Health & Wellness, Honest Reviews

Say Yes to Sustainable Menstruation

Hey pretty mummas! If you are a millennial, then I am quite sure you remember those advertisements on TV using indirect phrases for periods like “Un dino main”. Or even till date, I haven’t seen a single sanitary napkin TV ad using red liquid – they all use blue. I am very keen to know why blue, and not green, pink or mustard? What is there to be ashamed of?

If TV programs and movies don’t shy from showing blood through violence, then not showing blood on a sanitary napkin, as a result of something so natural, is hypocrisy. In our country, sadly it is still a big taboo, so big that women themselves shy away from buying sanitary napkins. Funny! Thankfully now atleast the word “period” is not a taboo anymore.

Although, when I am on my period, wearing whites is the last thing I want to do. I am cringing with pain and god forbid if kids trouble me during those days, then my husband is on the line of fire. Because, suddenly, he becomes responsible for everything damn thing that goes wrong with me or in the house. Welcome to the frenzied world of berserk hormones!

Disposable sanitary napkins are a blessing for us women. When periods “whisper” in, we can go anywhere, wear anything. We can “Stayfree” and be “carefree”. All hail the inventor. However, their disposal is still an unsolved issue. Since they are not fully degradable, they pose a big hazard to our environment.

Let me tell you some facts:

Say Yes to Sustainable Menstruation

  • In areas where there are no waste disposal systems, most of the disposed napkins and plastic packaging end up in water bodies
  • Dioxins released through open burning and burying of used napkins has serious health implications
  • Waste pickers separate out soiled napkins from recyclable items by hand, exposing themselves to micro-organisms like E.coli, Salmonella, Staphylococcus, HIV and pathogens that cause hepatitis and tetanus
  • Also, sanitary napkins are classified as ‘medical products’ and makers are not required by law to divulge what goes into their making on the packs
  • In July 2017 sanitary products were classed as non-essential in India’s latest legislation and taxed at 12%. Resulting in making them even more unavailable to those who can’t afford to buy
  • Not only these napkins are non-biodegradable but they can be hazardous to one’s health. They are bleached cotton that is flushed with carcinogens in the name of fragrance and superabsorbent material, which results in irritation and dryness
  • Other chemicals and plastic substances cause rashes, fungal infections and, in the long term, can result in endocrine disruption or hormonal imbalance

When I was researching on this subject, these statistics blew me away. I didn’t know that a single “used” disposable sanitary napkin can have such major impact. Just like everyone else, I “was” a happy disposable sanitary napkin user until I met Priyanka Jain. She is the owner of “Hygiene and You”. Hygiene and You is her brainchild, that sells eco-friendly and sustainable menstrual products under the brand name “SOCH”. Priyanka also has a YouTube channel “Hygiene and You” that explains everything about these products.

Sustainable menstrual products are those that are not meant
for one-time-use and disposal

They can be reused and don’t pose any harm to the health of
the user and the environment,like cloth pads, inter-labia
pads, period panties and menstrual cups

In a candid conversation with her, very swiftly she explained the ease of use and care of these.

When I tried cloth pads for the first time, I was petrified. Honestly, it reminded me of what my grandmother told me several times that she used cloth pads only and how tough it was for her to pass those 5 days. I was still skeptical.

Today, when I want to progress and move ahead, I hoped that am not limiting myself by making this huge change in my lifestyle. During the first-time use, I followed the instructions on the pack to-the-T. I was still unsure about using them at nights. Therefore, my days were eco-friendly and nights were burdened with the guilt of not giving my kids a greener and cleaner planet. I was so happy using disposable napkins then what got into me? I ponder at times.

How was my experience? I have been using cloth pads, inter-labia pads and period panty for quite sometime now and here’s what I think:

Say Yes to Sustainable Menstruation

Cloth Pads

Reusable menstrual cloth pads are a safer and healthier replacement for disposable sanitary napkins and tampons. These are eco-friendly cloth pads are made of layers of absorbent as well as leak-proof materials. These come in different sizes.

  • My days passed like a breeze because there was literally ZERO discomfort. Say bye-bye to rashes, skin allergies and discomfort
  • Even on the days of heavy flow, other than frequent change there was no trouble
  • With regular usage, I got to know the frequency of changing
  • Wash care instructions are easy to follow

Inter-labia Pads

These pads are much smaller than panty liners and are to be worn externally along with cloth pads or menstrual cup. They are rolled and kept between the labia (lips or folds of skin at the vaginal opening) to catch the menstrual flow much closer to the vagina to avoid messy leaks during heavy flow/ flow with clots.

  • These are revolutionary. These are specially designed for days of heavy flow
  • I couldn’t feel a thing and I celebrated my 2nd day like 2nd of July. I got independence from leakage, rashes and discomfort
  • It takes time to become habitual of this, but once you use it, you will not switch back
  • With regular usage, I got to know the frequency of changing
  • Wash care instructions are easy to follow

Period Panty

Period Panties are reusable and leak-proof period underwear that are made of a leak-proof crotch panel that can accommodate removable inserts to keep you dry and comfortable all day long. These panties are designed to accommodate removable inserts that can be changed every 4 to 6 hours, or as per one’s needs. By doing this, a single Period Panty can be used for an entire day.

  • Very comfortable to wear throughout the day. The key is to get the right size
  • The fabric is breathable and doesn’t accumulate sweat
  • It lasted me the whole day. I used it when the flow was medium
  • Wash care instructions are easy to follow

Try them once and I promise you, you’ll love the comfort. You may just not go back to the disposable napkins. Say Yes to Sustainable Menstruation. Disposable sanitary napkins are becoming a huge environmental hazard. They are also unsafe to use over a prolonged period as they contain cancer-causing chemicals. By using reusable menstruation hygiene products you are not only saving the environment and but also yourself from infections.

