What are the alternatives to pads (Sanitary napkins)? Let’s talk this #MenstrualHygieneDay
Okay, being a woman, I don’t find any taboo speaking and writing about menstruation. Let there be #NomoreLimits around our Monthly periods. The world and more so India is becoming more of open space to create awareness about menstrual Hygiene and Management. Not just government, with various schemes under Swachh Bharat Mission, but various NGO’s and private bodies have been regularly striving to create awareness around Menstrual hygiene. Though, a lot needs to be catered and mostly in the rural and semi-urban areas.
While providing pads in rural areas at cost-effective rates is being talked about, how many of us, with the tag of “Urban-ites” have switched to the eco-friendly modes for our Periods?
- Did you know that there is no mandate to disclose what goes into making a Sanitary Napkin or Pads in India?
- In our lifetime (one woman), most of us throw around 10,000-15,000 pads? Start the menstrual waste calculation now, you’ll be stunned.
- Did you know that most of the commercial (synthetic) pads we use have major constituent as “Plastic”, bleached with chlorine? These napkins (with toxic chemicals) are hazardous to the end users as well as for the environment. With the presence of petroleum end products, they cause rashes, itchiness and long term health impact to us.
You can read more about the safety of Female Hygiene products here
How is Environment being impacted with Periods?
With each one of us producing thousands of waste, where does it go? Either they clog the Sewage systems or find space in the already burdened landfills and lie there for at least 800-1000 years due to the presence of plastics in it. Menstrual products are coming across as one of the biggest polluters.
Image Courtesy: MenstrualHygieneday
And it is high time, that we switch to love our body while Menstruating, while having periods. Let’s have no shame discussing it. This is the reason why I penned this post. This post is in no way sponsored and has been written just to create more awareness around eco-friendly options of Menstrual products in India.
What are the Eco-friendly alternatives to Sanitary Pads in India :
1. Reusable Pads/Washable Pads:
A lot of startups are coming up with Reusable cotton pads/cotton sanitary napkins. These can be used basis your bleeding days, Light, heavy and medium. They have a base with wings and usually have multiple absorbent layers which are again eco-friendly and do not cause any harm to our skin and environment. These reusable pads can be simply cleaned with cold or lukewarm water along with soap and dried in the sunlight.
Some brands manufacturing these Reusable pads, are Shomota, Eco Femme. I’ve personally used Eco-Friendly cotton pads promoting overall wellbeing from both these brands and they have worked perfectly for me. I’ve segregated basis the Heavy, medium and less flow. They also have eco-friendly pouches to help you carry extras during the days of emergency.
2. Eco-Friendly pads /Eco-friendly Sanitary napkins:
This category of pads aren’t Reusable but they are made up of Environment-friendly and Human skin-friendly natural products. Usually, these pads/sanitary Napkins are made up of super absorbent sheets using Bamboo fibers, Corn starch, well sealed in a fully biodegradable cover. These pads don’t have any chemicals or artificial fragrances, which also keeps our health and body safe and infection free. Available in different sizes and travel-friendly packs, these acts as a great alternative of commercial Sanitary napkins.
Brands offering Eco-Friendly Pads/Sanitary napkins are Carmesi, Heyday, Vivanion.
Personally, I’m using pads from Carmesi these days and have only felt happier and more healthy. But I’m sure rest brands are also equally good. Try and use the ones that give you the most comfort.
3. Period Panties:
This is yet a new concept in India, and personally, I haven’t used them as of now. But looking at the comfort they give, I’m quite sure that girls, women are accepting these quite positively. Few brands have completely organic bamboo liners, and few have in the form of cotton. These are completely reusable and can be washed very easily. Though these are little costlier, their reusability and the soothing organic touch makes for the most of it.
Few brands having a good range of period panties in India are Lavos, Clovia, Adira Intimates.
4. Menstrual CUP:
Though it has been years of Menstrual Cups in the market, they have gained more popularity in the past 4-5 years, due to more awareness being created. And honestly, this is the most environment-friendly and most comfortable option for menstruating women. One menstrual cup lasts for 9-10years and they are the most cost-effective option too. They are made up of medical-grade silicone and comes in varied sizes basis the flow you experience and length of the cervix.
The best part about these flexible cups is that they can hold your flow for as long as 10+ hours, for the full night and you can easily complete your daily chores without an iota of discomfort. Its a great boon to the environment as well.
The Indian market has lots of brands producing menstrual Cups as She Cup, Sirona, Rustic Art, Stonesoup and many more. It would be really difficult to name one best menstrual Cup, as again it depends on the individual user’s experience, but more or less all are the same. Here is a complete guide on How to use Menstrual cups .
*Though I would still suggest that before you start using menstrual Cups, do check it once with your gynecologist, as she knows your history better than anyone else.
Conclusion, this #MenstrualHygieneDay:
Let’s be the generation to break this taboo and spread awareness as much as possible. Not just Good, but the right menstrual hygiene is really very important for our own health. It’s time that we reduce up the quantum of Menstrual waste piling up in Landfills and remaining there for years. #nomoreshameinmenstruation
Think over, your one step will make a mark! Have a look at the above-stated infographic[once again] and take a pledge this Menstrual Hygiene Day