How to Choose Which Menstrual Product is Right for Me?
Sustainability has become an increasingly important aspect of modern life. As a result, more and more companies are working towards making their products more sustainable and environmentally friendly.
What is sustainability, and why do we need it at this point? Technically, sustainability refers to avoiding the depletion of natural resources and maintaining eco-balance. There is a growing movement to promote “green” products that have a minimal impact on the environment, from large to small companies.
Now, we have sustainable menstrual products and some non-biodegradable menstrual products as well. With so many options on the market, how can you choose which menstrual product is right for you? We’re here to help you with that.
We’ve curated a list of sustainable menstrual products for you to understand and choose at your convenience in this article.
Here is a list of sustainable menstrual products that you can use:
1. Biodegradable sanitary padsHere are five reasons why using biodegradable sanitary pads is better for you.
REASON 1: Better for your body
Plastic pads are made using chemicals called dioxins by bleaching the pads, to make the material white. These chemicals are associated with an increased risk of cancer, issues with the immune system, developmental disabilities, endometriosis, painful periods, and infertility. Sanitary napkins are made with fragrances and deodorants that can cause infertility, including BPA and other chemical compounds that can cause cancer over time. Pads made from organic materials don't contain any harmful chemicals that could harm the body.
REASON 2: Biodegradable pads are breathable
Unlike pads made of synthetic fibers, biodegradable pads let the skin breathe while keeping you dry with an absorbent cellulose core. Biodegradable pads like Saathi Pads, for example, have softer material that reduces the likelihood of allergies and skin irritation caused by standard pads. By limiting airflow to this sensitive area, you will also have a lower risk of bacterial and fungal infections.
REASON 3: Healthy and affordable
Compared to standard sanitary pads, organic pads cost less and do not cause significant environmental damage or irritation to the skin. With organic bamboo’s high absorption properties, this kind of product is much more cost-effective than other options during your monthly cycle.
REASON 4: Eco-friendly
It is a healthier option for your body and is environmentally friendly since they decompose easily within six months instead of normal sanitary pads that take 500-800 years to break down.
REASON 5: Comfortable to the skin
In most cases, pads are made of plastic, resulting in a rough feel against the skin that causes itchiness and rashes. These soft, streamlined products feel more comfortable while you go about your daily activities.
Things to consider
- Competitive prices may make consumers prefer non-biodegradable products.
- Aren't suitable for swimming like any other sanitary pads.
2. Cloth sanitary pads/napkins
Here are some reasons why you should choose cloth sanitary pads.
REASON 1: Comfortable to skin
Changing your sanitary pads at least every few hours may be a requirement depending on the flow. Why not opt for something more durable and comfortable like cloth pads? They feel soft on the skin and they are also comfortable to wear.
REASON 2: Budget-friendly
When you regularly use disposable pads and tampons, you can spend a lot of money. However, despite being expensive at first, reusable pads will last you several months or even years, depending on how they are used and cleaned.
REASON 3: Eco-friendly
Between 12,000 and 16,000 disposable pads, party liners, and tampons are used by women in their lifetime. Cloth pads last for years, minimizing their environmental impact and reducing costs associated with monthly store visits.
REASON 4: Convenience
Running out of supplies at the most inconvenient time can be such a hassle, let alone making the monthly trip to the convenience store. It seems more convenient to have your monthly supplies on hand rather than having to run into strangers at the store. Using a reusable pad has the advantage of being easily bagged up as you travel or are on the move.
If you’re looking for an eco-friendly yet super comfortable option, opt for cloth sanitary pads. These pads are made of cloth and are reusable. So you can avoid exposure to synthetic ingredients and go for a soft and safe for the skin. The reusable pads can last up to years with proper care and laundering, and it's important since they're reusable.
Things to consider
- Washing and drying pads take a lot of time
- Hand wash can be a time-consuming and difficult task
- Some cloth pads contain a certain amount of plastic
3. Menstrual Cups
Menstrual cups are an environmentally friendly option, for the following reasons.
REASON 1: Increased interval between changes
An average menstrual cup holds about one or two ounces of menstrual fluid. It is possible to use a menstrual cup for 12 hours without needing to empty it. This means you can wear a menstrual cup for a longer period of time than other feminine hygiene products.
