Let’s Discuss…Punctuation (Periods and Question Marks)

First let me warn any male readers that may be visting here today. You really probably want to stop reading now and go…I don’t know…hit a few golf balls or something. This discussion is sort of “for girls only, boys not allowed”. 

Okay, ladies…have they all left? Would someone in the back please close the door? Alright now…everyone come closer.

I’ve been wanting to have this discussion for a while. About  punctuation. Periods to be exact. 

I kind of thought I was the crazy one. The only one. Until I had a discussion with some girlfriends of mine several months ago about…punctuation. They were experiencing the SAME things I was.

I never really thought that the brand of “punctuation products” I used mattered very much so I would just use coupons and get regular ol’ Kotex at the store for a pretty good deal.

Then I started developing a minor irritation which month after month turned into an incredibly horrible itchy miserable rash. And it wasn’t on my elbow if you know what I mean.

Not only that, but my uh…punctuation was lasting forever. A long time. Seemed to be longer each month.

I thought it was just me. Not so…according to some of the people I talked to.

According to one of my friends (and I’m really sorry that I can’t find the research to back this up) some companies are actually putting chemicals on their products to make your punctuation last longer and be heavier so that you will go through lots more of their products and buy more.  Are you kidding me?  (Again, I have no official research to back this up.)

BUT…I immediately ordered the Natracare brand to test it out for myself. They are chemical and additive free. They are biodegradable and contain organic materials.

I noticed a difference right away.

First, the miserable rash went away. Hallelujah!

Second, the very first month I switched over, my punctuation was several days shorter and quite a bit lighter. The second month…same thing. Third month…same thing.

Uh-huh. Amazing. If at all possible I will NEVER use regular punctuation products from the store again. The Natracare products have made a huge difference for me each month and I love it. (Well, as much as you can love monthy puctuation that is.)

I don’t even care that they cost a little bit more. Actually…I bought a whole case at once and considering that I go through less of them each month…I’m actually not spending more. Hah!

Here’s what I got:

Natracare Natural Ultra Pads with Wings, Long, 12-Count Boxes (Pack Of 12)

Natracare Pads Ultra With Wings 14 ct ( Six Pack)

Natracare Natural Pads, Slender, Case of 12- 20 Count Boxes (240 Pads)

There are tons of other varieties…those just happen to be the ones that work best for me. (Wow, do you know way too much about me or what?)

Now, eventually I’d like to look into cloth cotton pads (Sckoon Organic Plus Cloth Menstrual Pads with Leak Resitant Sheet Mini Daisey) in order to save money in the long run and prevent waste. Anyone have any experience with these that they can share? 

I realize this sounds like an infomercial. Really it’s not. Natracare is not paying me to tell you these things. It’s just that they made a big difference for me and well…I like all of you an awful lot and wanted to tell you about it just in case they can help you too. 

Because it is not fun to have question marks about your periods.

This post is linked to Works for me Wednesday.

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  1. titus says

    OMG…I swear I have been wonder why this was happening to me for months. I usually buy kotex as it is much cheaper…and I have had what I swore HAD to be a yeast infection every time grammar exercises came around. It seems to get worse every month. Also, mine have been hurting much worse as they are heavier, and last month I last double- DOUBLE what I usually do!!

    I never even though about this..I have no idea why. I read this post to hubby as he has heard me complain for months now about this…he said, “GOOD. Switch and the problem will go away.”

    Only thing is, I can’t get all natural stuff…do you know any normal brands that are better than kotex?


    Laura Reply:

    I assume by “I can’t get all natural stuff” you meant that none of these products are available to you where you live? I’m in the same boat in that I’m only able to find the natural products online as none of the stores around here carry them. I don’t know of any “normal brands” that I trust anymore. I’d try to order the natural ones online since you’re having trouble.


  2. says

    Oh great. Something else to worry about. I had a procedure to remove grammar lessons for multiple reasons. But I do have a daughter who is 10 and so it isn’t long before she will be needing grammar lesson supplies. I used Kotex for years and liked them (hated Always products) so that is what I was planning on going with. Now I don’t know.


  3. says

    Interesting! I wonder if this is the cause of all my punctuation woes?! (Love your humor, Laura!) I have never used Kotex though. I’ve used StayFree.
    Actually, I just bought some cloth pads on Etsy. Just today, in fact. I am going to give them a try (trying a couple types from two shops, Crea8tiveMama and Pleat). I had heard that certain supplies cause very very bad cramps with some women. I have had cramps basically all my life since I started punctuating. I am also considering trying a Diva Cup at some point. If I can get rid of the cramps, I will be such a happy camper!


  4. Serenity says

    Ok~ I am really blonde. I had to read the beginning of this post twice before I got it :)

    Thank you so much for the info! I have had the same issue for YEARS (except when I am pregnant) and have tried everything to fix it. Thanks for being so open :) I am going to have to try this.

