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7 Myths About Reusable Period Products

June 20, 2024

Collage of menstrual cups, cloth pads, and period underwear with a myth-busting stamp overlay.

In recent years, there has been a growing interest in sustainable and eco-friendly menstrual products. Despite their many benefits, reusable period products are often surrounded by myths and misconceptions that can deter people from trying them. This article aims to debunk seven common myths about various reusable menstrual products, providing you with accurate information to make informed choices.

Key Takeaways

  • Reusable menstrual products are hygienic when used and cleaned properly.
  • Many reusable products are made from breathable and comfortable materials like organic cotton.
  • Reusable options are cost-effective in the long run compared to disposable products.
  • These products are environmentally friendly and reduce waste significantly.
  • Awareness and education can help dispel common myths and encourage more people to try reusable menstrual products.

1. Reusable Menstrual Pads

Colorful reusable menstrual pads arranged on a pastel background, highlighting eco-friendly menstrual product options.

Reusable menstrual pads are an eco-friendly, more convenient, and economical alternative to disposable pads. However, like most menstruation-related products, they are surrounded by several misconceptions.

One common myth is that reusable menstrual pads are unhygienic. In reality, they are designed to be highly absorbent and comfortable. Most companies use a waterproof layer at the bottom along with high-quality absorbent material, ensuring there is no risk of staining or discomfort.

Another misconception is that they do not absorb well. Contrary to this belief, reusable menstrual pads are very absorbent and can handle menstrual flow effectively.

By choosing reusable menstrual pads, individuals contribute to reducing the unmanageable heap of toxic and hazardous waste created by disposable sanitary pads, which take hundreds of years to decompose.

For those interested in other sustainable period products, period underwear is another excellent option. You can find more information about it here.

2. Menstrual Cups

Menstrual cup with myth-busting stamp, clean background, highlighting myths about reusable period products.

Menstrual cups have been around since the 1930s, yet they remain a mystery to many. These small, flexible cups are designed to catch and hold menstrual flow rather than absorb it like traditional pads or tampons. Menstrual cups are super comfortable (almost undetectable!), they stay put as you move (perfect for active women!), and you can leave them in for up to 12 hours without worrying about sensation, spillage, or odor.

One common myth is that menstrual cups are messy. While dealing with your period can sometimes feel inconvenient, using a menstrual cup is far from a mess waiting to happen. The soft silicone material ensures comfort, and with proper care instructions, users can confidently insert, remove, and clean their cups between uses.

Another myth is that menstrual cups are uncomfortable. In reality, they are designed to sit comfortably in the vaginal canal, past the pelvic zone but away from the cervix. Once inserted correctly, the body adjusts to the presence of the cup immediately, and the vaginal walls keep it snug and in place, regardless of physical activity.

For those who are squeamish, it may take some getting used to, but persistence pays off. Eventually, users find the right spot, making the menstrual cup an easy, no-strings-attached solution. For additional comfort and protection, consider pairing a menstrual cup with period underwear from New York Times's Top pick Period underwear for women

3. Period Underwear

Period underwear for women has gained significant popularity as a sustainable and comfortable alternative to traditional menstrual products. These specially designed undergarments can absorb menstrual flow, eliminating the need for disposable pads or tampons. One of the primary myths surrounding period underwear is that they are unhygienic or uncomfortable. However, modern period underwear is crafted from high-quality, breathable fabrics that ensure comfort and hygiene.

Period underwear is available in various styles and absorbency levels to cater to different needs. For instance, one can choose from options like midi briefs, hipsters, bikini briefs, high waist, and even swimwear. Additionally, collections such as the Period Underwear Basics™ Collection and the Period Underwear Ultimate™ Collection offer a range of choices for different preferences and requirements.

It is essential to address concerns about the safety of period underwear. Some reports have highlighted the presence of toxins found in Knix panties, raising questions about the safety of these products. Consumers are advised to research and select brands that prioritize safety and transparency in their manufacturing processes.


4. Cloth Panty Liners

Colorful cloth panty liners arranged neatly, showcasing different patterns and sizes, debunking myths about reusable period products.

Cloth panty liners are an eco-friendly and cost-effective alternative to disposable liners. They are designed to be thin and comfortable, making them ideal for light bleeding or daily discharge. One common myth is that cloth panty liners feel uncomfortable and damp. However, modern designs use TPU-coated fabric, which repels liquid and maintains breathability, ensuring a comfortable and dry experience.

Cloth panty liners come in various absorbency levels to suit different needs:

  • Thongliner: 11 mL absorbency
  • Pantyliner: 15 mL absorbency
  • Longliner: 20 mL absorbency

These liners are easy to clean and can be reused for several years, making them a sustainable choice. For those who prefer a different type of reusable period product, period underwear is another excellent option. You can find more information about period underwear here.

