4 Alternatives for Menstrual Pads and Sanitary Napkins

Introduction

Sanitary napkins tend to be one of the most common and convenient first aid during women’s menstrual period. Not to mention that it is readily available for everyone’s access, it is easier to use and dispose of.  However, several issues arose from the use of these plastic-made pads, most especially environmental issues.

Some women are in search of alternative options which may substitute, or even replace, plastic pads in the market. Primarily, the aim of alternatives is to eliminate single-use plastics and reduce monthly expenses for their menses.

Reusable menstrual products have been innovated and developed by several eco-friendly companies, to wit: period panties, menstrual sponges, washable cloth pads, and menstrual cups. If you are one of the women who has decided to switch to reusable alternatives, here are some facts and tips which may help you decide which alternative suits you.

Facts, Pros and Contra

  • Period panties – Basically, these are under wears modified to add absorbable pads to absorb menstrual flow.
ProsCons
Leak proof protection More comfortable and less “granny underwear-ish” Eco-friendlyMay be used in all occasion, travels and sport events (designs are available to suit your needs)Pricey investment on initial purchaseFeeling of wetnessNeed to either buy a lot of them or do the laundry every time you have to change your panties
  • Menstrual Sponges – Nature-inspired napkin alternative which may be used for 3-6 cycles or 4 to 6 months at most.
ProsCons
You can be as active as you can, swim, workout and even have sexBiodegradableNaturalCan be worn without the risk of irritationLimited use, can only be reused up to 6 monthsInconvenient washing especially in public places
  • Washable Cloth Pads – These are sanitary napkins modified to replace the plastics with soft pieces of cloth.
ProsCons
Soft and gentle to the female genitaliaAvailable to be custom-made to the design you wantCheaper in the long run cheaper in the long runInitial outlay may be cost you a small out of investmentNot advisable for too active women“Wet bag” system (bag to hold the pads to take home for later washing)
  • Menstrual Cups – A menstrual cup is a feminine hygiene product. The cup is inserted into the woman’s genitals during menstruation. Its purpose is to prevent menstrual fluid from leaking onto clothes. Menstrual cups are usually made of flexible medical grade silicone and shaped like a bell with a stem. The stem is used for insertion and removal.
ProsCons
Long lasting, reusable within 5 yearsNo need for laundryRemoves menstrual odorMay be used even during sexInitial outlay is priceyUncomfortable insertion and removal of the cupsJust like menstrual sponges, it is inconvenient to remove, sanitize and reinsert when in public

Cost-reduction

Sanitary napkins have become a basic commodity for an average, menstruating woman. An average woman is estimated to use 13,000 sanitary napkins equivalent to $3,254.44 in her entire existence.

Using reusable alternative products also aims to reduce the costs spent relatable to woman’s monthly cycle. Let’s find out which option stands closest to your goal of cost-cutting. Below is a comparative analysis of the total costs to be incurred per alternative:

Sanitary NapkinsPeriod PantiesMenstrual SpongesCloth PadsMenstrual Cups
Cost per item$35 to $40$13 to $15$8 to $13$25 to $30
Lifespan2 years4 to 6 months5 years5 years
Standard number of item to store per lifespan3 pcs5 sponges7 pads2 cups
Estimated total expenses of an average woman$3,254.44$ 3,540.00$ 8,850.00$ 1,073.80$ 703.00
Variance vs. Napkins$ 285.56 higher$ 5,595.56 higher$ 2,180.64 less$ 2,551.44 less

Takeaway

Menstrual periods are inevitably inconvenient and expensive, and messy at some point. Daisy Cup has pioneered a way to ease the burden and issues from environmental plastic pollution in managing your finances and your day-to-day battle with your menstrual cycle.

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