washable menstrual pads

(148 Posts)
CatchTheFox Mon 04-Feb-13 19:38:36

ok, i am interested to know if people think this is gross or not. 10 years ago i wouldn't have even considered it, but now with 2 in cloth nappies, it's seems like a no-brainer.
or should i try a mooncup?

thegreylady Mon 04-Feb-13 19:39:41

mooncup definitely

gordyslovesheep Mon 04-Feb-13 19:40:39

stick whatever you feel comfortable with in your pants and up your fanny - I don't think anyone else can answer for you what you find gross.

VinegarDrinker Mon 04-Feb-13 19:40:45

I can't see anything gross about it, just chuck them in your nappy wash. Mooncups are easier though!

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Mon 04-Feb-13 19:41:08

I would go for a moon cup, now that I am okay with having things inside me it is great.

If you don't like putting things inside you then reusable pads are much much much nicer to wear than disposable, no sweaty plasticness with odd perfumes.

BertieBotts Mon 04-Feb-13 19:41:10

Mooncup. I use both, though. Washable pads are a marked improvement on disposable smile

VitoCorleone Mon 04-Feb-13 19:42:40

I dont even know what a mooncup is?

Its really up to you what you use.

DanceYourselfDizzyBaby Mon 04-Feb-13 19:43:52

I also use a mooncup with washable pads. It's in no way gross and has saved me lots of money over the years.

PretzelTime Mon 04-Feb-13 19:47:34

Not gross, since they're machine washable. Also better for your fanjo than ordinary pads, they're made of more breatheable fabric instead of plastic.
Basically everyone here loves Mooncup so try it too!

McNewPants2013 Mon 04-Feb-13 19:49:44

why not, it's only you dealing with the mess.

Mooncup would be less work

Kiriwawa Mon 04-Feb-13 19:50:04

It's not gross but it can be quite unpleasant carrying around soaked pads all day until you get home.

I'm a mooncup fan smile

CatchTheFox Mon 04-Feb-13 19:51:49

i don't think it's gross, i just wondered if other people think it's gross. because sometimes i worry that i am dangerously close to being some kind of hippy, which doesn't fit in with my sophisticated self-image.

gordyslovesheep Mon 04-Feb-13 19:53:47

hahaha as long as you don't start making think from hemp and lentils or call you child Moonbeam Spacehopper you should be fine

I loved my Mooncup but it didn't love me sad

gordyslovesheep Mon 04-Feb-13 19:54:04

things! not think !

ControlGeek Mon 04-Feb-13 19:54:07

I have to use both, mooncup (or standard disposable for when I am at work as there's nowhere to clean up) and washable pads. IIRC I got them from a highly embarrassing site that called them fairy hammocks after a Jo Brand sketch blush The only downside is if you need to change away from home, but I've developed the art of folding and popstudding them to keep all nasties pointing inwards.

fluffyraggies Mon 04-Feb-13 20:14:32

I must chime in and say i don't love mooncups! They make me 'ache' after a few hours. I've used them for ttc as well as for menstrual blood, so it wasn't a period pain ache. It was a mooncup ache.

Disposable pads intrigue me. How do you keep them in place? I can't keep a bloomin' stick on disposable in place for love nor money! It always goes over one side or sticks itself to my pubes blush even the ones with wings.

I imagine them to be all nice and soft and towely smile

PretzelTime Mon 04-Feb-13 20:14:56

Haha, I don't think you are a hippy for considering those easier and healthier alternatives.

If you use a sponge then you're a hippy though.

NeverKnowinglyUnderstood Mon 04-Feb-13 20:16:24

I am there with the sponge thing... just haven't bought one yet...

VinegarDrinker Mon 04-Feb-13 20:17:09

How do you use a mooncup for TTC fluffyraggies? <mind boggles>

malteserzz Mon 04-Feb-13 20:18:37

I have to be honest and say that I find them gross, each to their own but not something I'd ever consider

Rilson Mon 04-Feb-13 20:18:55

I like the idea of a mooncup but Im not sure if it could cope.I have very heavy periods sad

fluffyraggies Mon 04-Feb-13 20:23:53

Vinegar - boggle no more smile You put it in after sex while still laying down and keep it there all night. Or as long as you've got if it's daytime.

The idea is the sperm is held up there rather than leaking out. If your partner has a low sperm count or low motility, or your cervical fluid is not up to scratch, or you've just got the heeby jeebys about it all falling out too soon then it's kind of helpful. Some swear by it. It did work for me in that it kept everything 'up' till i chose to let it out grin

CommunistLegoBloc Mon 04-Feb-13 20:24:43

How do you use them to TTC?! Fill 'em with sperm and shove them up?! shock

CommunistLegoBloc Mon 04-Feb-13 20:25:21

X-post. Slightly better than I was expecting.

fluffyraggies Mon 04-Feb-13 20:26:01

By 'sperm held up there' the proper phrase would be 'sperm is held close to the cervix'.