Soch products can be bought from various e-commerce websites and Hygiene and You website.


-Pretty mumma

55 thoughts on “Say Yes to Sustainable Menstruation

  1. That’s a really great information….was looking forward for these since so long that made sharing 😀

  2. Thank you for sharing this.. I wasn’t aware on period panty. I am getting back to periods post delivery. And I have plans to try the cloth pads

  3. You are right people are not open to talk about menstruation. But the fact it, it has to said out openly.
    Your was an eye opener. I think with time more and more women will start using cloth diapers.

    1. I hope too. It’s a major lifestyle shift. The problem arises with the working women. It can be slightly challenging for them. Thanks for reading, Aplana

  4. This is a good and most important topic that has to be highlighted.. some shocking stats of people aware of periods and hygiene doing periods is like very low …

    1. I was shocked too. We call ourselves and advancing country but we are too low on the basic hygiene factors. Thanks for reading

  5. This was a great read, frankly, I never knew about these sustainable cotton pads and inter labia pads. This comes as a surprise that so many of us should try and use organic things for our body.

    1. This is my first experience of using cloth pads. I experienced the same comfort that I have during normal days. It was almost like not wearing a pad. You must try. It will change your life.

  6. I have heavy flow for first 2 days, so cloth diaper will work or not? Basically I want to use menstrual cup, cloth diapers but dont know it will work for me or not.

    1. For second day, inter-labia pads are recommended. You may find videos on Youtube about their usage and care. You can search for Hygiene and You on Youtube.

    1. I loved the fact that there was no irritation, itch or discomfort while wearing cloth pads. Something I experienced after years. All the best, Priyadrashini. Do give them a try.

  7. Prior to your article . i was unaware of a thing called “period panty”. Definitely going to try that out. Also , thank you for such a detailed post.

  8. Prior to your article , I wasn’t aware of “period panties” . Never knew that something like this even existed. Thanks for including it .

  9. This is such an innovative and useful product which I didn’t even know about .. thank you for sharing .. will definitely tell evryone about this ☺️

  10. Have always been intrigued by the idea of using cloth pads, from the time they came out… such a great sustainable way to tide over those 5 days of the month.Although still a bit skeptic to use but your post definitely cleared lot of questions I had in mind.Will surely give it a go soon.

    1. Absolutely agree. I too am yet to muster the courage to wear these on long travels. The farthest I have been to wearing these is a mall which is not too far from my place. I guess travelling using our own car will be the right choice, to begin with, and later while using other means of transport.

  11. Lovely read! You are right about not showing the red color of blood on television commercials. I have noticed the same and it’s funny how even while giving a message they undercut it foolishly! Cloth pads seem like a good option. I am yet to try these!

  12. Never heard of this before and I also remember my mom and grandmom using cloth. This is a thought-provoking post. Thanks for sharing the review.

  13. I am still sceptical about using these but I do feel guilty about the waste produced. We need to think about our upcoming generations and give them a cleaner Earth. Kudos to you !

  14. I love this! We use cloth diapers in our home. I thought about these, but I decided to go for a cup instead! Thanks for the insight.

  15. I had rough idea about it. But your article gave a perfect explaination. Could you share more details where can I get this entire pack. Would like to use it and teach my daughter

    1. They are available in different sizes which is similar to the size of the panty. There are many sellers on various websites. I tried Hygiene and You SOCH pads, which are available on Amazon and their own website too.

  16. Reading your article, now I’m feeling guilty of harming the environment 😱 thanks for introducing cloth pads and their benefits. Will try these.

  17. I have never tried this by always wanted to, resisted it for some reason. But your post has really burn me a push to try this. Thanks for sharing.

  18. Thanks for sharing this and spreading awareness about environment friendly menstrual solutions. Everyone should opt for sustainable options.

  19. It is so true that this topic is such a taboo here. I for one cannot be bothered and literally tell people to stay away or not bug me coz I have my periods. I use period panties but never tried sustainable pads. Maybe will gather the guts and give it a try.

    1. I know for those who stay outdoors more, using cloth pads can be slightly tough owing to leakage and storing after changing. Since you are already using period panties I am sure the switch to cloth pads won’t be difficult for you. All the best!

  20. I have been wanting to switch to cloth pads but to be very honest I have been apprehensive because of living in a joint family. I know they will not be comfortable with my pads going into the same washing machine. I know it seems like a silly reason but it’s the only one stopping me. Any thoughts on this Surbhi?

    1. I understand that when living in joint family, washing and drying becomes challenging. In case you have a practice of washing intimate wear in a separate lot, then you may put these pads for additional washing in the machine only after you have “hand washed” the pad and removed blood and clots. I follow this practice and works for me. Hope this helps.

  21. A topic that people often shy away from. Thank you for sharing this important information, we have to be considerate towards our environment and our bodies as well. I am using menstrual cups at the moment and along with it cloth pads as well. It is indeed quite comfortable.

  22. You are so right about the taboos around menstrutaion , why do we as a society shy away from something so natural is a mystery to me. And the points you have made about sustainable options and their importance make a lot of sense. I loved the way you age. Explained all the options as I was honestly not aware Of these. May be I will try to switch to these one day.

  23. Happy to know your experience. I’ve used cloth diapers during those initial days when I wasn’t permitted to buy sanitary pads. I currently use menstrual cups but these are eco friendly as well and I would definitely recommend these 😍

  24. Happy to know your experience. I’ve used cloth diapers during those initial days when I wasn’t permitted to buy sanitary pads. I currently use menstrual cups but these are eco friendly as well and I would definitely recommend these 😍

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