not inserted properly and starts leaking. In short it will supplement the usage of cup. Though I don't recommend cups for young girls.
Period Panty alone – Yes, you read it right. The panty alone can act as a one man’s army for few hours. You can also wear it when you are likely to get your periods especially when you are travelling and have lesser options for restrooms.
Now let’s discuss few merits and demerits to summarize:
Overall it’s a wonderful promising product and highly recommended for womanhood.
I would suggest all mommies to try out yourself, get convinced and then introduce your daughters.
PS: The Brand name is purposely not mentioned so that the readers don't get confused considering it as a product promotion from my ends.
This is just my review for informational purpose on Good reusable / sustainable menstrual products, as its my passion to motivate people for switching to reusable products.