ControlGeek Mon 04-Feb-13 20:27:16

fluffyraggies mine have popstuds on the wings, you wrap them around your gusset as you would PL-with-wings but popstud the wings together. As long as you're not wearing thongs, it makes a pretty snug fit wink

I have also considered whether my mooncup would assist with my ttc but have always opted for the legs-up position instead blush

sarahseashell Mon 04-Feb-13 20:28:33

shock only on MN - where every day is a schoolday as they say

HecateWhoopass Mon 04-Feb-13 20:28:39

I use them.
I get really ill with tampons or towels - diahorea, horrible stomach cramps.
There is no way on earth I am shoving a mini sink plunger up my fanny.
So washable cloths are great for me.
It's only a bit of blood. <shrug> I don't mind washing it off. And the best thing of all is much less pain.

swampster Mon 04-Feb-13 20:29:00

I love cups - not Mooncups though as I didn't get on with the stem. I have MeLunas in three different sizes and go with the flow as to which one to use. I find I don't really get period pains when I use a cup which is little short of a miracle as I spent close to 30 years writhing in agony for at least one day each month.

I love washable pads, especially the wool-backed bamboo ones from Fussybutt/Sew Fussy. They never get disgustingly saturated in the way disposable pads can. And they don't stink. (Or was that just me?) blush

And sponges are absolutely remarkable. Their absorbency second-to-none. And <whispers> they are really great if you fancy a not-too-gory shag when you are on.

Take a look at this website, it has a great selection of menstrual stuff.

fluffyraggies Mon 04-Feb-13 20:30:24

Yeah i've done the legs up too smile

The popstuds would mean no more 'sticky wings' cementing themselves together like super glue under your gusset! Bliss!

Off to google.

CloudsAndTrees Mon 04-Feb-13 20:37:29

Personally, I think it's gross.

oldraver Mon 04-Feb-13 20:40:43

I use a Mooncup and also DS's old Fluffles liners. I also have washable that has a butter soft minky lining thats I bought a few years ago but cant find the same make.

They are all lovely and soft against my skin fanny. I had an issue with some pads when they started scenting them and had to find an altenative

HardlyEverHoovers Mon 04-Feb-13 20:41:44

I've kind of reached the same conclusion as you OP having gone on the washable nappies, washable babywipes route. Can you buy them or is it a do it yourself kind of job. I used to use a moon cup but since having DS can't seem to cope with it inside me, you'de think it would be the other way round. Mooncup was fab though, so clean and saved so much money.

swampster Mon 04-Feb-13 20:42:33

Periods are fairly gross, CloudsAndTrees, however you dress them up. Personally I find cups and washable pads far less gross than tampons and disposable pads.

swampster Mon 04-Feb-13 20:43:29

Tampon story. Daily Mail alert.

PretzelTime Mon 04-Feb-13 20:48:03


CatchTheFox Mon 04-Feb-13 20:51:49

thanks for the link swampster - i never knew there was so much choice!

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 04-Feb-13 20:54:54


This website is very informative and its where I get mine from, for those on the thread who didn't get on with mooncups,meluna cups do a soft version that can be more comfortable.

There not gross they don't smell, I use a combo of both mooncup and reusable pads, liners daily for sneezing incidents and maxi pads overnight during my period. I started using them after a nightmare event that made my vagina blister because of unsuspecting scented always pad use.

They have poppers that hold them in place I personally find fleece backed ones more secure but others swear by PUL backing.

I would surgest looking at the site and buying say 4 or 5 different types or styles just to see what suits you then when you know what's comfy for you buy more, I favour angel padz maxi pads as they are double poppered and nice and soft as well as fairy hammocks heavy pads and minki regular pads that I use as panty liners because they have soft comfy fleecy tops, most pads come in a choice of PUL or fleece backing and you can even get PUL backed but then fleece over that if you want.

But ikky they are not and I'm so not a tree hunger.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 04-Feb-13 20:55:27


Sorry this should work

deemented Mon 04-Feb-13 20:59:01

Great link from Pixie up ^^ there - i know the lady that runs it and she's lovely smile

I love my muff fluff. I gone from bleeding like a stuck pig for seven days and having chuff chafe for the next seven, to medium flow for 4-5 days and no soreness. No brainer.

I also love my Jam Sponge too - much prefer it to my mooncup.

RoadtoSussex Mon 04-Feb-13 21:02:58

I have a few and am trying not to buy more disposable pads or tampons.

The cloth ones are really absorbent and I find that even those marketed as liners are pretty absorbent.

Washing? Just take them off with your knickers and put in a bag in the laundry basket. Give a cold rinse cycle before the wash and they are fine.

That has reminded me to get on with buying more pads and a menstrual cup too!

I am really really tempted by the washable pads...
I hate pads, especially the sticky wings which have excelled in sticking to my pubes <wince>

I don't think I would get on with a mooncup, I have a prolapse and struggle with thngs up there...

How many washable pads would I need to buy to see me through a period which usually lasts 5 days and is very heavy with the odd clotting / flooding issue?

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 04-Feb-13 21:11:07

Is that heather deemented? If so she was lovely to me when I was confused by all the options and her customer service is great.

She's also slightly cheaper on pads than feminine wear, it makes quite a difference if your buying a few in one hit. But feminine wear do put love heart sweets and free notepads in with there parcels so that's also a bonus.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 04-Feb-13 21:13:55

Behind I would surgest about 10 but you probably won't need that many as they are more absorbent than disposables and the act differently as well.

