Sanitary pads, tampons, menstrual cups and next what?
The variety of options springing up in the women’s health and hygiene section is commendable to say the least.
Back in the medieval era, when women were not aware of better sanitary hygiene, they used cloth pieces stitched together to create a small stack of pad to absorb the menstrual blood.
Of course, they were not comfortable as the wetness could be felt close to the skin and the cloth piece would not stay in place.
Then came disposable sanitary pads and the game changed all together.
They were absorbent and leak-proof and were convenient to be carried and disposed of. But then these disposable sanitary pads are not environment friendly as they contain non-biodegradable material and toxic chemicals.
Now, coming back to where it all started, after all these years of evolution, we are re-thinking of going back to cloth pads, but this time in an upgraded form.
The new-age reusable cloth pads are much sophisticated, have a better system to absorb the menstrual fluid, properly stitched and made of soft cotton fabric.
Read on to know everything you ought to about Reusable Cloth Pads.
What are they made up of and how do they look like?
The modern-day reusable cloth pad, comes in a variety of colors and prints. The shape is similar to what a normal sanitary pad would be and are available in multiple sizes for normal to heavy and for overnight use and postpartum flow.
Unlike regular disposable pads, there is no adhesive at the back of the pads.
Some of them have flap-like wings too that can be secured tightly at the back of the undergarment either by a button or a Velcro tape.
The material used in the pad is mostly cotton or fleece or bamboo fibers. Some have charcoal in them to absorb the fluid easily and to neutralize odor. Some have a thin waterproof layer as well which is comfortable and is worn during heavy flow days.
Pros of Using Re-Usable Cloth Pads
Given the fact that we have about 12 crore menstruating women in India itself who spend almost 4 years of their life menstruating. Each woman would use 12000-15000 pads. This leads to accumulation of tons of non-biodegradable waste. Re-usable cloth pads would be such a relief for the earth.
Made of cotton and other soft, organic material, reusable cloth pads are gentle against the skin and does not create rashes like plastic bourne sanitary pad.
These can be washed and dried and hence each pad can be used for 3-4 years. This will not only save the environment but also save a lot of money.
Cons of Using Re-Usable Cloth Pads
Washing and drying is an issue
Some women despise the idea of washing the used cloth pads full of menstrual blood. They find it gross, messy and unhygienic. Post washing, drying them under the sun for good 4-5 hours is also problematic in most households.
Changing is difficult
Changing reusable cloth pads outside the home can be challenging. You will have to carry them in a small Ziplock in the purse as you are not supposed to throw away the used pad while changing into a new one.
These cannot be worn during water-based activities like swimming and are not proofed again leakage caused due to soaking in water.
Reusable cloth pads are still not easily available on medical shops and provisional stores; hence accessibility and availability are an issue.
Average Price and Where to Buy?
The average price of a single reusable cloth pad starts from Rs. 125. A pack of 3 pads can range between Rs. 350 to Rs. 700.
Some brands provide a water-proof pouch to carry your used pads.
These can be easily purchased online from amazon.in and other brand’s sites.
Some good brands of reusable cloth pads are Eco Femme, Soch, Stonesoup, Unipads.