The Cloth Sanitary Pad and Menstural Cup Q&A

The questions you had after reading last month’s Clean. Period. blog. And the answers I promised to help you switch!

I LOVE that spreading my message, as well as discounts from some of my favourite UK sellers (still available here) have helped some of you switch already.

And I’m over the New Moon to answer any further questions you have too. Just hit me up on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.

 

CUPS & CLOTH.

How did you find switching?

I hadn’t had a period in years, due to the problems I had had when they started in the first place and my decision to routinely use progesterone… But, having embraced my flow, using cups and cloth pads has been MEGA EASY.

Once you get used to the cups, and find a brand that your body is more matched with, they are much more comfortable than tampons. And the pads are kinder to the skin too!

To be honest, I was a little funny about washing cloth pads in the beginning, but it’s completely natural and didn’t take me a second to get over when it actually came to it.

I keep my pads in a zipped washable bag in the laundry now, and make sure they’re washed within a day or two. The blood stains and I don’t want to ruin some of the lovely designs I have either.

Illustration @hey__ellen

The pads are washed in my normal load, on a 30, with no fabric softener/conditioner – as it stops them being so absorby. My partner washes them for me most of the time and it works fantastically for us as it’s so easy.

Personally, I have found the Lunette cup the most comfortable, it comes in a smaller size and is made of a less rigid silicone. But we’re all different.

All good cups come with more detailed instructions on their use as well. It really is no more complicated than learning to use a tampon for the first time – and then becomes second nature.

Switching really has been a lot cleaner, easier, and comfortable than I expected.

 

So have you got multiple cups & pads to use? Some of the designs are so lovely!

I have 2 cups, but you only really need one.

I bought the second cup (my Lunette cup) after doing some more research. I brought it because I was finding the smallest size of Moon Cup a little uncomfortable still. It wasn’t painful or anything, I could just sometimes feel that it was in there.

I have around five panty liner size pads, that I use alongside a cup in the day. And four heavier nighttime pads now.

It took me a while to realise the length and absorbancy that I needed, but I guessed and brought a couple – before adding to my collection once I had a better idea.

Each month or two I still buy another one! The panty liners I buy only cost around £4.50 and last forever – so a few pounds every month doesn’t seem like a lot… Plus, I love some of the designs and get a little excited to treat myself!

 

CUPS.

I’ve been wanting to try a period cup, is it a crazy switch from tampons?

Not at all.

I use a Lunette cup – I started with Moon cup, which I had no problems with, I just find the Lunette more comfortable. And they both come with detailed instructions on their use.

It is different from using a tampon, but really isn’t anymore complicated than learning to use a tampon for the first time – and then it becomes second nature.

 

Is it possible to overflow the cup? I’m afraid I’ll be running to the bathroom 24/7 worrying it will all spill out!

It is possible but not probable. And an overflow really isn’t the gushing mess that some people imagine! It is just like a leak from a tampon (more like a slow dribble).

I’ve only dribbled out of my cup onto a liner twice, and the reasons my cup has overflowed/leaked have been because: a) I put it in super quick and didn’t notice it hadn’t ‘popped’ open properly and b) I left it in for over 12 hours and it was full.

Illustration @beckybarnicomics

I think my cup hadn’t opened properly because I was tense. I can feel now if it hasn’t opened up fully and check that it has by wiggling the base of the cup and running my finger around the outside (checking for kinks). There are several different ways of folding menstral cups for insertion and you may find that some ways are easier or work better for you too. A simple search online will show you lots of methods.

I use a light ‘panty liner’ cloth pad or pair of THINX as a back up to my cup to protect against overflow – as I would have done with tampons – and I empty my cup when I see spotting or feel as though it might be getting full. Another strange one to explain, but you get to know your cycle and the cup, just as with tampons.

Most cups have at least 2x the capacity of an ‘ultra jumbo’ tampon – so going  from tampons to cups, you may even find you overflow/need to change less often.

I have a heavy period too, so I check my cup every 4-6 hours on my ‘heaviest days.

If you currently use tampons and pads as a back up: it may be easier to switch to a cup (still using the same pads as back up) and see how you get on before switching to cloth pads too. One thing at a time.