ControlGeek Mon 04-Feb-13 21:14:07

behind I ended up going for five full sized washables and five liner sized washables, they've always done me. I tend to have 4 days medium-heavy flow, then up to 4-5 days light/spotting. I wsh at 60 degrees and don't get staining, they dry in a day indoors so can reuse if necessary. Been meaning to get some more now that mine are almost 10 years old though.

Blimey, how much has that saved me in disposables??

Booyhoo Mon 04-Feb-13 21:21:33

i have a mooncup but i cant get on with it at all. it either just comes staright down again or stays up but is painful. i haven't used it in months and have been using tampons.

could someone explain to me about this sponge that's being mentioned. what is it and how do i use it?

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 04-Feb-13 21:22:19

oldraver are these the ones


I use them daily as liners they are so soft

deemented Mon 04-Feb-13 21:27:40

It is, pixie - She's really lovely smile

Behind if you flood heavily, then i'd suggest Wee Notions Wall2Wall pads/fairy hammocks. They are massive, but don't let that put you off - they are designed as maternity pads but i find them great overnight and they cope with the 'standing up first thing in the morning' flood really well.

If you need help navigating the Wee Notions website then please just shout as it can be quite daunting smile

Hegsy Mon 04-Feb-13 21:30:36

I love my mooncup smile don't have the same period pains as I had before with tampons and pads

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 04-Feb-13 21:30:55

The sponge is well a natural sponge that you use like a tampon. Its reusable

Thank you deemented, will have a look and shout if I need you.

That awful moment when you stand up, and you can feel the flood rushing out, awful awful awful. If these hammocks can cope with that than I am happy...

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 04-Feb-13 21:33:44
deemented Mon 04-Feb-13 21:36:12

Booyhoo www.jamsponge.co.uk/

Basicly, it's a natural sea sponge, and you dampen it the squeeze it small and put it up. It blocks the vaginal enterence and absorbs all the blood. It's really easy to use and you just rinse it under the tap and it's ready to use again smile

deemented have found them smile Took some searching though!

Like them, now just need to save up the £80 odd I need to buy them....

Booyhoo Mon 04-Feb-13 21:43:50

thank you deemented

deemented Mon 04-Feb-13 21:44:51

You don't have to buy them all at once - even buying a couple so you can use them on just one day is a great start. Also, have you thought about preloved? I know some folks cringe at the thought, but it can be an inexpensive way to build your stash smile

PretzelTime Mon 04-Feb-13 21:52:44

...preloved menstrual protection? Now I heard it all.

FourArms Mon 04-Feb-13 21:53:33

The MeLuna looks good - XL volume is three times that of the mooncup which I can fill hourly at worst. Anyone got any thoughts on comparisons between the two?

FourArms Mon 04-Feb-13 21:55:48

I bought a couple of washables, but mainly use old nappy boosters now. I made some of them myself, so if you've got a sewing machine you could have some for free!

Uppermid Mon 04-Feb-13 21:57:01

Marking my place to have a proper look later. Thanks for links!

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 04-Feb-13 21:57:42

I prefer meluna as I find the mooncup a bit rigid.

I have 2 meluna cups one soft and one classic. As I wasn't sure which one I needed so got both after that I chucked my mooncup away because meluna cups are so much better.

I will buy a few, have run out of pads so will buy slightly less of those than I normally would and buy a few fairy hammocks to see how I like them!

Like the idea of the sponge too but bit confused by it needing to be damp when inserted, does that not reduce absorbancy? And are sponges more absorbant than tampons?

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 04-Feb-13 22:04:05

If you don't have mega heavy days every day of your period then you won't need serious absorbent ( expensive) every day.

A mix of regular/ maxi pads and night or heavy pads should be ok.

So you get a few of the heavy or night pads and more of the regular ones that brings the costs down quite a bit.

deemented Mon 04-Feb-13 22:17:46

No, it doesn't reduce absorbancy - you only wet it because when it's dry it's hard and won't squeeze together.

amothersplaceisinthewrong Mon 04-Feb-13 22:20:01

Both cloth nappies and washable menstrual pads are imo rather gross and time consuming. tampons are the only way to deal with periods - I have NEVER used anything else, and neither has my daughter. (purely personal opinion of course, if the lentil weavers want to weave their menstrual pads, then hey ho its a free country)

toddlerama Mon 04-Feb-13 22:24:18

Not gross at all. Some people find that they reduce cramps because the chlorine in disposables exacerbates the cramping.

I use a mooncup (well I do when I need it - I'm bf-ing right now) and I prefer it to tampons, but sometimes it can feel a bit like it's rubbing. Has anyone used a jam sponge? Is it comfortable / effective / practical?

deemented Mon 04-Feb-13 22:27:15

Wow, nice and judgemental post there amothersplace hmm

I use cloth nappies on my three youngest children and it's no more time consuming then sticking another load of washing on. I do 2-3 loads a day anyway, so another couple a week doesn't really make a difference. And frankly, i use cloth because the thought of every shite ever done in every disposable nappy festering away in landfil really does turn my stomach. Disposable have been around for what.. 40 years now? 40 year old turds in stinking plastic nappies that will still be there when my great grandchildren have grandchildren? That's what's gross.

I'm not a lentil weaver either - i just got fed up of constant chuff chafe and thought there must be another way. There was. And it works for me and mine.