    PS: Someone mentioned the diva thingy. Have you thought of trying it? I am not brave enough unless someone else goes first :)


  5. lcg says

    I just looked on amazon and saw that this company also makes internal products….as one who can’t bear that whole diaper feel :} I think I’m about at the end of my course, but I do have daughters. Thanks


  6. says

    WOW. I have had this problem the past couple years, too, but I thought it was hereditary/getting older/third baby and/or because of my IUD.

    I’ve got so many variables going on — different brands, tampons and pads, back and forth between cloth and disposable pads, etc. Do you know if o.b. does the same thing? I’ve started using o.b.s recently because of the no-plastic applicator thing.

    Time to get out my sewing machine and make some more cloth!!! Have you ever used a menstrual cup? A lot of women swear by them. They’ve worked for me on and off, but I prefer tampons.


  7. says

    Haha – I LOVE your sense of humor, Laura, really. :) It makes for some interesting evenings!

    So I made the switch to all-natural products after my midwife made the suggestion that the chlorine in my TOILET PAPER could be “sterilizing” my, “ahem” and causing my yeast infections. (literally, like it NEVER WENT AWAY.) So I switched to the expensive toilet paper. …Saw improvement! Switched to organic cotton panties… saw improvement. FINALLY clued in that maybe organic cotton “internal care” might be a good idea, and WHAT DO YOU KNOW?! :) Cured it. Scary stuff, huh?

    I’m going to pass this along to my sister, because she’s all about her Tampax ;) and she has HORRIBLE periods.

    Thanks for (over)sharing… ;) It’s good to know!


  8. says

    I had this trouble for a while too and like you, found that research on the chemicals causing more problems than necessary (but don’t know where I read it). After my 3rd child was born and I got my punctuation back a few months ago, I switched to cloth almost exclusively. I made my own from some left over cloth diaper sewing supplies and couldn’t be happier! They are super comfy, no crinkly noises and I have seen a dramatic difference in length and intensity. It’s been awesome to feel like a normal person for those few days I would have otherwise wanted to be a recluse!!

    I LOVE your humor, so refreshing!


  9. says

    Did you know you can get cloth ones? You can even make them and they are soooo super simple AND, I think your monthly grammar lesson is shorter. I read an article about the store bought ones having chemicals too, and opted to order some cloth ones from New Moon.. When they got here (pricey to be honest) I took one look at them and realized I really could make my own. So I added to my stash and walla. Really. Very simple.


  10. Danielle says

    Ick! I HATE pads! Nothing like wearing a diaper. And tampons were the only alternative until I heard about Insteads, and the Diva cup. I love that w/the Insteads I can do ANYTHING (yes, anything {wink}) during that time, the Diva is more limited.


  11. Julie in Australia says

    Wow I am so excited about this post Laura. It is something I have been experiencing also. I am so disappointed that we have all had the same symptoms and companies can effectively be torturing us with the chemicals contained therein.

    I have just shared this information with my husband and he is ready to throw out everything in my bath room cupboard once I track down the new brand you have suggested.

    May I show my ignorance however and ask whether to be successful with the Diva cup, do you need to have strong pelvic floor muscles?

    Thanks for your wise and brave post Laura.



  12. Willow says

    I switched to cloth pads that I got from a seller on etsy about three months ago. They are so cut! :) I know, funny, to say, but true! :) They are very easy to care for – I am using cloth diapers for my son so I do all that laundry together but even if I wasn’t it would be hard. Put them in a wet/dry bag (you could make one too), spray with Charlie’s Soap stain remover, wash once on cold and then another on hot. Lay flat to dry. Three months, and there are no stains either.

    I knows much lighter punctuation this month especially. Hmmmm….

    Just search for cloth pads on etsy and you will get tons of options! :)


  13. says

    I learned about what you are discussing on my favorite forum, Christian Moms Forum (CMF). Many of the women there used cloth pads so I decided to try them. They are quite comfy and it’s so nice to know that I am keeping the chemicals away from my body. You can find many cloth pads on ebay and Etsy. These are the ones that I bought: http://www.joyfullivingnaturals.com/jln/index.cfm. Great Christian wowman and great pads!


  14. says

    Another cloth and cup fan here. I switched to cloth 3 1/2 years ago, trying to save some money, and never went back. For me, the skin irritation and cramping diminished, and each “week” or so really did shorten. That right there was enough to motivate me to not go back!

    The hillbillyhousewife site has a great pattern. That’s what I used to make mine. Then I took that pattern and lengthened it some in the back for overnight pads, which I discovered later make WONDERFUL postpartum pads as well.

