Best menstrual product alternatives to sanitary pads and tampons: Thinx, Diva Cup, Jade & Pearl Sea Pearls, etc
Periods — much like puberty and taxes — are an indignity most women have to bear with at some point in their lives. Methods of coping often include massages, copious amounts of chocolate, and a steady supply of tampons or sanitary pads to tide us through them treacherous times. But perhaps not the latter, if the latest methods of menstrual management are anything to go by. Think cost-effective, environmentally-friendly, and discreet underwear, reusable pads, and menstrual cups. The future of our monthlies as we know it? We break it down for you so you can be the judge. Here's to surfing the crimson tides better than before.
To say that Diva Cups revolutionised the market since its inception is no overstatement. Made of soft, durable silicone, a cup is inserted into your vagina to collect all manner of blood, discharge, and more, providing up to 12 hours of protection with no need for offloads in between. Translation: none of the regular checks and changing we do with pads and tampons. They are formulated BPA-free with no added chemicals, plastics, or dyes; save you on money and time; and prove more environmentally-friendly than traditional options in the market. Choose between three different models that suit your menstrual flow.
Thinx Period Panties
These up-and-coming undies pretty much look and feel like your regular underwear — except they are made of moisture-wicking, odour-controlling, super-absorbent, leak-resistant material to soak up your period. You can rinse and rewear them as you would your normal underwear, and use them with cups and tampons for extra protection. Needless to say, on top of being cost effective in the long run, Thinx is better for planet Earth than the plastics in pads and GMO cotton in tampons are. Thinx is available in thong, bikini, and activewear variations depending on your needs.
Jade & Pearl Sea Pearls Reusable Sea Sponges
This works exactly as you think it should — literal sponges are inserted into the vagina to hold Aunt Flow in custody. Made of naturally renewable and sustainably harvested material, the sponges can be washed and re-used for three to six months. The brand prides itself on washing, inspecting, and trimming every sea pearl to ensure consistent quality. Four different sizing options are available, from teeny to large.
Flex Menstural Disc
This is a disposable disc that work a tad bit differently from cups. Insert one past the vaginal canal to collect fluid, and leave it in there for up to 12 hours, even when you sleep, exercise, or swim. Plus, its unique positioning in the vaginal canal allows for mess-free period sex — the disc is leak-proof and shift-resistant.
If its name got you thinking of a tampon and panty liner hybrid, well, you just about guessed it right. Each tampliner comprises three parts: an organic cotton tampon, mini-liner, and a virtual applicator that connects the two. The inclusion of a liner folds and tucks between labia for added security, providing extra protection against leaks without feeling bulky.