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Catching the Blood
Cloth Pads vs Paper pads & Tampons vs Menstrual Cups

There are a few different products available for women to choose from, the main choices are Tampons and Menstrual Pads, Its also worth mentioning that re-usable menstrual products are making a come back and are better than before. There are new options to choose from as well, such as menstrual cups. Paper menstrual products are very common and easy to find. They are convenient to use and disposable, (getting rid of the mess). Paper products can also contain chemicals and residues from the manufacturing process, I think twice about using a commercially available tampon because I care about what I'm putting next to my cervix. There is more information available about all these products, this is meant to be just a quick overview, please find out more on your own.

Re-usable products are good for the environment, and personally, I like them better, I use cloth menstrual pads, and think they are very comfortable, and after using them for so long, when ever I have to use a paper pad, it just feels like a diaper, and I can hear the paper making noise as I walk, etc. Granted re-usable menstrual pads and cups require some maintenance, I don't mind it most of the time. I've never tried the menstrual cup, since I never cared for tampons.... I prefer the experience of bleeding. For the cloth pads, I've tried two different designs, and prefer the ones that snap around the underwear. They stay in place fairly well on their own, and if I need to make sure they stay in place I use a tiny safety pin. I use a dark maroon color, my first pads were white with flowers on it, after a few uses, they didn't look so pretty anymore. The maroon color works out great, stains are not noticed. I found a lovely ceramic jar with a lid, my moon jar, I looked for a red one for the color of blood, but instead found a beautiful blue one, just the right size.

To care for cloth pads, after bleeding on them, I put them in my blood jar and cover with filtered water and let them soak overnight. In the morning I pour off the bloody water into my watering can and water my house or garden plants with it. They love it, good fertilizer. Then I let the pads dry, and wash them in my laundry. When I'm on the go, and know I'll need to change my pad before returning home, I'll bring an extra pad in a plastic bag. And when I change them, I'll put the bloodied pad in the plastic bag and deal with it when I get home. Buy one and try it, It will probably cost between $5 - $8 dollars. If you like them you can buy more as you have the money, and phase out the paper pads. Or if you don't like it, you haven't made a big investment. I've used mine for about 6 years, saved tons of money which I didn't have to spend on paper pads, and it's one way of helping our environment.

The Menstrual cup is an alternative to the tampon. It is a re-usable rubber cup that is placed against the cervix like a cervical cap (a birth control device) the menstrual cup tends to be larger than a cervical cap, so that it can hold more blood. It needs to be emptied periodically, the frequency depends on how much you bleed. When you use a menstrual cup, you could also use the blood mixed with water on your plants. Or just rinse it in the sink, and reinsert. As I mentioned, I've never tried the menstrual cup, but have used a cervical cap for the same purpose, to catch the blood for a short period of time.

Alternative Menstrual Products:
Many Moons
Menstrual Cups
The Keeper Menstrual Cup

If you use Tampons please Read:
Toxic Shock Syndrome: The Facts,
Center for Disease Control: Toxic Shock Syndrome
Wikipedia Toxic Shock Syndrome with additional info about tampons.

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