    I’ve also used both the Instead and the Diva cup. The concept of both is pretty much the same, but they’re really different from each other. The Instead is a lot bigger than the Diva, but you fold both of them to use them. The Instead isn’t reusable, the Diva is. Personally, I don’t like the Instead as well because I cramp so badly with them. I’ve wondered if the same chemicals in the “paper products” are in those as well.

    The Diva cup has a bigger learning curve. I never got the hang of mine because I found out I was pregnant before I could really use it! That’s ok though. ;O)

    All that said, I’m pregnant with a little girl, and even though it might not be the “in thing” when she becomes that age, I will be having her use cloth supplies as well. The comfort level is that different.

    And I have to admit – using pretty cloth supplies every month sure beats the sterile Always ones that say “Have a happy period!” on them!


  15. says

    Interesting that we are discussing grammar here as I was just having this discussion with my dh the other night while watching tv. (Don’t worry, he is a nurse, lots of grammar lessons) Did you know that the bleach used in products converts to dioxin which may be linked with cancer… great, another thing to worry about! I am considering using a cup and would appreciate any feedback on experiences with that.


  16. says

    Wow. Not that I’m shocked that companies would be above trying to manipulate consumers, but wow. I really am shocked! Thankfully I haven’t experiences any of the mentioned problems, but I would really like to switch to either cloth or a reusable cup of some sort.

    Thanks for the informative post!


  17. Tara says

    I’ve switched to cloth and the Diva cup and couldn’t be happier! I thought about it for a long time, but just wasn’t sure. I wish that I had switched earlier! I don’t know of anyone that has made the switch and regretted it. The cup kind of has a learning curve for putting it in, but once you get the hang of it there are no problems.


  18. says

    I had the same problem too! After trying all the regular brands, I finally got a clue and tried Seventh Generation products. My problems disappeared! I was not able to find the products locally, so I ordered from Drugstore.com. They offer free shipping on your first order of $25 or more, so I stocked up! (Since then, they have sent me several emails offering free shipping as well). They have a whole variety of options…I highly recommend them.

    I thought I was just really sensitive, since I had not met anyone else who had experienced trouble with this (not that I was really asking around, though). Thanks for writing this post!


  19. Kathy Shaner says

    Wow. We MUST all be friends now! Seriously, though, this is a timely discussion because I just used up the last one of those products and need to get some more. I looked up Natracare products on Azure’s web site and found that they’re cheaper (though shipping isn’t free, but it’s not much). Thank you for cluing me in to this important notion! I’ve never had problems in this regard (I mean, reactions to feminine products) (that I’m aware of), but it sure makes sense not to introduce any more chemicals to my body than has already happened over the years.


  20. says

    I’ve never had any problems with grammer curriculum. :) But I don’t wanna start now. This makes me concerned. When I’ve done with my current grammer lesson I am gonna sew some. I’m not a good at sewing, but who’s gonna judge and who’s gonna know. I hate the diaper feeling I have now. Thanks for bringing this out in the open.


  21. says

    Umm… maybe it’s because I grew up with sisters and had a lot of female friends in high school, but I don’t know why you tried to kick all of us guys out! My wife needs to hear this message too!

    Very good way of broaching this subject, though. Thanks for sharing. I’ll pass on the info to my wife… but since she hates buying the things, I’ll probably be the one who uses this information on her behalf anyway [smile].



  22. says

    Okay…so I won’t go into too much detail here – however pads and tampons were always my arch-nemesis. I found a product called “Instead” and fell in LOVE with them – as much as you can with a “feminine care product anyway (@ $8 for a 7 day supply). Then since I was buying them every couple of months I wanted something that I could purchase just once so I found the “Diva cup” (@ $20) – it has to be washed, but as far as comfort, nothing compares to these two products and it lasts for up to 10 YEARS! I plan to stay away from pads as long as I can!


  23. Myra says

    I’m a cloth and diva user for over a year and would never ever go back! I love my cup(plus you only have to change it 2ce a day!!!) it totally cured my cramping!


  24. says

    Don’t tell anyone- but I made some cloth punctuation pads for myself. And they work great. Granted I have fairly light punctuation times. I found a free pattern online (I could send you my links if you like) and went at it. Super easy and way cheaper than buying them. Good to know about the regular brands though- I will share this with my sister and mom. They are not too keen on the reusable types yet. = )


  25. says

    I love your um, grammar lesson! You crack me up! Anyway, I guess I’ll have to look into the naturals. I guess thinking back my punctuation is longer than it used to be when I was younger…


  26. Angela says

    Azure Standard (my food co-op delivery) also delivers by UPS and they carry Natracare by the case. They put them on sale at 15% off at various times each year. You will need to get a customer number, but it is an option.

    These are what we use and I love the fact that my 3 daughters and I are getting “bleached”.


