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Are Disposable or Reusable Period Products better?

December 12, 2021 6 min read

Are Disposable or Reusable Period Products better?

When it comes to period care, it is important to find products that work best for you and your menstrual flow. However, it is important to recognise the pros and cons to all the options out there to know that you are opting for safe and sustainable period care. Following products that are FDA approved is a good place to start before you dive into the deep end around sustainable manufacturing processes and natural or harmful ingredients/materials in products. In this blog we discuss the topic of reusable VS disposable period care – which one is better for your body, and which one is better for the planet? And is it possible to have both?

Reusable period products

Disposable period products

Menstrual cups, reusable pads, liners, tampons and period underwear

Single use pads, liners and tampons

 

Reusable period care

Reusable Tampons

Disposable tampons are a commonly used product because of their comfort, ease of use and practicality however there is a question mark next to the use/safety of reusable tampons. Reusable tampons are hard to find as they are not FDA approved due to their high risk of infection (yeast, fungal and bacterial). The FDA discourage any use of reusable tampons.

Reusable Pads and liners

Reusable pads and liners can be found on the market with pros and cons to the option. Reusable pads are generally made of natural fibres such as: cotton, hemp and bamboo with a layer of waterproof material. This means that the pads/liners are biodegradable and create less waste compared to disposable products. They are skin friendly in comparison to un-natural period care brands and last several years whilst saving you money in the long run. Although they provide some benefits, they do require thorough and proper washing. If not washed correctly, they can lead to vaginal infection. Some women don’t like the washing aspect of reusable pads and liners – they require a 30minute soak prior to washing in the washing machine and need to be washed straight after use or as soon as possible. It is also advised that they dry in open air or sunlight which is a natural disinfectant. The washing and drying process can be quite a challenge for women who are frequently out and about and don’t have a lot of time to soak, wash and air-dry their pads and liners during their cycle. Reusable pads and liners need to be changed every six hours and if you aren’t at home, it needs to be placed in a zip lock bag to wash until you get home which can be quite inconvenient and unappealing for some women. Please bear in mind that women with blood-borne infections such as hepatitis C or BIV need to be particularly careful when washing, handling and storing these products.

Menstrual cup

Reusable menstrual cups continue to become a popular way of combatting your menstrual flow. Like all period products, there are pros and cons to using a menstrual cup. They’re easy to use and insert if you have used a tampon before (especially without an applicator), however may be difficult for someone who hasn’t had intercourse before or doesn’t have experience using a tampon.  They do require regular sterilization (after each cycle) but don’t require changing as frequently as other period care products (can stay in place up to 12 hours). As they are reusable, they don’t contribute to landfill as they require less purchasing. Menstrual cups can be difficult to remove which requires a bit of learning and getting used to. As a result of individual autonomy, possible problems with the cup fitting can occur. For example, if you have a dropped uterus or uterine prolapse.

Reusable Period underwear

Period underwear is new to many people, only recently becoming a product that they would consider using. Period underwear is reusable and generally can last up to two years if looked after properly. This means less purchasing of disposable products and less potential landfill. Although period panties sound good, like any reusable menstrual product, they must be washed frequently to remain hygienic and safe. They must be rinsed before going into the washing machine, washed only on a cold wash and line dried (not tumble dried). They require longer to dry than normal clothing and underwear, so if you’re hoping to use only period underwear throughout your cycle you may need a few spare pairs. This can be a potential financial burden if you aren’t 100% sure you like the idea of period underwear.  This element is frustrating to some users as a fresh pair or two must be ready to wear before putting the current set in for a rinse and wash. Additionally, people don’t enjoy the feeling of wet underwear beneath them, especially if they are worn all day or all night which is safe to do so with this type of product.

Disposable period care

Yes, it’s true that disposable products contribute to more land fill every year, however they do hold many advantages over reusable products. They’re convenient, easily accessible, clean, offer less mess and they’re user friendly. Unlike reusable pads, menstrual cups or period underwear, disposable tampons, pads and liners offer the luxury of being able to throw away the item when finished with it and replace with a clean new one. No need for washing, drying, carrying around dirty products or fearing that you don’t have enough clean ones to change into! You also avoid the risk of strong odour and don’t have to sit in wet period underwear all day. No need to fear spilling your menstrual cup on the floor of a public bathroom and having to clean it up in front of an audience. When it comes to period care, you can’t go wrong with convenient, sustainable and natural period care.

