She clutched her belly as another jolt of pain rushed through her pelvic region. She then felt another wave of wetness as the next flow of period blood spilled onto her pad. The dreaded monthly period had started and she was not looking forward to being confined in her small bedroom for a majority of the day. Plus, the popping of ibuprofen gel capsules to quiet the raging storm in her abdomen was definitely not appealing as she usually ended up with a headache afterwards.
But things were different this time. She decided to adorn her briefs with a large, yet cutesy cloth pad to absorb the blood coming out instead of rushing to the nearest pharmacy in a panic to snatch the first box of overnight disposables. She sighed and leaned back against the pillows. At least I don’t have to buy anymore pads from now on, she thought amusingly.
* * *
As with every start of a new month, I’m greeted by my nearly dreaded menstrual period on the first week. I know it’s been stated many times on the Internet that women should celebrate their periods naturally and not let it be a taboo subject to speak about. But when my periods usually result in me cramping severely for the first two days, feeling nauseous and vomiting almost every food, drink or medicine I consume, and bleeding like someone kept cutting open bags of chilled blood from the hospital, I think it’s safe to say that I was NOT looking forward to dealing with it when it would show up.
Instead, I would try (in a poor attempt) to conquer it with Advil pills, disposable pads and designated underwear that has survived the battles in the past. All in all, I would lay curled up in my bed waiting until the torment was over so I could get back to my normal routines.
Until I looked on the Internet and discovered other ways of managing periods that didn’t involve disposables and chemical washes.
I first found out about the menstrual cup after speaking with an old friend through Instagram, but I wasn’t too keen on trying it out. I’ve never used tampons before and sticking random things up my “pink lotus” was not appealing to me (especially since I’m still a virgin).
Then I read about cloth pads and how women of all ages praised them on being reusable, pretty in various patterns, super absorbent, and more importantly, how they reduced the cramping! I was hooked and I ordered three pads to try. Two were from Party In My Pants and the third was from Yurtcraft on Etsy.
To get right into it, the pads were easy to snap on and they were very snug against me. They felt exactly like a disposable pad, but just a little more bulky. The pad from Yurtcraft, on the other hand, felt so soft and velvety that I really didn’t want to take it off.
So here’s how it went. The first day, I cramped badly as usual and I took two ibuprofen pills with some water and chicken broth to calm things down. The overnight cloth pad I had on was surprisingly very absorbent and not once did any blood seep through the nylon side underneath the “pretty” side! I changed the pad only once to the super overnight pad after a few hours.
The second day, my cramps were still there, but two more pills and they were placated for a while. I changed to the Yurtcraft pad to cover me while I went to work. Unfortunately, I was bleeding heavily and some of the blood did spill over onto the sides of my briefs since the pad was only 10.5 inches long. Regardless, it was just as absorbent as the other two and the underside did not feel wet to the touch! As for the other two pads, I rinsed them in cool water and let them air dry underneath a large fan for more uses.
The rest of the days were relatively easy as I repeated the process of changing a pad, rinsing off the used ones gently and air drying them. The cramps has disappeared, but I still bled a lot. Each time, all three pads were very absorbent and dry. Plus, I rarely smelled any bad odor from them unless my nose was nearly touching the fabric!
Once the period was completely over, I soaked the pads in lukewarm water with some oxygen cleaner and hand washed them with a tiny amount of castile soap.
All in all, I really like using cloth pads and I’m going to keep at it for the remainder of this year to see if I want to stick with them permanently. If you’ve never tried them, give them a shot! If you’ve have, tell me your experience! Tips are welcomed too!