  27. Gillian says

    Here’s another vote for the Diva cup!! It does have a learning curve but once you got it it’s wonderful!! If you have tried Instead and didn’t like it, the diva cup is different and well worth a try!


  28. says

    When I moved here I started struggling with the same thing. I couldn’t figure it out. About a year ago my doctor switched my pill, now it’s only a few days and WAY lighter. I still use kotex. I don’t think I’m brave enough to go cloth, yet.


  29. says

    I have clearly lived a sheltered life…I have no clue what a Diva Cup or an “Instead” are…and, to be honest, I’m a little scared to google them. :) Fortunately, I’m pregnant and can not think about this for the next 5 months…

    Cloth pads, huh? Just not sure about that.



  30. says

    I use only cloth. I had hard labor and I had to use pads about six months. I can’t use disposables, they make me really itchy. You don’t want to know all details LOL


  31. Jennifer3 says

    This seems to be such a popular subject! I am another one who switched to using a cup. I bought a lunette and am loving it. I also whipped up (seriously, you can make these sooo fast) some cloth pads out of an old flannel sheet, an old terrycloth towel, and some fleece I already had. I just traced a pattern out of the disposable size that I like best and used some online patterns for sewing tips. So soft and comfy! After I made up the first one, one of my boys picked it up and was carrying it around with him. I forget what he said that it was but he asked for one of his own. I saved him from any future embarrassment by telling him no :) Thanks for the link of the natural disposables. I didn’t know about them!


  32. says

    Just to put a plug in for Diva Cup. Been using it for a year. I think it is WONDERFUL. I do have to supplement with reusable pads on those heavier days. I will say (just like breastfeeding) give yourself at least 3 months to work out the logistics!


  33. says

    Great post! You know that “Ah Ha!” moment when you went from popular brands to natural brands? Yea, you’ll get that same feeling if you switch to cloth, like … “Why in the world didn’t I start doing this sooner?!” There are huge health benefits to cloth, on top of all the environmental ones. They’re also ridiculously easy to make, as the other posters have indicated.

    I’m glad you’ve figured your punctuation problem out. Great euphemism.


  34. Danielle says

    Can I just say, when I read the topic I thought you were going to give us a grammar lesson! I was like ok, I don’t always use correct punctuation, and now she’s going to give us a lesson! lol.

    OR, you were going to talk about how some don’t use correct punctuation. And I would have been 1,000% guilty!


  35. Brittany says

    I also love, love, love the Diva Cup! (I’ve always really disliked pads.) Mine was less than $30 upfront. Considering I don’t have to buy disposable products any more, that seemed really cheap to me.


  36. Kika says

    Wow! Since we’re being so honest… I bought a Diva Cup last month and the thing won’t stay put! The directions suggest kegels might be in order if this happens. One more item to add to my to-do list:) It cost me $45 cnd too so I’m kinda motivated to make it work for me. Also, I was slightly disappointed that the instructions say it “should” be replaced every year! I think i’ll make myself some cloth pads too. A few years ago I’d never have considered these changes but I like that, little by little, we’re building a healthier life and home for us and the next generation!


  37. Danielle says

    Well consider the cost of buying disposable feminine products vs buy a diva cup once a year.


    Kika Reply:

    Since my period is fairly light and doesn’t last long, I don’t spend tons of $ as it is. I was hoping the savings would be greater but I’m also wanting to make the change for health and environmental reasons.


  38. Danielle says

    IF I ever decide to do cloth, is there a way to make cloth tampons? There is NO way in God’s green Earth would I use pads again.


  39. Step says

    So that’s why my punctuation has turned into a run on sentence!!!! (tee, hee) Seriously, I’ve noticed things getting longer and heavier too and I couldn’t figure out what on earth was going on. Nasty chemicals and companies!!! I currently use Always and I literally cannot stand to wear them for more than 2 days before I’m itchy and irritated. I sew, so I think that I’ll just make my own cloth ones and see how it goes. Thanks for bringing this up.


  40. says

    well, I haven’t had to use much grammer in the last 5 yrs, but when I do I have tried the skoon pad and they are great. To save money I started making my own and it’s easy smeasy and I dont sew at all well! I throw them in with the cloth diapers for wash and it’s just fine.


  41. says

    I started using Lunapads after I resumed with punctuation after my daughter was born. I am convinced. At first, I was nervous but I find them a lot more comfortable and things are much easier for me in terms of length and amount these days. I still use what I used to use at work but at home, I always go natural.


  42. says

    i had not ever even imagined using cloth pads before, but one day I was shopping on etsy for cloth diapers and there they were. I’ll admit, my first thought was: Who would use cloth pads?
    But here you all are, telling me that you use them. And of course, becasue what else did they use for that last 40 centuries. Is there anyone out there who doesn’t mind givng explicit details in how you clean the pads. i am a bit wary of just throwing them in with the diapers, but maybe I shouldn’t be?


