How can you be sustainable when you suffer from heavy periods?
As someone who suffers from endometriosis, I have spent so much money on single-use period products such as sanitary pads. This hasn’t been sustainable for my pocket (I was spending around at least £20-£30 a month on sanitary pads) or for the environment. I also started becoming aware of the chemicals used in sanitary pads and I didn’t want to keep using a product which contained so many toxic ingredients.
After doing some research, I decided to switch to period pants. They have been so effective in terms of cost, sustainability and feeling comfortable during such an uncomfortable time of the month. I also tried a menstrual cup which I also got on well with, and more and more brands are bringing out their own range of period products.
I received a few products from a company called Saalt to try. Saalt’s CEO, Cherie, started the company as she wanted to improve the availability for kids like her five daughters. The Saalt menstrual cup was the first product to be launched, back in February 2018.
How to choose the right menstrual cup for you.
Menstrual cups can be a minefield if you haven’t seen one before, there are so many on the market and as someone who has never used a tampon before, and only used a menstrual cup a few times, I was a bit nervous about choosing the right size and worried about potential leaks if using the wrong size. Thankfully, Saalt has a ‘cup quiz’ on their website which only takes a few minutes to complete. The quiz gets an idea of your requirements by asking questions such as how heavy your flow is and whether you’ve comfortably used a tampon before. After finishing the quiz, I was recommended to choose the regular size, and I went for the Himalayan pink colour.
The cup is designed using 100% medical grade silicone with a velvety soft finish and it is extremely comfortable, even for someone like me who isn’t an experienced user of menstrual cups. It gives you up to 12 hours of protection, you then remove it, rinse it and then insert it again. I would say it would be useful for people in jobs where they can’t get access to regular toilet breaks, such as nurses or teachers, or for people who travel a lot and who might struggle to get access to period products.
Price wise, it’s £26 for the regular size, which is amazing value. In terms of absorbency, I find that on days 1-3 of my cycle, when its at it’s heaviest, I have to empty my cup after around 10 hours. Midway through my period, I can get away with the 12 hours. This is great for when I’m out with the kids as I don’t have to worry about potential leaks.
I also love that they do a teen cup, which would have been so good for me when I was a teenager constantly stressing about my heavy periods and having to walk around and do sports in bulky pads. I will definitely be purchasing this for my daughter once she starts menstruating.
The leakproof underwear was my favourite out of the two products. Firstly, they look and feel so luxurious and I even wear them on my non-period days. The lace detail is stunning and they are comfortable on my lighter flow days. I remember when I would only wear big dark knickers on my period, so it’s great that period underwear is now an option, so that we can still feel and look our best during our cycle.
The leakproof underwear can also be used instead of a pantyliner and to absorb discharge or spotting. It replaces 2 light tampons. The prices for the underwear range from £26 up to around £35. Obviously, it’s a big investment upfront, but then it’s so much more affordable compared to what you would be spending each month on tampons or sanitary pads. I also love that there isn’t that worry when I’m out that I haven’t packed pads.
Would you consider swapping to a cup or period underwear?