Ladies, we need to talk. Lean in — closer. OK, now tell the truth: are you ready to break up with your tampons? If you’re sick of spending the money each month, dealing with the mess, and never being quite comfortable when Aunt Flo comes to visit, then maybe you should look into tampon alternatives.
Who could blame you? Tampon use costs the average woman over $1,770 during her lifetime. Add in the emotional price of uncertainty over leaks, the discomfort, and the all-around hassle and we’re sure you’ll agree that it’s time for a change.
So what are the alternatives? Read on to find out about three of the most popular non-tampon choices.
Imagine being able to throw away your tampons, your pads, and those gross, stained, stretched-out “period panties” that live in the back of your drawer three weeks out of every month. Sounds like heaven, right?
You can achieve this freedom with specially made absorbent panties meant to be worn, on their own, during menses. Brands like Thinx and Dear Kate claim to absorb up to two tampons’ worth of blood. Proponents say they aren’t bulky or diaper-like, and that they wick moisture away from your body, leaving you feeling fresh and clean even during your heaviest flows.
After an upfront investment of about $40 per pair, these panties could save you money over time. They’re a boon to athletes or anyone who dislikes tampons or hates the feeling of wearing sanitary pads.
A Menstrual Cup
Cups have been on the market for longer than you may think — the first patent for one was issued in 1937! — but have gained ground in the past decade or so. Made from medical-grade silicone, menstrual cups are inserted into the vagina, where they form a seal around the cervix. They collect the menstrual fluid and tissue for between four and 24 hours, depending on the woman’s flow.
Disposable cups are then thrown away, but there are reusable versions that can be emptied, cleaned, and reinserted.
A few of the advantages offered by these cups include convenience, eco-friendliness, low lifetime cost, and ease of use. Interested in learning more? Check out this Diva Cup review to find out if the cup is a good option for you.
Natural Sea Sponges
Have you ever seen plastic tampon applicators washed up on a beach, and wondered about the environmental impact of menstruation? The average woman throws away some 250 to 300 lbs. of tampons, applicators, and pads! So if you’re concerned about the planet, consider natural sea sponges as tampon alternatives.
The pros of sponges? Users say they’re comfortable, absorbent (after all, they are sponges!), and easy to insert. Drawbacks include removal — once a sea sponge has absorbed menstrual blood, its texture can be difficult to distinguish from your own body — some mess, and the need to diligently clean and deodorize them.
Which Tampon Alternatives Are Right For You?
It may take some experimentation before you decide on the tampon alternatives that work best for you. But with a little trial and error, you might soon be able to ditch the mess and the fuss once and for all!
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