PretzelTime Mon 04-Feb-13 22:28:15

tampons are the only way to deal with periods
That's fine, until you get fanjo problems and the non-hippy gyn recommends cloth pads. True story

deemented Mon 04-Feb-13 22:29:29

Yes, toddlerama - i do. Very comfortable and effective. Only thing i would say is that when out and about you really do need a loo with a sink in it to be able to clean it and reuse, but other than that, no issues smile

OrangeLily Mon 04-Feb-13 22:35:33

Thanks for the links ladies. I get on really well with my mooncup but I think I might get a few pads too to have a separate choice.

The sponges sound interesting. How do they cope in water?

And as for her up thread.... Very open minded of you. Tampons are not the only option, neither are disposable pads. Many of us, including myself, find that using other methods of sanitary protection is uncomfortable and means horrible cramps and a longer period time wise.

Just because disposable tampons and towels are all most shops offer many of us thought they were the best or the only options.

deemented Mon 04-Feb-13 22:39:59

Well they are natural sea sponges so they cope ok wink If you mean for swimming etc, i've not tried them tbh so couldn't say.

OrangeLily Mon 04-Feb-13 22:41:35

Sorry I did mean for swimming!
I wouldn't like them to leak menstrual blood in the pool?

deemented Mon 04-Feb-13 22:48:09

I doubt they would, but i've never used them for swimming.

Itsnotahoover Mon 04-Feb-13 23:14:10

I'm looking at these:


Been thinking about getting some for a while but this thread has prompted me to order some smile

Disappearing Mon 04-Feb-13 23:15:10

OK, you've all whet my interest, I'm ready to try this, and I've checked out the links. There's too much choice!

Has anyone tried the Imse Vimse pads? They're the least scary looking ones (imho), the tie-die purple yurt woven hemp ones are a little too different for my liking.

If this is to work for me, I will need this transition to be untroubled.

meddie Mon 04-Feb-13 23:48:59

The first ones I bought were the imse vimse, 6 overnight and 6 normal to cope with heavier days.
They are comfy, but I did find that they sort of leaked at the sides.But then I have fibroids so have quite heavy days.
I really dont find them much trouble to be honest, nappy bucket with cold water in, chuck them in there to soak before washing kept them in good condition, though I could not put them out in the sun to dry (and naturally bleach) as the thought of pads swinging in the breeze for my neighbours to see was too much.
They lasted me about 4 years before I decided to bleach them one day and they fell to bits. but they did save me a lot of money and a sore chuff

lastSplash Mon 04-Feb-13 23:52:04

I am curious, and might give some of these a go...

Do mooncups and similar products work well for swimming, when you're lying down / overnight, when you're doing sport, running etc? Most bathrooms in workplaces and out and about don't have sinks in the cubicles, so do you carry wipes around to clean them or what?

How do you wash the reusable pads? By hand? Do you put them in the machine with a normal wash? I wash clothes at a low temperature and wouldn't really want to do a special wash just for these, or to have them hanging around for days until the end of a period... How do you all manage the used pads when you need to change at work or out and about? What do you do between removing a used pad and washing it? Leave it to soak / rinse it off in the sink?

Many questions...

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 04-Feb-13 23:57:47

Good choice, they are good quality and great for someone just dipping a toe in so to speak.

How weird is that tho, when I first looked into them those were the only ones I wouldn't try ( despite a friend raving about them) purely because they are white and I wanted dark colours.

Just goes to show just how personal a choice stuff like this is.

meddie Tue 05-Feb-13 00:04:00

I just bunged them in the washing machine with towels, sheets etc, the soaking removed most of the blood (sorry tmi)
For out and about, fresh pad before I went out and zip lock bag.
I,m not grossed out by blood and fluids , its part of my job but I can understand some may be squeamish about it and not willing to deal with it.
I didn't have much choice really as disposables made me so sore

Disappearing Tue 05-Feb-13 00:06:55

I guess I can see the value in the darker colours, when I think things through, I just have had the whole of my experience so far using Always Ultra etc. so I have an expectation of appearance. Perhaps I should chuck that narrow-mindedness out and embrace the tie-die.

I was also thinking the white would be least appealing to my toddler, who is very curious about these things, I can imagine him wanting to play with them, and the wrestling that would ensue, he takes great delight in tipping my tampon box out down the stairs etc.

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 05-Feb-13 00:07:29

Water bottle to rinse the cup over the loo when out and about.

Rinse pads in COLD water then chuck in machine, as long as you use decent washing detergent low temps are fine. But you can soak if you want.

I use reusable nappies so bung them in with those and my knickers but you don't need to do them with anything special

I have troubles with detergent on my underware so I tend to wash with my normal detergent then wash again with a detergent free wash egg ( the eggs are abit shit with anything not only lightly dirty hence the wash twice) because that gets rid of all the detergent, you don't have to wash twice or worry about detergent unless your normal knickers irritate you

( not explaining that well but I know what I mean)

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 05-Feb-13 00:10:24

I remember my eldest shoving tampons up the taps and down the plug hole grin

If you prefer white then you shouldn't fret about it tie dye is after all not for everyone

meddie Tue 05-Feb-13 00:14:23

they really are comfy, its just cloth against your skin,and not horrible rustly plastic or sticky bits that decide to stick to your muff and give you a bit of a waxing you weren't expecting on removal.