  43. Maralena says

    Thankyou so much for this info. Your site is exactly what I have been looking for! I recently have had this same problem(.) I made myself cloth helpers a few months back and have only used them once. I guess if I want to feel healthy all over, I better make some more!
    Thankyou for the menus and recipes! I have enjoyed reading them!


  44. Barbara says

    At first, I thought you were going to tell us you were pregnant – – you’ve been tired, you didn’t plan a menu one week, you visited friends/family and mentioned crying…

    Then I thought, “I hate it when someone criticizes bloggers about their grammar; I hope someone hasn’t done that to Laura.”

    Then I read your post! I switched to NatraCare about 6 months ago. I really like them and my periods are lighter – the 2 that I’ve had in 6 months! Maybe that’s a little bit too light?

    My neice makes and sells the cloth pads. I’m just not there yet. I’ll let you try them first, Laura, and give us all the nitty gritty details, then I might give it a try!

    Thanks again for the daily laugh – it keeps me healthy!


  45. says

    I’ve been using a Keeper cup for about 7 yrs, same one too. I love it. I also wear it when I run, stops the leaking! It has saved me sooo much money!


  46. says

    I’ve been using cotton ‘products’ since I first tried them when I was 14. I really wasn’t a hippie then, but they don’t give me a rash, so that’s what I use. I make my own now, and they work really well (I have instructions on my blog too). When I swam I’d use organic tampons, but a box would last me quite a while.


  47. says

    The only brand of pads I’d had this issue with was the Always pads with that green stripe down the middle! I buy a Dutch brand now that work great, but I’ve bought supplies to make cloth ones and will give that a try and see if it works for me.


  48. says

    Well Laura, you have made this old lady laugh! I have loved all the responses. Had a hysterectomy in my mid 20’s so I have not had to pay attention to any grammar lessons :)
    I am SO glad there is a forum that can be so open especially with such class!
    Way to go Laura


  49. says

    I personally have not seemed to have this problem. Or at least, I just chalked it up to not having kids yet. I used OBs though, which were great, so easy to hide in the palm of my hand or in the waistband of my skirt (in a pinch). However, when I though about not having to worry about TSS or changing out several times a day or spending money every month or running out or carrying a box around the store by itself while blushing beet red, I jumped a the opportunity to try the cup option.

    I just learned about the diva cup shortly before my first pregnancy. I determined to try it–later, when I could get a size 2 and not worry about wasting money. When my grammar lesson came back sooner than I wanted, it was a little “reward” for me to have my cup in my dainty little purple bag to use. I am so proud to say that I did not use one disposable anything through my most recent punctuation! I had to tell SOMEONE so I bragged to my poor husband. :) I did learn, for me, that I do need to change it more than AM and PM the first two days, but I think I will try adding a comfy cloth pad or two to those days to make things extra secure, but I am sticking with the diva cup! I tried Insteads, once, by the way, that was a disaster! I was lulled by the money back guarantee, but then too embarrassed to send the box back!

    Go Diva cups! There is lots of useful info on the web too. Different folding methods, etc. Sorry, I seem to have lost my links right now.


  50. Jennifer says

    About five or six months ago I switched to some pads that I made for myself. What a difference! I also recommended it to a friend whose daughter was horribly sick every month. They tried it with great results. I have also heard that companies are putting things in their products to make us bleed more. My sister actually read that somewhere.


  51. Jennifer says

    You have started quite a discussion with this one! I’m a little skeptical of the claim that companies are putting chemicals in pads to make your period last longer. But, at the same time, I’ve had some of the problems you’ve mentioned. We have a Whole Foods nearby, so I’m going to see if they carry Natracare or a similar brand. It’s worth a shot! I just don’t think I could do the cloth thing, but kudos to those of you who are:)


  52. Greta says

    First of all, LOL, “punctuation?” “Grammar Lessons?” You ladies are really funny– crack me up! : )

    Secondly, this is really scary stuff. Can’t get much more intrusive than that, can you?!

    Thanks for sharing.


  53. says

    I’ve not had the bad punctuation since I started having kids — and I have not changed to using all natural products either. I have continued using o.bs. but suddenly my punctuation is much easier than it used to be, so I can almost fool myself that it isn’t happening at all! (I did try cloth pads briefly but they didn’t seem to STAY PUT on me so I was ending up with more mess and I hate pads in the first place)

    I’m not brave enough to try the diva. Not yet anyway. esp when my punctuation is fine.


