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I had been thinking about making the switch from disposable menstrual pads to reusable cloth pads for quite a while—probably nearly a whole year. From the moment I first discovered them, I was intrigued. I wanted to be rid of the uncomfortable, irritating plastic feeling that made me dread my period and had wished for an alternative to feeling so gross for a week every month. Here it was, but I was still hesitant to make the investment.
Until now. Finally, while sitting miserably on the couch wearing one of those crinkly, scratchy, sweaty plastic pads, I pressed the "order" button for my first set of LunaPads.
I had spent all morning looking into all the different options that I had to choose from and had finally settled on LunaPads for two main reasons: Their unique insert system that allows you to wear the same pad base all day, changing out the inserts as needed; and the fact that they are a Canadian company.
When they arrived a week later, I opened the box and excitedly pulled out my order; The Deluxe Heavy Flow kit, as well as one extra Overnight Pad & insert.
Deluxe Heavy Flow Kit
The pads are extremely soft and surprisingly thin. When my next period rolled around, I was almost hesitant to use them, despite all of the positive reviews that I had spent hours reading on the LunaPads website. But, I snapped on a Maxi pad with an insert and set off for a full day away from home.
The first day of my period is generally lighter than the second and third days, but I brought an extra pad on top of the replacement inserts with me anyways, just in case. I sat through the morning somewhat anxiously, hoping that I would not leak through. By noon, I was surprised to find that the insert was still going strong. I slipped in a new insert and tucked the used one into the cute wet bag that I had ordered with my pads.
Planet Wise Wet / Dry Bag
That second insert lasted me the rest of the afternoon. I changed it once more for the evening, and then swapped the Maxi pad out for an Overnight Pad and an overnight insert, ready for the night ahead of me.
The idea of sleeping in the cloth pads was far more unnerving that wearing one out. Despite the lack of potential embarrassment from a leak, I worried about not being able to check every once and a while throughout the night. But I crawled into bed regardless and slept the night away.
In the morning, I was nervous to check the pad. It seemed a miracle when I looked at the sheets and saw nothing staining them. In the bathroom, I was amazed to find that the insert had not even leaked through onto the pad base.
The rest of my period was a breeze. With the constant urge to worry about leaks gone, I barely realised that I was wearing a pad at all. I continued the next few days as I normally would, attending classes and even feeling motivated enough to exercise at home; something I never did while wearing disposable pads because of the sweat. In the cloth pads, I felt cool and dry throughout the workout, and on top of that the pads never slipped or bunched up.
One of the main reasons why people are hesitant to switch from disposable to cloth pads in the issue of washing them. Following suggestions by users and the LunaPads website, I rinsed the inserts off in cold water before tossing them into a covered bucket full of water to soak. Throughout the week, I changed the soaking water daily. At the end of my period, I dumped the water out and tossed the pads into the wash with the rest of my regular laundry. To my surprise, the pads came out as clean as they had been before I had used them.
So, should you switch to reusable cloth pads? Yes! If you're tired of dealing with all of the discomfort that comes with wearing disposable pads, you should switch. If you want to take care of your body and stop subjecting yourself to all of the chemicals that can be found in disposable pads, you should switch. If you care about the environment and want to stop throwing hundreds of pads into landfills every year, you should switch.
Needless to say, my experience with cloth pads was not an uncommon one. At the end of my period, I asked myself the same question that nearly all of the other users had included in their reviews: Why did I wait so long?