Disappearing Tue 05-Feb-13 00:17:56

I've done it... wahoo!

I just put an order in for a couple of ImseVimse mixed packs, and a Meluna cup too, I was feeling brave.

I'm strangely looking forwards to giving them a go!

Thanks for the links/tips.

meddie Tue 05-Feb-13 00:22:38

I should really consider a mooncup. never dipped my toe there . Has anyone any experience of using them who has fibroids. I could soak through a super plus in an hour during the first 3 to 4 days, can they cope with that?

BigSpork Tue 05-Feb-13 00:43:58

I've become more interested in cloth pads recently as everything is going haywire here. I've had a mooncup for a while, but since my period returned after having DC4, my body seems to be in disagreements with it - I get bad cramps just after I change it and it's just not doing the job as well as it used to (odd as my cervical cap, which is made of similar material though thicker, I'm having no issues with). So I got some disposables for a bit to work out my options and they're just irritating everything horribly. Ended up using a couple of old cloth liners I had when I had my eldest and it was just relief. Sadly only had those left so looking into new things as I want to be as comfortable as possible during what is already a trying time each month.

off to stare at links in my insomnia state

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 05-Feb-13 01:03:18

Yes a mooncup can cope with mega heavy. But I would recamend using a liner as well just incase at least that wa you won't be fretting

LentilAsAnything Tue 05-Feb-13 02:37:47

I use cloth pads (ordered a few on Etsy, all pretty and bespoke) and they are wonderful. Soft and comfortable. And what an enormous saving I've made over the years, and years to come, as well as my not contributing to landfill by not using disposable pads. Cannot bear the thought of shoving something up me and walking around like that all day, so no mooncup for me, thanks. Doesn't sound natural or right.
I used cloth nipple pads too (from Wee Notions), when I was first BFing, no nasty cotton wool sticking to my tender nipples, and again, a saving, financially. <weaves lentils, see name>

HollyBerryBush Tue 05-Feb-13 07:36:47

Odd how the world turns full circle. I remember my mothers utter humiliation at washable rags when she was a teenager and how she rejoyced in disposables.

BistoBearWithBaublesOn Tue 05-Feb-13 08:02:21

lastSplash I use a mooncup when swimming, running, cycling, spinning and hydrospin. Never had any leaks or discomfort. Have never used disposable pads so cannot comment on them. smile

Dawndonna Tue 05-Feb-13 08:17:13

My 16 year old twin dds use washable pads. They much prefer them, and they just go in the machine.

WelshMaenad Tue 05-Feb-13 08:31:07

I used to row, and I'll tell you what's REALLY gross - lifting your oar out if the sea to find a used tampon stuck to it. I'll stick with my washables, thanking thee.

I use pads from pampered mama on hyena cart which are cute and reasonably priced. I use a mooncup too, love it.

Himalaya Tue 05-Feb-13 08:37:20

Each to their own. I <3 my mooncup mainly because I'm lazy and disorganised and it is the easiest thing.

CatchTheFox Tue 05-Feb-13 11:48:03

well, i've taken the plunge (!) and ordered a meluna, although I'm not pleased at having to admit my hoohaa might be in any way LARGE. If I ever start up a menstrual cup business, my sizes will be XSMALL, SMALL and NORMAL.

Hippymama Tue 05-Feb-13 12:33:12

I love my cloth pads smile disposable ones make me sore and itchy. I used cloth pads for years before I had my son and it was using the cloth pads that made me decide to use cloth nappies with him.

I bought my first pads from wee notions (can highly recommend them) and six years later they are still going strong smile If you are at all handy with a sewing machine, they are ridiculously easy to make too. I have loads made out of a pair of old pjs and a fleece blanket. There are loads of tutorials on the web, but I just traced around one of my washable pads to make my own pattern. I use polar fleece as a bottom layer, sew a few rectangles of either towelling or flannel to the bottom layer to make an absorbent core and then top with either flannel or minky. I just overlock around the edges (or you could use a zig zag stitch on your machine if you don't have an overlock foot). To fasten, I use kam snaps (little plastic snaps, like on washable nappies) but you can also buy the little metal sew on prestuds for a a couple of quid from a haberdashery smile

One thing I have noticed is that my periods have got a lot lighter and much less painful since using cloth pads. I have read up about this and apparently the reason for that is because of the lack of chemicals in cloth pads. Disposable pads contain chemicals that "draw the flow" into the pads and these can cause heavier bleeding and cramps. I would still use cloth pads even if my periods were heavier, but this has been an unexpected bonus for me smile

I am a bit of a lentil weaver (see my username!) and am trying to use washable items as much as we can at home. We are now using washable wipes too and I am trying to cut down on our use of kitchen towels as much as possible having made a set of "unpaper towels" to use instead (Pinterest is full of tutorials!)

PretzelTime Tue 05-Feb-13 12:53:05

Disposable pads contain chemicals that "draw the flow" into the pads and these can cause heavier bleeding and cramps.