  54. says

    I wonder if this could be the reason my son has been having such terrible diaper rash since we have been using the cheap diapers. He is about ready to potty train so I hate to invest in cloth diapers.
    I am about 5 weeks pregnant so I don’t have to worry about this problem for awhile. I can say that when I do need these items again I will be switching to either cloth or a more natural brand. Thanks Laura


  55. Lois says

    Well, I haven’t seen such a debate on this site since you all discussed what type of mop you use! Very interesting! I need to show my ignorance here, but being a woman, I’m trying to imagine what a “cup” is. With indoor plumbing, how does one, er, install a CUP??? Anyway, for economy, I switched to cloth pads about 10 or more years ago. The ones I use are called Gladrags. Catchy, huh? I ordered mine through United Co-op. I haven’t had to replace them, and they don’t slip like disposables. They have liners, so for heavy flow you can put another one in the “envelope” holder. I honestly can’t remember what I paid, but I’ve never had to buy another package.

    Those of you who use “internal” items (with dangling participles), do you have trouble with leakage? I always did and had to supplement with panty liners anyway.


  56. Rebecca says

    When I first read this post, I thought “Maybe that’s why my periods have lasted longer lately.” Then I started to wonder if companies could really get away with deliberately adding chemicals to make periods last longer. So I did a little Google searching. I found on Snopes.com that this is mostly urban legend and that the email that started it has a mystery author. I also found a statement on the FDA website that explained a little further. It seems that the bleaching process and the rayon that is used in tampons to help reduce Toxic Shock Syndrome can emit some chemicals – dioxin is one. They seemed to feel that the dioxin was a safer alternative to the cotton remaining inside causing TSS. So it sounds like there are chemicals that could be harmful, but that there may not be a conspiracy to keep us buying more. It would seem that tampons are the greatest hazard and that the safest choice would be natural or cloth pads. Thanks for bringing this up and prompting me to think about better choices in this area.


  57. says

    I adore reusable cups and cloth pads!!! Click on my name for a very detailed post on the subject–but I must warn you, it’s not as discreet as Laura’s! :-D It includes a link to my page with lots of Websites where you can buy both reusable and natural-disposable feminine products. There are organic cotton unbleached tampons, too.

    About getting a new Diva Cup every year: This is just a “manufacturer’s recommendation” and you can easily use one longer if it’s still working well. I’ve had mine almost 3 years. Previously I had a Keeper brand cup that lasted 7 years, and my friend has had hers for 10!


    Kika Reply:

    Thanks – good to know that others really do keep their Diva cup longer than one year. I’d suspected it could be true but didn’t have anyone to ask. Did you have any issues with the cup not staying in place?


    'Becca Reply:

    The only problems I’ve had with the cup sliding out were when I was using my original Keeper (the “before giving birth” size) again after having given birth. It did not actually fall out, but it would move uncomfortably low and leak dramatically if I left it in while using the bathroom, did a lot of bending over or crouching, or sneezed. So when I got the Diva, I got the “after giving birth” size, and it’s been great!

    Kegel exercises are good for any problems with muscle tone.


  58. Janet says

    I wonder if it would help my “Clotting” issue, to use cloth pads. I don’t think a cup would be good if I’m clotting.


    'Becca Reply:

    The cup reduces clotting because it helps the flow come out faster and keeps it away from the air.


  59. says

    I hear ya, Laura! I started using cloth pads (and add some cloth diapers at night for extra security). It does make a difference in comfort to be sure!!


  60. Kirsten says

    I LOVE MY CLOTH!!! I switched to all cloth pads several months ago. The last time I used a tampon was 2006 when I had an ovarian cyst rupture an hour after I put a fresh one in. I’ve tried a few different brands of cloth pads and so far my absolute favorite is from Party In My Pants (http://www.partypantspads.com/). They are not bulky AT ALL and have a leak proof liner on the bottom. I have NEVER leaked with these. They will even send you a free liner if you’re curious to try them out. (I am not affiliated with this company)

    Cleaning instructions can be found almost on every cloth pad website. You can soak them in a jar/tupperware/whatever till you’re ready to wash them. Just don’t be lazy and leave them soaking in the same water for a month – you’ll almost never get the nasty smell out.

    Oh, the clotting issue: mine has improved greatly since switching to cloth. Some of mine had gotten to be the size of my palm! ick Not anymore now that I use only cloth. My cramps are manageable now. I’m not layed up in bed for 2-3 days anymore.


  61. says

    Actually Janet, The DivaCup is the ideal product to use if you are clotting. It catches anything and everything that comes out of your cervix. Tampons won’t absorb a clot and they just sit on top of most pads, but with a cup it just goes inside the cup until you remove it and empty.


  62. Gina says

    Laura, I have never posted a comment before – but i just had to tell you thank you for this post!!! November 08 I quit using all mainstream beauty products and cleaners – no more shampoo/cond, deodorant, lotions, soap, etc – so I am shocked that I never thought about my tampax tampons at all!

