I have something on my mind and I'm wondering where the Blog Sisters stand on the issue. I have been, for my past 4 or 5 menstrual cycles, using washable, rather than disposable products to collect the flow. I first became curious about washable menstrual pads through the many ads for them in 2 of my favorite magazines, Bitch and BUST. For years, I did nothing but wonder, who out there would have the time, to say nothing of the desire, to wash out blood-soaked rags throughout their cycle. Especially those women with heavy flow. We're talking washing out pads maybe 4 or 5 times a day, over the course of 3 to 7 days. Aren't disposable tampons and pads a revolution in themselves, liberating so many women from the endless drudgery of scrubbing that our foremothers endured? Isn't that the definition of "better living through chemistry?"
Then I started reading. I was alarmed, and then increasingly horrified to realize something that should have been obvious: that the dioxins and other chemical agents used to bleach paper products, substances that I know are harmful to the environment, are the same toxic chemicals used to bleach tampons and disposable pads that I would regularly wear close to the most delicate area of my body during my period. Further reading turned up evidence of links between tampon use and diseases such as endometriosis. The more I read, the more I thought, I need to get over my squeamishness and my wanting to avoid extra time with my handwashing. In addition, I thought about the sheer volume of menstrual trash that would be eliminated by my ceasing to use tampons and throwaway pads. For that reason alone, I thought, I should at least give washable menstrual pads a try.
Now that I've done it for several months, I know I'll never go back to my disposable ways. They're comfortable, they don't have that nasty plastic liner to deal with in your panties, they're safe and - the big bonus - they're incredibly cute! You can go to Lunapads, the Rag Hag, or Urban Armor to see for yourself. My question is, do any of the Blog Sisters use these products, and how do you like them? I have brought up my newfound love of them to a few friends, progressive ladies all, and the responses have been mostly mild curiousity. I currently don't know anyone personally who also washes their pads (unless they just haven't told me yet!). I do have some links to purveyors of the pads displayed quietly on my blog under the heading "good for the planet."
I'd be interested to hear your responses. Also, if this topic has been raised in a previous discussion, then please point me in the direction of the archives and I'll read there happily.
This is my first time here, and I'm honored to be a new Sister. Thanks.