If that's true, then it's really creepy.

valiumredhead Tue 05-Feb-13 12:57:19

I use a mooncup and have done for years but am about to go back to sponges as I find the moon cup presses on my bladder slightly, which is really noticeable when I'm in the car for long periods <snigger>

bubbles1231 Tue 05-Feb-13 13:03:11

I use a moon cup at night. Struggle a bit with it during the day.
I have a set of washable sanitary towels ranging from panty liners to a thick night time one. I chose mine in black as I didn't want to be grossed out by stains. I rinse them out in the sink then chuck them in the washing machine. They are more bulky than disposables.

bubbles1231 Tue 05-Feb-13 13:04:43

The sanitary towels are Wemoon

nextphase Tue 05-Feb-13 13:10:11

Menstrual cup here also (and I hate lentils!).
Meluna has done me lying down, chasing kids in the park and swimming.

Also reduced the number of days I bleed for.

Recomend Pixie's link above for Luxury Moon also.

RoadtoSussex Tue 05-Feb-13 13:15:35

Turning to the point about mothers/grandmothers being overjoyed to turn to disposable pads.. It was a different situation - from what I know, menstrual pads were literally any bits of cloth that could be used, handsewn in the family. Washing machines were inefficient and much had to be done by hand.

Also, disposable things were seen as the way of the future, never mind that no one gave any thought to green issues.

Now we have all sorts of fabrics that did not exist back then - fleece, minkee, bamboo, hemp, plus the glorious automatic washing machine. So washable pads and nappies are a completely different undertaking to what they were 50 years ago.

I use washable pads, I have a mooncup and would love to get on with it but it always leaks a bit in the same place. I find my periods seem lighter with washables and I actually feel cleaner. There's no smell with cloth either and it doesn't end up in a landfill or a beach. I think disposables are way more gross for that reason!
For out an about you can get little bags or a nappy wet bag for the used ones. When I'm at home I just rinse the blood out and chuck them in the wash basket.

Hippymama Tue 05-Feb-13 13:26:40

Disposable pads are made mostly out of wood pulp, which is bleached white using chlorine compounds, which produce dioxins (a known carcinogen) sad

This page gives some interesting things to think about


Hippymama Tue 05-Feb-13 13:28:36
Hippymama Tue 05-Feb-13 13:34:42

Last link now www.wen.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/environmenstrualweb1.pdf

I made the switch to cloth purely because it was more comfortable, but the more I read about it, the more uneasy I am about the contents of disposable pads and the more certain I am that I don't ever want to use them again sad

LadyHarrietdeSpook Tue 05-Feb-13 13:44:29

I use both moon c and reusable pads.

This: Also, disposable things were seen as the way of the future, never mind that no one gave any thought to green issues.

Same goods for loads of 'convenience foods' which we now know are v unhealthy.

Flobbadobs Tue 05-Feb-13 13:55:06

Well I hope you lot are proud of yourselves, you just cost me money! I've been flirting with the idea of washables since reading 'Kissing the Hag' by Emma Restall Orr (pagan and lentil weaver, so shoot me...) and now I read the thread and get totally drawn in!
Have ordered a couple of different sizes of the Imse Vimse pads. Not sure I could use a mooncup, not comfortable with the idea of anything inside... Well, not everything, I have manged to conceive 3 children but you know what I mean!

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 05-Feb-13 14:14:26

I don't find them more bulky, well apart from the night time ones, I do find the dont bunch up in your knickers like disposables do.

I guess its just a mindset for so many years convienance and throw away has been seen as the best thing in so many different contexts and that was quite understandable when we did not have access to the type of home electricals that we do now.

But nowadays reusables are not the faff and effort they used to be.

snowqueenrollo Tue 05-Feb-13 14:21:47

I've just ordered some. I'm 2 weeks post natal and really suffering from having to wear pads. I've been toying with the idea of washables for a while now but am so uncomfy that it's given me the push I needed.

deemented Tue 05-Feb-13 14:40:11

I hope you all get on with them smile

I may treat myself and get some more muff fluff too smile

MadameOvary Tue 05-Feb-13 16:07:22

I didn't know you could get cloth pads blush
I do use a mooncup tho.
I get tranexamic acid for my heavy periods, it is brilliant, stops the flooding.

hugoagogo Tue 05-Feb-13 16:34:32

They are brilliant.

If you are worried about the price, then make your own it is easyI made a bag full about 5 years ago and haven't bought any disposable towels since. (or tampons which I could never get on with) I am crap at sewing and had a ancient sewing machine at the time.

I used a pattern from the internet, but to be honest I adapted it by looking at the shape of disposables. For fabric I used old tshirts and towels and bought a couple of offcuts of flannelette.

It is so lovely to just miss that aisle at the supermarket. grin

LentilAsAnything Tue 05-Feb-13 17:27:03

Hippymama, do you mean you use cloth wipes for when you go to the toilet?

FourArms Tue 05-Feb-13 18:11:12

If out and about I wipe my mooncup with a piece of loo roll. Comes perfectly clean. And some of my cloth pads are white. No stains & some are 8 years old - just soak them in cold water with a bit of salt in until you wash them.

deemented Tue 05-Feb-13 18:15:48

Some people do - a good friend of mine has 'family cloth' that they leave in the bathroom and gets washed daily.

I don't use them, but i do use reusable wipes though on my little ones bums and noses - its much easier than trying to pick out the disposable ones when changing a nappy.