    I have a 7 day sometimes as much as 9 day drawn out cycle!! So Monday was day 1 and I used the Natracare tampons and I am soooooo excited – looks like my cycle is pretty much done and it’s only day 3. I used a total of 5 tampons for the whole duration so far – YIPEE!!!!!!!!!! I am going to tell every female I know and hubby! thank you thank you!!


  63. says

    Whoa. That’s seriously disturbing. Hmm…well, I just had my first baby 6 weeks ago today…been using regular old pads (Always)until my postnatal bleeding stopped…then, “Dot” came for a visit (that’s what I call her). A little early, I supposed. But, nonetheless, I was back to “Always”…maybe that’s why they’re called that…b/c you’ll “always” be using them! ;) Anyway, I couldn’t tell you if any itching or discomfort was caused by the disposables – a lot of weird stuff happens after baby #1! BUT, I will take your “call for cloth” seriously! I WAS going to use cloth diapers for my little one, but the adjustment was so drastic, the last thing I needed to worry about was what she was pooping on! Haha! Are there similar problems shown w/ disposable diapers with diaper rash, etc? Hmm. I do wonder.


  64. Michelle says

    I doubt anyone will read this far, but as one who wanted to try cloth for years but couldn’t because (1) I could never afford to make the initial purchase (organic ones were $10 apiece!) and (2)I’m not sewing-skilled, here’s what worked for me: I took my baby’s small chinese prefold diapers that were heavily used and worn, and cut them in half. I fold these 1/2’s in 1/3’s and they are the perfect pad size and density. I’ve used these for years, and when they need replacing, I’ll just buy a few organic newborn diapers and make more. I absolutely love cloth over paper, and really love saving the $$ every month. Cost: free. Sewing skill needed: None.


  65. says

    I am completely with you on the whole irritation/yeast infection thing. I think today’s pads are meant to last for hours and hours and I think that is part of the reason they cause so much discomfort.

    As for the chemicals and bleeding, that is a COMPLETE and absolute urban legend. I heard it in the 7th grade and I’m shocked people still believe it – although I don’t blame you. I suffer from heavy periods so I totally know where you are coming from.

    This myth has been de-bunked here: http://www.snopes.com/medical/toxins/tampon.asp FYI.

    I am dying to try more natural feminine products, however. Will definitely be looking into this.


  66. says

    I have a condition that makes it so I can’t use normal tampons or pads…they basically dry me out super fast and cause vaginitis (similar to a yeast infection at first…but then gets a lot worse and causes fissures which are tiny cuts all over your…ahem.) I have been around the block with doctors and they said “stop using tampons”. I switched to pads only and it still happened. Eventually, I discovered Instead (the disposable menstrual cups) and I LOVE THEM! I have not had any problems at all. Better yet, no one has EVER gotten TSS while using them. Tampons suck all of the natural moisture out of you, but because this is “collecting” the fluids and not absorbing them, its better for you. I have never had a leak with these and you can leave them in for up to 12 hours! I eventually want to switch to a reusable method of the cup, but I’m newly married and my DH is still very weirded out by punctuation and would not appreciate me having to sterilize it by boiling it in a pot once a month. lol. I strongly encourage women to try it if they’ve been considering it…I was really nervous at first, but it’s made such a huge difference!
    Good luck!


  67. Laura says

    Actually, my experience was different. I used the brand, Always, for a very long time and always had itch irritation and discharge. My lady-doctor strongly urged me to stop using Always, in fact to use anything except Always. So, I switched to Kotex. My cycles have actually gotten shorter since the switch, and the itch and discharge have subsided.

    I’m intrigued by the cups though.


  68. Kathleen says

    I started my switch from the national brand about 3 years ago and used products from Seventh Generation. I figured something THAT close to my reproductive system should be free of toxins. However, I would still get that rashy feeling. But about 2 years ago I discovered Glad Rags. A local Portland company. I too discovered that the itchy rash and length of my periods decreased.
    Now I have a truly wonderful husband in MANY ways, but he is so awesome that he actually made me more. He is the one who sews in this house. His machines hate me. So it was pretty cool that 1)he’s not in the least apprehensive about dealing with the parts of me that are all ‘woman’ but 2) he’s willing to make my products for me. How awesome is that!
    Some women I know cringe at the thought of re-using menstrual products, but we re-use our underwear right? It is sad that as a society we are so far removed from our own natural bodily functions and therefore make everything disposable. When actually it isn’t disposed of, it’s just removed from our sight and left for someone else (namely our children and their children) to deal with.
    Okay, I’ll get off my soapbox now. :)


  69. says

    I’m a DIVA Cup fan too!!!!! I’ve tried Lunapads (http://www.lunapads.com/) organic cotton pads before that and loved them too. In fact, I still do. I wear them everyday to keep my underwear clean. As I travel some for my job, the Diva Cup is SO practical!!! Discreet, always on hand, and safe when you visit not so clean places.


