Menstrual annual awareness day May 28th is a day when brands, charities, governments, and other advocates come together to highlight the importance of menstrual hygiene management at a global level and draw attention to the issues faced by those who do not have access to sanitary products.
Poor menstrual hygiene is caused by a lack of education due to persisting taboos and stigma resulting in limited access to adequate menstrual products. This delicate issue negatively effects educational opportunities, health and social circumstances of many women and girls all over the world preventing them from fulfilling their full potential.
Reusable feminine hygiene brand Bloom & Nora is discussing the issues and benefits of reusables versus disposables as well as the ease of using and caring for reusables:
During her menstruating year, one woman can use up to 15,000 products most of which end up in landfill. The pads used today will still be around 500 years from now. To make matters worse, the ones that don’t end up in landfill, often end up on beaches and oceans. In 2013, the Marine Conservation Society held a beach clean across 96.7km of UK coastline and collected 428 tampons and tampon applicators per 4.4km and 1291 sanitary pads, panty liners and backing strips per 13.3km. In addition, the process of manufacturing these products i.e. turning wood pulp into soft, cotton-like fibres, is both heavily resource and chemical intensive and wasteful.
There’s also a massive cost-saving reason to switch to reusable. The cost per reusable sanitary pad change is approximately 3p per change compared to 12p per change for disposable pads and tampons, leaving a savings of £2,000 over the course of a women’s lifetime cycle.
A Bloom & Nora recent study shows that concerns about hygiene are the biggest barrier to trying out reusable sanitary products. The main worry is about storing and washing used pads and a fear about a lack of cleanliness.
The truth is that reusable pads are in fact more hygienic. Here’s why:
- CHEMICAL-FREE: Many disposable pads contain known carcinogens, allergens, and endocrine-disrupting chemicals. As well as being bad for your health, these chemicals can irritate skin and unbalance pH. In fact, due to the chemicals that they contain, 30% are allergic to disposable sanitary pads.
- NATURAL FABRIC: Bloom & Nora pads are made from Oeko-Tex certified fabrics which means there are absolutely no harmful chemicals in the product, just natural fabric next to skin. The natural fabrics used in Bloom & Nora reusable pads avoid clammy, sweaty situations, which can cause odours and bacteria to build up. A quick change every 3-4 hours is all that’s needed for the fresh feeling all day.
- BACTERIA-FREE: Used disposables create a breeding ground for bacteria, especially when put into bathroom bins. If cloth pads are rinsed within a few hours of being used, it avoids bacteria build up and odour.
- STERILE: Period blood is sterile and is one of the most natural things on the planet. Rinsing pads under the tap and then popping them in the machine will become a monthly habit.
- PERFORMANCE: Compared to flimsy disposable pads with adhesive strips, soft and ultra-absorbent reusable pads are so well made that they can be used up to 150 times before you need to dispose of them.
Period poverty is the inability to access menstrual products due to limited finances. To help tackle this, free period products — including Bloom & Nora reusable pads — are now available to all schools and colleges in England. All learners in schools and 16-19 organisations should be able to access period products if they need them. This includes people who have forgotten their period products, cannot afford products or have started their period unexpectedly. Other learners are eligible too, like those under 19 in the current academic year. PHS stock and deliver all the free period products and they offer lots of free support. Schools and colleges can order a range of period products and have them delivered free of charge using the PHS portal.
Reusable Trial Kits
A good way to switch to reusables is with the Bloomer Trial Kit that has four super-soft bamboo-fabric pads in various sizes for different flows all held in a portable organic cotton pouch. £30
Best Use: After rinsing in cold water, simply roll-up the pad and store in the Bloom & Nora Bag Bathroom Loopy, a zipped waterproof bag with a poppered strap so you can hang it out of reach. £8.99
The switch to reusables doesn’t need to be all-or-nothing. Bloom & Nora advises to start by trying a reusable pad at night-time or when the flow is light. Small changes add up to make a big difference.
For one week only from 28 May to 3 June 2021, Bloom & Nora are giving 20% off with code MHD21 at www.bloomandnora.com
For more information on Menstrual Day, go to https://menstrualhygieneday.org/