 

Is the cup unsanitary to you? Everytime I mention wanting one, people think it’s disgusting because you have to dump it.

The cups are waaaay cleaner than tampons in my opinion. It’s just medical grade silicon and the contents can be tipped down the toilet before you rinse (if possible) and pop it back in.

All cups come with instructions for cleaning too.

I rinse mine before use and simmer on the hob to throughly clean after each cycle – ready for next time – but I do know people who just wash them.

Personally, I think anyone who thinks it’s disgusiting need to examine their relationship with the human body and not your cleaniness!

 

Will I leak?!

Honestly – one of my fears was that I would leak through (it happened to me as a teenager and those types of things stay with you)!

But the cups hold up to three times more than most tampons and are easily used. And the pads are just as absorbant as the disposable type.

I use a light ‘panty liner’ cloth pad as a back up to my cup to protect against leaks – as I would have done with tampons – and I empty my cup when I see spotting or feel as though it might be getting full. Another strange one to explain – but you get to know your cycle and the cup, just like with tampons.

Most cups have at least 2x the capacity of an ‘super jumbo’ tampon – so going from tampons to cups, you may even find you overflow/need to change less often. I have a heavy period too, so I check my cup every 4-6 hours on my ‘heavy days’.

If you currently use tampons and pads as a back up: it may be easier to switch to a cup (still using the same pads as back up) and see how you get on before switching to cloth too.

 

Pretty sure I’ve decided which cup to use; Would you recommend the wipes & cleaner they also sell?

I don’t use wipes or cleaner.

I simmer my cups, covered in water, in a small saucepan after my period is done: to give them a deep clean. And I put them straight back in the little bag provided ready for next time.

I rinse the cup under the tap before and after use too, to clean out the little holes.

 

CLOTH.

Would you say cloth pads are good for heavy flow? Does it leak through the fabric?

Illustration @hey__ellen

They are EXCELLENT for a heavy flow. I have been using pads (with cups in the day, and on their own at night) and have never leaked.

Vee at One Cheeky Bee recently made a pad little wider for me to use at nighttime (I’m a wriggler) and sew a line down the middle to control my flow a little too – cause I was concerned that I might leak during a lay in… but it’s never happened!

Most regular and heavy flow pads have a backer on them that is water resistant too. And you can check out more options from the sellers like shapes and sizes that may be best for your flow and your body.

 

How many pads do you have to coordinate through wash and wear?

I have around 5 liners and 4 nighttime pads, and a growing collection, but part of that is that I like treating myself to them!

As long as you’re near to home and can wash them – you could probably start with 3-4 daytime and 2-3 nighttime/heavier pads (depending on the length of your period) and see how you go.

I have a wet bag to take out a clean pad, and change if I need to too.

 

Will I leak?!

One of my fears was that I would leak through (it happened to me as a teenager and those types of things stay with you!). But the pads are just as absorbant as disposables.

You can experiment with different shapes, lengths and absorbances of pad and, if you are using dispoables already, you can model your choices on what works well for you at the moment. There are many more custom choices available that are bound to be more suited to you than buying disposables off the shelf anyway!

 

Wouldn’t they make you look like you’re wearing a diaper?

Not at all!

They are a similar thickness to disposable pads and the wings/poppers can only been seen from between your legs. Meaning, when you have your clothes on no one can see them – and you can choose who you show them off to!

 

Where do you get your pads from?

I use independant UK sellers (found on Etsy). They are amazing and supportive, as well as providing gorgeous cloth pads. I love shopping for them as much as I love using cloth.

Two of my favourite sellers, Nooby Noo and One Cheeky Bee, have provided discounts to help you switch too – still available here.

 

I hope this has been helpful and taken some of the worry out of switching, if it is something you are considering. Please feel free to reach out if there are any further questions you have. I can be contacted directly via the social links on the menu here, or in the comments below ✌️

Share:

1 Comment

  1. May 1, 2018 / 11:18 pm

    I’ve been doing it the old school way for er…40 something years? Not going to change now but I’m glad there’s more natural alternatives available for young women!

Leave a Reply