Flobbadobs Tue 05-Feb-13 19:04:34

Has anyone else noticed a difference when using disposable pads after they had children? Part of the reason I looked into them was because of the discomfort when using them, I feel hot and itchy and had to avoid the scented things like the plague. In the few days after having Dd2 I had to take off the pad and improvise with a wedge of cottonwool and a flannel it got that bad!

TepidCoffee Tue 05-Feb-13 19:13:08

Is there such a thing as washable post-birth sanpro that can cope with lochia? I found the disposable stuff made me feel horrendously itchy and unclean last time, would love a better option.

hugoagogo Tue 05-Feb-13 19:33:55

tepid you could just use the ones designed for night time.

Or I found these specifically for post-partum

SirBoobAlot Tue 05-Feb-13 19:53:30

Am checking out the sea sponge currently.

No idea what is happening with my fanjo at the moment, but tried to insert my mooncup earlier and couldn't get it in. So (so, tmi coming here...) tried to insert a finger to guide it in, and couldn't get a finger tip in, was like things were swollen but not painful. Then had a huge cramp attack in my abdomen / cervix area (I mean crying in a heap on the floor, doing labour breathing techniques), and couldn't move my left leg for half hour without nearly screaming. This was before I'd even started bleeding properly sad So back to a crappy disposable pad that I have a few of in my handbag, as my fucking body tends to have a period whenever it fancies it.

Are sponges harder or easier to get in that a mooncup technique wise?

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 05-Feb-13 19:59:58

Tepid on the link that Hugo did the night angel ones are rather good they dry quite quickly won't give you the sweaty feeling and there one of the cheaper options I think only wall to wall are cheaper.

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 05-Feb-13 20:04:16


As it happened before? If so I hope you've seen a docter, that sounds dreadful. Are you in less pain now?

The sponge is Easter to insert because its Squidgey and its position does not need to be precise like a cup

SirBoobAlot Tue 05-Feb-13 20:11:06

Sorry for overshare, bit out of it tonight blush I have PCOS, waiting for another lapraoscopy, so have horrible pain pretty much constantly. This particular problem has never happened before though, no. It was bad enough for me to consider going to A&E at one point, but they would say "Oh we see you have a lap. booked for four weeks time, off you go", possibly with a side of "So I gather you have a mental health condition", which is what happened when I was landed there waiting for a neuro appointment a while back.

NumericalMum Tue 05-Feb-13 20:38:35

Could we campaign for wash basins in all ladies' loos please? I would love to try a mooncup type thing but with 5 days a week at work I would never have the balls to try one.
Disposable pads for night sound like a great idea. I get so grumpy with sweaty bum in the morning every morning. Is so uncomfortable.

LentilAsAnything Tue 05-Feb-13 20:41:47

I've read about 'family cloth' before, Dee, and I am a complete eco warrior - did cloth nappies and wipes too, as well as sanpro and nipple things for myself, but the reusable family cloth is possibly a bit much for me! Maybe ok for front wiping!

nextphase Tue 05-Feb-13 20:51:42

NumericalMum it took me a few goes before I'd risk work, but its only the first day or 2 when I need to empty my menstrual cup during a working day, and on those occasions, I line up a few bits of loo paper, pour the blood down the loo, wipe the outside, and put back in, then wipe fingers (which are rarely messy) before leaving the cubicle.
afaik, its OK to not wash every time - for example when facilities don't allow.

NumericalMum Tue 05-Feb-13 21:07:45

Ooh that sounds feasible. Since I have had the coil I get a couple of days of really heavy flow. Super plus extra tampons in 3 hours. Would a mooncup cope?

Booyhoo Tue 05-Feb-13 21:13:02

i'm not sure if it's been mentioned on this thread but i've seen on other mooncup threads that some people rinse theirs in the 'flush' water of the toilet if there is no basin in the cubicle. i wasn't convinced this would work but when i was using my mooncup i tried it at home and it rinsed it out really well as well as rinsing my fingers at the same time, then just wash hands properly with soap once out at the sink.

TepidCoffee Tue 05-Feb-13 21:28:56

Tsk, postpartum - that's the word I was looking for! No wonder I wasn't finding anything. Thanks both.

Indith Tue 05-Feb-13 21:51:23

Oh that reminds me, I found my mooncup looking rather worse for wear today, ds2 is 11 months old and periods not back yet so it has been while since I've used it!

Need to order myself a new cup and was wanting some sanpro too, between dcs 2 and 3 I found my cervix got so low on day 1 of period that I couldn't comfortably sit the cup under it blush so needed to use pads.

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 05-Feb-13 22:04:32

Yes the mooncup would cope the meluna cup large and ex large can deal with over 30mls a time befor needing emptying so unless your bleeding to actual death it will cope.

With very heavy flow I would advise getting a liner pad as well it probably won't leak at all but until you know and are used to putting it in it will give you reassurance.

fLUSH WATER never a good move unless you are in your own loo and know that you don't have a bleach block in your cistern

NumericalMum Tue 05-Feb-13 22:11:47


twentythirteen Tue 05-Feb-13 22:12:46

Wow, thanks op for starting this. When I was young I knew a poorer family who made their own pads, I never considered it for myself. I quit using tampons about a year ago and thought pads were the best way forward for me as I'm not a cup kind of girl. But they are smelly, can stick to the wrong thing, are noisy, etc. OH just came in and saw pics of pads on my screen, we had a giggle and I said I was going to try it and he's all for it too. And I'm so not a hippy!!! Thanks for the links guys!