Veeda natural period products are sustainably sourced and manufactured using safe and natural materials and ingredients. Our products are better for your body and better for the planet. They contain pure, hypoallergenic 100% natural cotton which is sourced directly from a global network of leading cotton traders. Our GMO-free natural cotton contains no synthetics, fragrances, chemicals or dyes to ensure our products are safe and user-friendly. Unlike other brands whose products are made up of rayon, synthetic fibres and polyester, our cotton is grown naturally, not manufactured or altered. Unlike many conventional brands, all our products follow a chlorine free cleansing process using oxygen which removes all dirt and impurities including any synthetic material. Veeda feminine products are lab tested for over 250 harmful chemicals and therefore they contain no nasties. Through the use of sustainable ingredients, we’re limiting contribution to negative stress on the environment through bio-diverse, natural resources which help reduce overall carbon impact. Our products are made with "green" standards with certification from the Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) and Totally Chlorine Free (TCF) which are safer for the environment than conventional period care. Veeda is gentle on your body and on the earth, you can feel comfortable and good about using Veeda’s 100% natural cotton for your period, moth after month.

Disposable Tampons

Tampons are one of the most commonly used period products around the world due to their practicality, cleanliness, ease of use and accessibility. Veeda tampons are a single use product that are FDA approved, made without dioxins, pesticides, herbicides, fragrances, chlorine and dyes unlike many conventional period care brands. Without the use of harsh chemicals in our products, our manufacturing processes create less pollution and damage to the environment. Veeda tampons offer consumers a comfort fit that is safe, leakproof and natural, meaning they are better for your body and better for the planet. Unlike many disposable period care brands, Veeda offers tampons that are environmentally sustainable and safe to use in your body. In comparison to re-useable tampons which are not safe or FDA-approved, disposable natural tampons are a safe, reliable and sustainable option to help your monthly flow.

Disposable Pads and liners

Like our tampons, Veeda pads and liners are natural, hypoallergenic and dermatologically tested. They are safe for daily use (must still be changed regularly) and contain no harsh chemicals, therefore lessening pollution and environmental damage through the disposing and manufacturing process. Veeda pads and liners are made without dioxins, pesticides, herbicides, fragrances, chlorine and dyes unlike many other popular pads and liners. Having a clean and wrapped up pad on the go for those times when you didn’t expect your period to arrive, or even as a backup plan when you experience leaks, is a lifesaver. No need to sit in wet period underwear or have to worry about learning how to navigate a menstrual cup. Veeda natural pads and liners are good for your body and good for the planet. Our products are safe, sustainable and environmentally conscious to cater for all your period needs no matter your type of flow.  

Browse our range of Veeda Natural Period Care products here

Additional resources:

Bir, B. (2021). Here is all you need to know about period panties.https://www.herzindagi.com/society-culture/period-panties-guide-pros-and-cons-article-178838#

 Curtain, E. (2021). Best period underwear for tweens in Australia.https://tweentoteen.com.au/blogs/blog/best-period-underwear-for-tweens-australia

Guerra, J. (2017). 5 things to know about how reusable tampons work & if they’re actually worth it.https://www.elitedaily.com/p/how-reusable-tampons-work-in-case-youre-sick-of-your-usual-period-products-7581378

Kohli, S. (2020). Wondering if reusable cloth sanitary pads are hygienic? Here’s what a gyno says.https://www.healthshots.com/intimate-health/menstruation/wondering-if-reusable-cloth-sanitary-pads-are-hygienic-heres-what-a-gyno-says/

Longmire, M. (2021). Period underwear – modibodi, thinx, bonds and more compared.https://www.choice.com.au/health-and-body/reproductive-health/womens-health/articles/menstrual-cups-and-period-underwear

Slack, S. (2020). Reusable cloth pads – FAQ’s. https://menstrualcupreviews.net/reusable-cloth-pads-faqs/

US Food and Drug Administration. (2020). The facts on tampons – and how to use them safely.https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/facts-tampons-and-how-use-them-safely

Women’s Health. (2020). Tired of tampons? Here are some pros and cons of menstrual cups.https://health.clevelandclinic.org/tired-of-tampons-here-are-pros-and-cons-of-menstrual-cups/

 


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