5. Reusable Tampons

Reusable tampons are an eco-friendly alternative to traditional disposable tampons. They offer a sustainable option for those looking to reduce their environmental footprint. Unlike disposable period products, which often end up in landfills or oceans, reusable tampons can be washed and reused multiple times, making them a more sustainable choice.

One common myth is that reusable tampons are not as reliable as their disposable counterparts. However, this is simply not true. Reusable tampons are designed to be just as effective in absorbing menstrual flow, providing reliable period protection. Additionally, they do not contain the toxic chemicals found in many disposable products, making them a safer option for personal health.

For those who are concerned about hygiene, it's important to note that reusable tampons can be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized between uses. This ensures that they remain safe and hygienic for each menstrual cycle. The process of cleaning reusable tampons is straightforward and can be easily incorporated into one's routine.

In summary, reusable tampons are a viable and sustainable option for menstrual care. They offer the same level of reliability and safety as disposable products, without the environmental impact. As more people become aware of the benefits of reusable period products, it's likely that their popularity will continue to grow.

6. Menstrual Discs

Menstrual discs are a lesser-known but highly effective reusable period product. They are designed to sit at the base of the cervix, collecting menstrual fluid rather than absorbing it. One common myth is that menstrual discs are uncomfortable to wear. However, when inserted correctly, they are almost undetectable and can be worn for up to 12 hours without any issues. This makes them an excellent option for those with a busy lifestyle or who engage in physical activities.

Another misconception is that menstrual discs can get lost inside the body. This is not true, as the vaginal canal is not an endless space. The disc will stay in place until it is removed. Additionally, menstrual discs are designed to be leak-proof, providing a reliable alternative to traditional menstrual products.

For those concerned about the environmental impact, menstrual discs are a sustainable choice. They can be reused for several years, significantly reducing the amount of menstrual waste generated. This makes them an eco-friendly option compared to disposable products.

In summary, menstrual discs offer a comfortable, reliable, and sustainable solution for menstrual care. They are an excellent choice for anyone looking to switch to reusable period products.

7. Sea Sponges

Sea sponge with a red cross over it, debunking myths about sea sponges as reusable period products.

Sea sponges are one of the lesser-known reusable period products, yet they have been used for centuries. These natural sponges are harvested from the sea and can be used similarly to tampons. One of the most common myths about sea sponges is that they are unhygienic. However, when properly cleaned and cared for, sea sponges can be a safe and effective menstrual product.

Another myth is that sea sponges are uncomfortable to use. On the contrary, many users find them to be quite comfortable once they are correctly inserted. They are soft and conform to the shape of the body, providing a custom fit that many find preferable to traditional tampons.

Sea sponges are also environmentally friendly. Unlike disposable menstrual products, sea sponges are biodegradable and do not contribute to landfill waste. This makes them an excellent choice for those looking to reduce their environmental footprint.

In summary, sea sponges offer a sustainable, comfortable alternative to traditional menstrual products. They are environmentally friendly, provide a custom fit, and can be safely used with proper care.


In conclusion, the myths surrounding reusable period products often stem from a lack of awareness and understanding. As we have debunked these common misconceptions, it becomes evident that reusable menstrual products are not only safe and hygienic but also offer numerous benefits, including sustainability and comfort. By educating ourselves and others, we can make informed choices that contribute to both personal well-being and environmental conservation. It is crucial to approach these products with an open mind and to rely on factual information rather than hearsay. Embracing reusable period products can be a significant step towards a more sustainable and healthier lifestyle.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are reusable menstrual pads unhygienic?

No, reusable menstrual pads are very hygienic if used, cleaned, and stored properly. The hygiene of a product depends more on its maintenance rather than the product itself.

Are reusable menstrual pads breathable?

Yes, reusable menstrual pads are made using organic cotton, which is a breathable, soft, and comfortable fabric. It allows air and water vapor to pass through, keeping you dry and comfortable.

Do reusable menstrual pads make you feel wet?

No, reusable menstrual pads are made from absorbent materials like cotton, which rarely seep any liquid out. They also have a water-resistant bottom layer that provides added protection, reducing the chances of feeling wet.

Are menstrual cups safe to use?

Yes, menstrual cups are safe, efficient, inexpensive, and healthy for your body and the environment. Proper usage and cleaning ensure their safety.

Is period underwear sustainable?

Yes, period underwear is a reliable, reusable, and sustainable option for period protection. It is safe for use and environmentally friendly.

Are reusable tampons effective?

Yes, reusable tampons are effective when used correctly. They offer a sustainable alternative to disposable tampons and can be washed and reused multiple times.

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