REASON 2: Safe and hygienic
An advantage of menstrual cups is that they collect blood rather than absorb it, which causes a reduced risk of toxic shock syndrome (TSS). TSS is caused by a bacteria that women get in their tampons.
REASON 3: Budget friendly
The large volume of cups that are available can provide significant savings over pads and tampons when used long-term. Although the price of menstrual cups is higher than tampons or sanitary napkins, you only have to pay once, while other feminine hygiene products must be constantly purchased, increasing the total cost.
REASON 4: Less odor
Menstrual blood can emit an odor if exposed to the air. A menstrual cup has an airtight seal that keeps fluid from being exposed to air.
REASON 5: Environment friendly
You can use these cups for 5-8 years and create much less waste compared to non-biodegradable sanitary pads, so you do not contribute to the environment's pollution.
Saathi reusable menstrual cups are dermatologically tested and made of 100% medical grade VI silicone. All you need to do is sterilize it with warm water before each use. A greener, healthier, and easier option.
While the process of inserting a cup can be intimidating, numerous guides are available online to help you. Check out our blog for a detailed step-by-step guide.
Things to consider
- Inserting and removing may be challenging
- Searching for the right cup size can be challenging
- May cause allergic reactions especially if not made of medical grade silicone
- Vaginal irritation is possible
- Removal can be messy
4. Period panties
Period panties look the same as your regular underwear, which makes them very comfortable to wear. Don’t worry; they are as safe as any other things against our skin.
- Period underwear is made from fabric technology that increases absorbency and prevents leaks.
- Period underwear can be used in conjunction with other menstrual products to provide complete protection during your period.
- Period underwear is machine-washable, reusable, and can last up to 2 years when properly cared for.
- Looks and feels like regular underwear but contains additional layers of highly absorbent fabrics in the crotch area to absorb menstrual blood.
Things to consider
- It's not a good idea to change your undies midway through the day (unless you don't mind carrying bloody undies home).
- They are not as environmentally friendly as they should be
- If you want to avoid leaks, you need to buy the right size.
- The use of these requires washing, soaking, and rinsing after each use, and must be washed immediately afterwards.
The variety of feminine care products on the market can be overwhelming. If you don’t know which product suits your needs best, you should experiment with each one. Each product has both pros and cons, but they are still much better than conventional products available on the market.
A sustainable product that is good not only for the environment but also for your health. Use only the best for what will stay on your body. This blog should help you choose what menstrual product best suits your needs.
Moreover, many brands on the market claim to be biodegradable. From our products to our packaging everything is biodegradable and sustainable. Moreover, as our products contain no plastic, they are soft and comfortable to the touch. It, therefore, has a beneficial impact on the body, community, and environment.
The key is not to choose a particular product but to choose one that can make a difference. You can do your part to make this world cleaner, greener, and safer by taking action.
- 10 Items you never knew contained plastic: 10 Items you never knew contained plastic
- Here are 4 things you can do to live, eco friendly, period!: Here are 4 things you can do to live, eco friendly, period!
- Why a sustainable solution is essential for creating period equity: Why is a Sustainable Solution Essential to Creating Period Equity?
Saathi is an award winning social venture which has a patented technology to convert agri-waste into absorbent materials. Our sanitary pads are 100% biodegradable and compostable made from banana and bamboo fibers, which convert into compost in 6 months of its disposal. Saathi pads are good for the body🩸, community 🌎 and environment 🌱. We are on a mission to revolutionize the hygiene industry as a consumer products company that makes products in a sustainable and responsible way.
We are recognized by the UNESCO Green Citizens project, University of St. Andrews, Solar Impulse Foundation and Global Cleantech Innovation Program among others for our innovative, social impact and sustainable work. We are working towards United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 12, 13, 3, 9, 5, 6, 8, and 14.
Check out a short video of our story here and follow us at @saathipads on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin and Youtube to learn about more facts and myth busters about sustainability, women’s health, and more!
If you can make a contribution to the #OneMillionPads initiative, check out these links: