I Tried All of These Period Products So You Don’t Have To

Photo: Maddie Howard

Having a vagina sucks sometimes. Especially when you’re on your period.

And what makes that time of the month even harder? When companies sell you feminine products that are detrimental to your health. Tampons and pads are filled with harmful chemicals such as bleach and dioxins that your body absorbs upon each insertion. The worst part? Tampon manufacturers receive little to no regulation and are rarely required to disclose the full list of ingredients in their products.

The good news is that, per usual, women took matters into their own hands. A number of female-founded businesses recognized that the standard, chemically-saturated tampon just wasn’t cutting it anymore, so they created brands specifically designed to make life easier while on your period — and they won’t hurt your vagina in the process.

And because I know you’re busy, I took the liberty of testing some of these alternative menstrual products for you. Everyone experiences their time-of-the-month a little differently, but below are my thoughts on a handful of brands breaking through the mainstream.

Photo: Sustain Instagram

SUSTAIN

From menstrual goods to all of your safe-sex needs, Sustain has you covered. I’ve been one of their delivery service subscribers for quite a while now, and every two months they send me boxes of tampons. It’s safe to say I am in love with the brand. These tampons are comfortable, absorbent and totally trustworthy. The best part? They’re made of 100% organic cotton. You also get to take a fun “period kit quiz” when picking out what kind of boxes you want sent to you. Check it out here.

Photo: THINX Instagram

THINX

Usually when the term “period underwear” comes to mind, I think of that gross, old thong from seventh grade in the back of my drawer that I don’t care about staining during bleeding season. THINX, however, completely reinvented this term for me. It’s the period underwear you actually want to wear. I’ll admit I had my doubts, but these undies were nothing short of life-changing.

They were totally leak-free, and everything absorbed right into the underwear. You would think that when you go to take them off there would be blood all over your lady parts — much like wearing a pad — but there was nothing there. The only downside is that you have to rinse the underwear out before you wash them, so you see just where all that blood went. And unless you do laundry every day, one pair of underwear definitely wouldn’t be enough. You’d have to buy a few pairs. But they come in a bunch of styles ranging from sexy thongs to comfy briefs, so it’s really just a solid excuse to shop.

Photo: The DivaCup Instagram

THE DIVACUP

Trying out this one took some courage. In the past, I could never wrap my head around sticking a little silicone cup inside my uterus. After a friend kept persistently telling me to try it, I finally decided to set aside my fears and ordered one.

The instructions give you a couple of options for method of insertion. I found it was best for me to fold it into a “U” shape and then push it through, much like a tampon. Once the cup was in, I barely noticed it was there.

I had trouble the first time I tried to take it out. My body tensed up and I had to take a break in order to relax and pull it out. But after that first try, it was easy. I was happy to find my crimson tide fully inside the cup, ready to be rinsed in the sink.


Experimenting with these products was an eye-opening experience for me. There are so many options out there when it comes to menstruation, options that don’t include ingredients that are harmful to your well-being. Like me, I suggest you start trying them out yourself in order to see what works best for you.

Seriously, your vagina will thank you later.