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Whether disposable or reusable, choosing the kind of menstrual pad you want to hold your period falls on you and the kind of lifestyle you live. However, as of recently, there has been an alarming concern for disposable pads due to their impact on the environment and harmful chemicals.
In all fairness though, both cloth and disposable menstrual pads have their ups and downs. So we’re going to open up on the pros and cons of both pads to find out which of them is more beneficial for you, your health and mother nature for that matter.
1. Disposable Pads
- Convenient: Some of the best parts about disposable pads is that they’re, well….disposable. Once you’re done with them, you can throw them away and that’s that. What’s also more interesting is that disposable pads can be bought from anywhere and not just health stores or online. Another great takeaway of these pads is that you virtually never run out. In fact, you can stash as much of them without having your husband or other family member run out to the drugstore to get them for you.
- Smaller Upfront Cost: Buying disposable pads to cover one cycle is easier than buying the same amount of cloth pads to cover one cycle. What’s more is that you don’t need to buy more pads for your next period since you’ll already have a stash of them at home.
- Harmful Chemicals: Because disposable pads are whitened with chlorine bleach, a toxic byproduct called dioxin is produced. These pads also contain pesticide residue and plastic chemicals. These chemicals are dangerous due to our skin being highly permeable, especially the skin in and around the vagina.
- Potential Environmental Impact: It is reported that around 20 billion pads, tampons and applicators end up at landfills, that too in North America alone. And because they’re made of plastic, they take centuries to biodegrade, especially if they’re packed in plastic bags.
- Higher Cost: Since they’re known as disposable pads, it will eventually come to a point where you will have to buy some new ones. This process is apparently more expensive than buying cloth pads since the latter are reusable.
2. Reusable Cloth Pads
- Better For The Environment: Let’s get this out of the way first – the reason why cloth pads are much better option is due to their reusable quality. As such, it keeps them away from landfills, which is a big deal when you consider the number of feminine products that one woman uses in her entire lifetime.
- Savings: If you buy enough cloth pads to cover an entire menstrual cycle, it could save you up on more than what a pack of disposable pads would cost you. Better yet, once you have those reusable pads with you, you won’t have to buy another tampon or pad for over five years. Hence, reusable pads can save you on plenty of money overtime than disposable pads.
- Highly Customizable: There are plenty of customizable options available for cloth pads than you can get for disposable pads at your local drugstore. Apart from choosing the best size and absorbency for your convenience, you also get to choose the best colors and patterns that represent your personal style.
- It’s Less Irritating: Cloth pads are less irritating because they’re made of soft, breathable fabrics that permit air flow. Due to this, women experience less chafing and sweating when using cloth pads. There are also some women whose skins are sensitive to the bleaching agent that are used to make disposable pads white – that’s why switching over to cloth pads are the best option for them. Some women even reported to have experienced less PMS and menstrual cramps upon switching to cloth pads.
- They Require Great Care: Cloth pads are not like disposable pads where you can just fling them into the trash bin after using them once. And that’s exactly why they’re known as reusable. After using, they need to be washed to avoid getting stains. Then just toss them into the washing machine like you would your laundry. Keep away from fabric softeners as it could affect the absorbency of the pads. Whether you can machine-dry the pads or not depends on the brand as well as the materials they’re made from.
- Lots of Trial And Error To Find the Right One: Unlike clothes, you can’t try a cloth pad in a fitting room before you decide to buy it. Since there are pads of various sizes, one can only guess which one is the right fit for you. One good advice is that if you use disposable pads, you can check their size out to find the cloth pad that is of similar size. You will find that most sellers list the measurements of their pads, making your job easier in finding the one you need.
Even though they both have their shortcomings, it is ultimately reusable cloth pads that take away the trophy due to their eco-friendly and affordable nature attributes. The best cloth pads are those that are just the right size, contain less or no harmful chemicals and have a longer shelf life.
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