  70. Linda says

    I’m gonna try a Diva Cup, as well. I just want to say, Laura, that you are totally stinkin’ awesome. I’m so thankful for your blog and stoked to see a woman of God pressing on. I need inspiration today, and all your blog posts have done much to accomplish that.


  71. Jennifer says

    I am certainly interested in using more natural feminine products, and I usually prefer to use pads over tampons as much as possible. However, when I looked at some reviews of the Natracare products, the reviews for tampons were good, but the pads/pantiliners supposedly don’t “stick” well. Can anyone speak to this? And if this is true, do any of the other ones stick better? I have 3, soon to be 4 little ones, and I have already switched to using washable diapers, but I’m not sure that I’m ready to switch to cloth myself. Maybe someday…


    Laura Reply:

    I’ve never had trouble with getting them to stick…they’ve always done just fine for me.


  72. Ceilidh says

    Hi Laura,
    Just wandered onto your blog and wanted to comment on this post. Not sure if you sew, but I made some cloth pads for myself (from my own design) and have found them to be MUCH better than any purchased unnatural ones. I also have a pad that I was given (new of course!) from a friend which is a similar design to mine, but (and you can call me bias) I think mine work better. They seem to dry faster. I just soak them overnight in a bucket with a little nappy soaker (oxygen bleach, but you could use vinegar) and then wash them on cold in the machine and hang them on the line. The sun helps to sterilise them, as would vinegar in the soak (or final rinse).


  73. Christy says

    I’m another who loves my diva cup! I only was able to use it for a few cycles before getting pregnant & haven’t gotten my period back since my baby was born. But it’s so comfortable & no waste or chemicals!


  74. says

    I looked up the slender pads and that’s not a bad price per box. I may have to give those a try. It would be nice to have a large supply on hand and have to purchase them less often.


  75. Nicoe says

    Thanks for this post! I get yeast infections and regular products I really ca see making them worse (perhaps even contributing to them being there in the first place). I am really going to have to look into some of these products. Thanks for the info!


  76. Cheri says

    I’m glad I found this post. My daughter is 11 and has not yet started her “punctuation”, but she did start using liners because she was always feeling “wet”. She started burning and itching after using the liners for a few weeks and ended up getting bacterial vaginosis. I was surprised that an 11 year old would get that and wasn’t sure how, but I told her to stop using the liners for now. Not having read this post, I would have had her using the disposables when she finally does start. Now perhaps I will look into these cloth alternatives, so that she doesn’t experience that pain again. I did try the diva cups a long time ago. I just had the hardest time getting them in because I would have leakage and they wouldn’t fit properly, so I stopped trying. Also, getting them out when they are full of fluid seems like a messy job.


    Cheri Reply:

    Correction: I tried the Instead cups, not the diva cups. Instead
    was very difficult to put in correctly and take out. Felt like I
    was digging to get it out. The diva looks like it has a handle
    or something. May consider it.


    'Becca Reply:

    Cheri, there are flannel liners that are SO comfortable and come in cute colors, too!
    I like the ones from tlc-pads.com–good value and very well made.


  77. says

    I’ve been using a lunette menstrual cup for a few months now and it’s great. I bought it online and it came with some free cloth pads too. You can’t use the cups immediately after giving birth though, so I’ll have to look into getting some heavy duty cloth pads next time I have a baby.


  78. Sarah says

    After reading this blog and a few others, I decided to jump in and try it. I purchased the Moon cup and I LOVE IT! It really wasn’t that hard to get used to and I never want to wear a tampon again! I’ve used it for one full cycle and couldn’t be happier.


  79. kristin says

    I have been using a Diva Cup for several months and LOVE LOVE LOVE it!!! I can literally leave it in all day and not worry about leaking. LOVE!!! No waist, not washing, just put it in it’s little bag until next month.


  80. Sharon says

    I found this info helpful as I too was having that itchy rash and didn’t understand why (since I used only unscented products). I choose the organic versions now and have no more problems and my punctuation lasts only 3 days!


  81. says

    You’ll find tremendous advantages by training your kegel muscles, I have observed a huge improvement in my muscles since i have started off performing exercises two or three months back.


  82. littleladylove says

    I just made the switch to cloth pads and I love them! People think they’re dirty?
    They are so much cleaner than regular pads! I’m finding my periods to be much shorter since switching!!!! Very excited. I would love to
    recommend Blossom Pads whom I am not affiliated with. I have bought several of her cloth pads and they are amazing! Soft, no leaks, no bulk. Great customer service. Highly recommended.


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