By now, many of us know that pads and tampons aren’t the only products you can use during your period. For example, recently menstrual cups have been growing in popularity. They’re non-disposable, making them eco-friendly. Plus, they’re cost-efficient, as a single menstrual cup costs between $25-$40 and can last for years of use, whereas you can spend at least $130 a year on tampons. Not only that, if you’re someone who hates having to change your pad or tampon every few hours, cups are a great alternative because you can wear them for up to 12 hours! There’s a learning curve–I mean, you’re inserting a vessel up your vagina, for God’s sake–but it’s pretty cool to know that if you’re ever over pads or tampons, there’s an alternative, right?
But listen, menstrual alternatives don’t just stop at the Diva Cup.
From reusable pads, to tampon delivery services, to apps, to biodegradable menstrual cups, there are more options now than ever before when it comes to dealing with that time of the month. Check out these seven menstrual products you didn’t know existed, but should try.
Flex Menstrual DiscIf you're looking for something completely different to handle your flow, you need to check out Flex. It's marketed as a menstrual disc which, like menstrual cups, is essentially a vessel for menstrual fluid for up to 12 hours of protection. However, unlike a menstrual cups (or tampons for that matter) it rests at the cervix instead of chillin' in the vaginal canal. Flex claims that this reduces pain associated with menstrual cramps and also allows for you to have penetrative sex. Yes, sex, with the flex disc inside of you. Find out more about Flex here.
Cora TamponsIf you can subscribe to Spotify and Netflix, why not subscribe to tampons? Cora is a tampon subscription service that gives you a cycle's supply of tampons for just $12 a month. You choose how many tampons you need and pick your preferred absorbency; voila, tampons at your door every month, timed to your cycle. No more emergency runs to the drugstore! Cora is great if your style leans on the chic side, because it comes with sleek, minimalist tampon containers and leather-like pouches that are discreet and--TBH--Instagram worthy. Plus, the tampons are made of 100 percent organic cotton, the plastic applicators are BPA-free, and each purchase helps Cora support charities geared toward providing menstrual products for people in India. Find out more about Cora here.
LolaMany of us don't just use one menstrual product during that time of the month, and let's be real, and the absorbency we need varies from day to day. Lola knows this, and provides a monthly subscription service that is tailored around exactly what you and your flow needs. Ever hated the fact that most tampons only come with one absorbency level per pack? And the ones that don't never quite match up to your flow: A pack of tampons with, like, 18 regular absorbency tampons and just 6 super absorbency tampons? Um, my heavy flow cannot relate. In comes Lola, where you can customize exactly how many tampons of varying absorbencies you want each month. Their tampons are 100 percent cotton and come with applicators or without (perfect for those of you who are environmentally conscious). But if you don't only rely on tampons, you're in luck: you can also order pads and pantyliners through Lola as well. Find out more about Lola here.
Holy Sponge Menstrual ProductsYou've probably heard of menstrual sponges, but have you ever seen them like this? Holy Sponge sells sustainably sourced sea sponges for your period in a killer kit that comes with a cloth bag, tea tree oil as a natural disinfectant, and a plant (like sage, lavender) for relaxation purposes. Each sponge lasts up to six cycles and are totally biodegradable. Find out more about Holy Sponge here.
Glad Rags Cloth PadsThere are plenty of cloth pad companies out there, from Lunapads to miscellaneous retailers on Etsy. But Glad Rags deserves some props as well. They have pads for everything from daytime to night and sell great starter kits for people who have never tried reusable cloth pads before. Some of the kits even come with a carrying case, special cleaning product, a laundry bag, and a bucket to soak the pads in before cleaning (which will be nice and discreet if you live with people who really don't want to see your bloody pads soaking in the sink). If you like pads but hate spending a ton of money on disposables and don't want to contribute to environment-busting landfills, check 'em out. Find out more about Glad Rags here.
Dear Kate Period UnderwearWhen it comes to period underwear, your first thought is probably Thinx, a brand that used a combination of aesthetically pleasing advertising and ~empowering~ quotes to become the most popular period underwear brands. Unfortunately, it turns out that Thinx has some seriously questionable work practices and policies, leading to their CEO resigning and consumers searching for period undies that are a little less problematic. Whether you're one of those people or you're just curious about period product alternatives, why not try out Dear Kate's products. They sell period undies in a variety of styles and absorbencies, up to three tablespoons of fluid! You can even cop yoga pants, too! Remember, though, that you should probably just use their products as backup on your heaviest days, especially if you generally have a pretty heavy period anyway. Find out more about Dear Kate here
LooncupOkay, so this product doesn't exist yet, but bear with me. Looncup promises to make your period high-tech by offering a menstrual cup that connects to an app which lets you know how full it is and when you need to empty it. Cool, right? Welcome to the future. Hopefully it'll actually, you know, exist. There's a Kickstarter for it which has been surrounded with some confusion and controversy, but Looncup claims that its backers will receive the product soon. Hmmm, we've got to wait and see. If it's not a scam, then this really might be the wave of the menstrual future.
What’s your preferred method of dealing with your period? Tell us in the comments!