My first reaction when I heard about the growing trend for cloth feminine hygiene products was skeptic. I have to admit that when I first heard of their existence a couple of months ago my initial reaction was something along the lines of ‘You what? But how? Ew!’ I don’t know but these just don’t appeal to me.
But maybe I have been too hasty. After all a growing numbers of women are using reusable sanitary pads these days and can’t really go wrong.
Many websites like, www.clothpadshop.com.au, www.ecofemme.org have an enormous range of reusable sanitary napkins, in every color and pattern and in different shapes as well to meet a woman’s changing needs throughout her period.
A “light flow” day pad with poppers, that too. If you are the type of woman who won’t leave the house unless your underwear is matching you can now coordinate your sanitary pad to your outfit as well.
It’s the comfort and health benefits that make reusable sanitary napkins so compelling.
Unlike other sanitary napkins, most women are very familiar with cloth and change it more frequently than they would a sanitary napkin, resulting in better hygiene.
Besides, in humid regions of the country, sanitary napkins crumble easily and hence cotton cloth is preferred.
Several women these days are also concerned about the environment while disposing sanitary napkins in their villages and therefore prefer reusable cloth.
In some villages in Karnataka, women purchase a red cloth called “Date Batte” (Date refers to periods, and Batte means cloth) from the grocery shops. This is a soft cloth, quite suitable for menstrual blood absorption.
“They were far more comfortable than I expected, like fluffy vagina blankets,” says a girl, 25, a cloth supporter who switched after “years of yeast infection and horrible painful periods” and they had none of the nasty, sweaty, crunchy plastic feel of disposables.”
But what about the ‘eww’ factor?
After all, regular pads and tampons seem more hygienic, with their whiteness, packaging and scents.
Our underwear is made of cloth and it’s not unhygienic right, so why cloth for menstruation should be considered unhygienic?
Perhaps, we as a culture, directly associate cloth with lack of hygiene because of the way we view menstruation!
As Menstrual Hygiene Management is creating a buzz, the aim is to provide women the best solution: one that protects their dignity and is least harmful to the environment.
Social taboo of an unspoken topic will always be a roadblock towards incorporating changes and more than anything else there is a need of an open mind to shift to these changes. But every sanitary napkin you can save from a landfill will have a cascading effect and positively impact forests, water, air, the city you live in and your health.
Finally, it’s the woman’s choice and comfort!!!
The article was published on sheroes.com