I am very stubborn and stuck in my ways, but recently I’ve been wanting to venture off and try new things. In 2019, I took a vow to myself to go as low waste as possible during 2020 and I created a list of things I use that I can swap out for low-waste or eco-friendly options.
Period products were somewhere near the bottom of my list, as I was really nervous thinking about giving up the cotton pads and tampons that carried me painfully through middle school and high school. I had lots of questions about reusable period products: “Do they stink? How do I clean them?”
Two months ago I bought myself a Divacup and I invested in a set of reusable pads from TreeHugger cloth pads. For those of you still on the fence about using reusable period products, I’ve curated an in-depth review that outlines everything you need to know about them.
I bought my DivaCup for about forty dollars from Walmart, but they can also be bought on Amazon for around the same price. The cup comes with a carrying bag and a small informational book that covers everything from inserting to removing the cup.
The Divacup claims to offers 12-hour, leak-proof protection no matter the circumstance, even during physical activity and swimming.
The cup comes in a few different models, as well, depending on your age or whether or not you have had kids, so it’s important to do a bit of research before buying the cup. There is a test you can take on the Divacup website to help match you to a menstrual cup.
Furthermore, there are other brands of menstrual cups that might be a better fit than the Divacup based on the size of the cup or depending on whether the brand is available in your country.
Here is a menstrual cup comparison chart online from Put a Cup in it.
I wore my Divacup on day 2 of my cycle, I had a moderate flow. I made up a pro and con list, to sum up my initial impression of the menstrual cup.
I only wore the cup for one day of my cycle, when I was attempting to remove it I had a hard time breaking the seal so it took me a couple of hours of “bearing down” to figure it out.
While I did have that scare, I will say that the Divacup was way more comfortable than wearing a tampon, I didn’t even feel like I was on my period. However, I don’t think I will continue to use Divacups for day-to-day wear during my period.
The Reusable Pad
I decided to purchase my reusable pads from TreeHugger cloth pads since they are made locally in Canada. Of course, these aren’t the only brand of reusable pads out there and you should explore your options before deciding to buy.
TreeHugger pads offer three different fabrics; Minky, Bamboo, and Cotton. Here’s a chart from Treehugger that outlines the differences of the fabrics. There is no expiry date on cloth pads and if you care for them properly they can last for years!
Cloth pads do have a large upfront cost and so I couldn’t buy a whole set right away. Plus, I wanted to try this brand of pads to make sure they worked for me before I used a whole bunch of money on them.
To keep things short, here’s my pros and con list from the two months that I have been using these pads.
I have been having an awesome time with my reusable pads. They took a while to get used to wearing since they have snaps instead of adhesive like regular pads, I had to get used to the feeling of the pads shifting around. At first, I was really scared about storing dirty pads, but after buying a wet bag I realized it wasn’t a big deal. So far, I haven’t had an issue washing my pads with my laundry as long as I rinse out the pads beforehand.
I have continued to use strictly reusable pads while on my periods and I have had no issues with leaks.
For anyone still skeptical about the Divacup or reusable pads, there are other options out there.
If my testimony hasn’t answered your questions about these products, look into some others such as period underwear (from KNIX and other brands) or tampons with cardboard applicators instead of plastic.
Move at your own pace and do what makes you feel comfortable!