Ever thought about giving a reusable period product a go, but have no idea how they work? In this blog post, two members of the student-led Sustainability Committee review their experiences with reusable period underwear and a menstrual cup.
You can also read our previous blog post about the different sustainable options available.
Product used: THINX period pants
My flow: Regular, 4 days.
What I look for in period pants: Something to wear all the time – while running, at work and during the night - without the need for additional products.
So what actually are period pants: Essentially, they are absorbent knickers which hold your period flow – worn just like your normal pants. If looked after properly, they can be washed and re-used for years, saving on the equivalent of tonnes of unsustainable waste from the usual disposable pads and tampons. The specific care advice for THINX is to rinse after each use and then wash at 30°C.
What I have: A range of the light (1 tampon’s worth) – heavy (3 tampons worth) pants, including the ‘hiphugger’, ‘organic cotton bikini’, ‘sport’ and ‘thong’.
The Good: Period pants are probably the easiest sustainable period products on the market to adapt to – I started off testing them at night/alongside tampons. Before long I was comfortable enough wearing them on their own, all day and all night. Two years on they still feel super soft and the obvious good quality gives me peace of mind that these will not only do the job but last for many years to come. I have never had an issue with leaks or bad odours. From running marathons to those 14-hour weekend sleeps, these are as comfy as any other pair of knickers I own. They are amazingly absorbent and much less ‘messy’ than you might think.
The Bad: As with any period product, a little planning is needed if you’re going away or out all day. If you need to change on the go, take a little sealed bag with you to store them in till you get home.
What I love most: The fact I can comfortably go out in white jeans and a period-proof thong. Amazing!
Would I recommend these: Yes, 100%
Products used: menstrual cup:
I bought my menstrual cup five years ago for two reasons; tampons felt so wasteful and I didn’t want to be spending money on unnecessary period products. Did it take me a bit of time to get used to putting it in and taking it out? Yes. Do you get blood on your hands? Definitely. Will I ever go back to tampons? Never!
A menstrual cup is simply a soft silicone cup that sits inside your vagina and forms a seal so it can collect blood during your period without leaking. It does take some time to get used to inserting it, but I would say after using it for one period you get the hang of it. It’s also very comfortable and once positioned correctly you can’t feel a thing.
The biggest adjustment for me was getting used to the blood. My preference is to empty it while in the shower, however, you can just take it out, empty it into the toilet, clean it, reinsert, and you’re good to go! I would say the one downside would be using it in a public toilet where you don’t have access to a sink, although I usually only need to empty mine twice a day and can avoid those situations.
The one thing you need to be sure to do is to take care of your menstrual cup properly, and it’s not as tricky as you might think. During your period you just clean it with unscented soap when emptying it, and when your period is over simply boil in water for 10 minutes. Then you can forget about it until the next month!
If you want to hear more about students’ experiences of sustainable period products, join us on Wednesday10 February for a friendly and non-intimidating Sustainable Period Product workshop.
Green Fortnight 2023 was a success and we'd love to share our highlights with you!
Find out who the winners of the 2023 Welfare Awards
How we've helped students to combat period poverty and offer sustainable options