sustainable menstruation

Sustainable Menstruation:

Hello and welcome to ecodhara!
Today, let’s talk about a topic that’s near and dear to me i.e. sustainable menstruation. Everyone knows what’s menstruation. Almost all of us know the menstrual products that are used during menstrual cycle but how many of us know the environmental ill-effects of these products?

A high percentage of menstruating women use disposable sanitary pads in India and some maybe using tampons. These sanitary pads have multiple problems w.r.t. people health and environmental health:

  1. They are full of plastic and not-so-good chemicals. This slide from greenthered foundation shows which harmful chemicals are used.
  2. ‎These pads are grow 30 times of their original size. So if not disposed off properly, they end up clogging the drains.
  3. If collected properly, menstrual products are burnt in incinerators. If these incinerators are not used at optimum capacity and setting, they generate harmful gases into the environment. We lack strict regulatory measures in this space.
  4. ‎Disposable products take 500-800 years to decompose. Need I say more? Definitely not good for Environment.

Need I say more? Definitely not good for environment and our health as well.

Then what’s the alternative? The alternative is sustainable menstrual products.

A product is sustainable if it can be used for long time, does not harm environment and can be adapted to normal routine.

The good news is, we have more than one alternative available. Three that I know of, two out of those I have used for years and one I am absolutely in love with. 🙂 Let’s talk about all of them one by one.

Reusable cloth pad with menstrual cup
  1. Menstrual cup:
    This is the product that I swear by. I am not an absolute master of using menstrual cup but surely above average! Enough bragging, lets understand what it is.
    This is a cup shaped menstrual product made up of medical grade silicon which is inserted into the vagina. Cup creates a suction seal and collects the blood flow. Once filled, it can be easily removed, cleaned with water and re-inserted for further use. Detailed videos about menstrual cup here:
  1. Reusable pads:
    Reusable pads are almost equivalent to disposable pads in terms of use. These are made up of cotton/hemp i.e. organic material and to be placed inside panty to collect the menstrual blood. Most cotton pads have similar capacity as disposable pad and you get similar variety in size as well.
    Reusable pads come in two types-
    These ones you can buckle up on outer side of panty and it stays in place. These other ones come as a pack of one liner and multiple inserts save from leaking outside and once the cotton cloth is fully wet you and remove one and reinsert other within same liner. More details in YouTube video here:
This is how old cloth pads look like (after 3 years)

Period panties:
I won’t talk much about these because I have zero practical experience. I have heard and read that these are super-comfortable, no problem of leaking as they run from end-to-end and easily washable. These also solve the problem of pads not staying in place and ending up in a leak.
There are two types in these as well – one where panty comes with a liner and inserts through which pad can be removed and re-inserted and in other type panty itself acts as a blood collector and can be used, cleaned and used again.
Another positive point of period panties is that even if you wear super tight pants, no outline will be visible. This can be positive point for cup as well I guess.. 😛

So that’s all here guys! let me know how you liked it.

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