Hippymama Tue 05-Feb-13 22:24:21

lentil I mean cloth wipes for baby and for hands and faces etc. I have been reading about family cloth, but think that might be a step too far for me!

LentilAsAnything Tue 05-Feb-13 23:01:43

smile Well I only feel like a wannabe lentil-weaver for not going for the recyclable cloth toilet paper! Does make economic and environmental sense, though I don't suppose toilet paper is as bad as disposable nappies and sanpro.

Booyhoo Tue 05-Feb-13 23:15:40

ooh, good points pixie! i hadn't thought of bleaches in public loos. i guess toilet roll wipe it is then.

i'm going to go and hoke out my mooncup again for next period and try again. if that doesn't work i'm going to buy a set of sponges.

Booyhoo Tue 05-Feb-13 23:22:43

i made re-usable wipes for ds2 when he was in cloth nappies out of micro fibre cloths (cut up smaller). they are now in a drawer in the bathroom and get used as wash cloths for when dcs are bathing and also when ds2 has a poo accident i clean the most of it off with toilet roll and then use a microfibre cloth dampened to clean him properly and it goes in he laundry basket.(i have a separate one for towels and wash cloths) TBh i didn't even think about it, it just seemed like a natural progression to continue using them once he was out of nappies. i couldn't imagine chucking them out! i suppose we could all use them when we've had a wee, i cant imagine ds1 buying into using them to wipe his bum though. it wouldn't gross me out though, i just didn't thik of it til this thread. definitely wouldn't have a 'family cloth' though. (does that mean the whole family use one cloth to wipe with for a whole day?)

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Tue 05-Feb-13 23:22:45

Can I ask about 'clots' or is that too far? blush

I quite like the idea of the sponge. I just really worry that it might 'spring out' if it's too 'full'.

I'm making myself feel sick now so sorry everyone.

BranchingOut Tue 05-Feb-13 23:47:35

I'm quite a lentil weaver, but even I can't get on with the idea of just one family cloth per day!

Booyhoo Wed 06-Feb-13 00:04:43

i dont think it could be hygienic branching. surely you would be wiping someone else's poo onto your own bum rather than cleaning yourself? <bleugh>

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 06-Feb-13 00:07:04

The family cloth is a step to far for me as well but no its not one cloth and no you don't use the same one all day

Its like using reusable baby wipes but instead of confining them for baby's use everybody uses them a large supply is kept by the loo and a clean one is used each time just as you would when using baby wipes.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 06-Feb-13 00:11:09

What aspect of clots do you want to ask about?

If its mooncup related then clots will simply go into the cup and be unnoticed until emptied.

If its pads they will go on the pad just like they would on a disposable pad they can be wiped off down the loo before soaking or shaken in.

I do not know how a sponge deals with clots but I should imagine its h same as a tampon would.

Booyhoo Wed 06-Feb-13 00:14:59

"Its like using reusable baby wipes but instead of confining them for baby's use everybody uses them a large supply is kept by the loo and a clean one is used each time just as you would when using baby wipes. "

oh in that case i could cope with that, it wouldn't be any different than what i'm doing now with ds2, except we would all use them and then put them to soak in the laundry tub. again, i might have trouble convincing ds1. but 2/3 of us using them is better than none. i'd still have normal toilet roll in anyway for guests.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 06-Feb-13 01:04:27

Apparently lots of people who use then keep normal loo paper for guests and poo and use the reusable ones for wee.i didnt know that before I just went on a google mission.

That I could cope with and its not to much of a leap given that I already use reusable San pro/ breast pads for me and nappies/ wipes for the baby's some of my nappies and wipes are 20 years old.

I have apsolutly no idea why using the reusable bog roll like that never occurred to me its bloody obvious when you think about it

Booyhoo Wed 06-Feb-13 01:21:42

same here sock. i hadn't considered it til this thread, even though i use it this way for one family member already. instead i've been spending goodness knows how much on supposedly 'flushable' wet wipes with all their chemicals and sewer blocking properties!

deemented Wed 06-Feb-13 11:11:27

lying The sponge copes well with clots. It draws them onto it and because it's got an uneven surface they cling to it. Just rinse when taken out, is all. It won't fall out, but you'll know when it needs changing as it'll feel heavier inside you and move down slightly, but i promise it won't fall out - i have a cavernous chuff and i've never had one 'just fall out' grin

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Wed 06-Feb-13 19:11:05

Thank you deemented, I might give one of those a try. grin

ChristianGreyIsAJackass Wed 06-Feb-13 22:11:15

'Cavernous chuff' grin

onyx72 Wed 20-Feb-13 08:16:40

I couldn't get on with a mooncup. It was like having a sink plunger up my fanny and I could still feel the stem, even though I cut it right down.

I am fed up with STs and tampon so I switched to a Meluna Soft for this cycle and it's much better than the mooncup. Mine has a tiny ring at the bottom so it's easier to remove and comfortable to wear. And it's got silver sparkles grin.

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