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busymama7

Escalating reactions to disposable menstrual pads :(

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Each month it's getting worse. I had a baby 21 months ago and have been cycling for about 10 months but not regularly until the last 3. This month the rash and pain came sooner than last and I'm fed up. I have been switching to cloth once it starts to flair up but don't really want to use cloth all the time. I've never really figured out a laundry routine I can live with when I'm having a regular flow and not just spotting as I am by the time I switch. This is the first time in many years I've had more than 2 cycles between babies. Not sure if another is coming soon or not.

 

I tried the disposable cups between my last two pregnancies as a test to see if I would want a regular cup. Hated it. Don't really want to get a cup.

 

 

I find cloth more comfortable even without a rash but again the laundry thing is stumping me plus I don't want to deal with cloth when out of the house. Tampons give me cramps although I will use if absolutely needed, like for swimming.

 

Someone please help.

Edited by busymama7

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A different brand? I have a reaction to Always, but am fine with Kotex. The Kotex have the most 'cottony' feel of the ones I've tried.

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Which cups have you tried?

Only a disposable kind. I figured it was a good test but I couldn't get it in properly. I may have to go that route though and try again.

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A different brand? I have a reaction to Always, but am fine with Kotex. The Kotex have the most 'cottony' feel of the ones I've tried.

Well now I feel sheepish. And a bit silly. No I haven't tried switching brands. I was thinking about going organic but I didn't want the expense of that.

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I don't react to Natracare pads or Maxim liners.

 

I have done cloth, too. Having a utility sink in the laundry room really helped. I'd rinse them there, then throw them in a container containing cold water and laundry detergent. Every couple days I'd just dump the whole container into the washer and run them through two cycles (cold then warm or hot). I dried mine in the dryer. It wasn't too bad. I like these pads best and they wash up beautifully. The key is having enough that you don't have to wash them constantly. (If you don't have a utility sink in the laundry room, you can keep your soaking container in the bathroom, as long as you can keep little kids from getting into it!)

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Well now I feel sheepish. And a bit silly. No I haven't tried switching brands. I was thinking about going organic but I didn't want the expense of that.

 

Absolutely switch brands! I've found that iHerb has the best prices for the more natural disposable pads and shipping is free on orders over $20. Even switching to another conventional brand might help, though.

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I started getting sensitive to Always pads after my last baby was born and I was using them for pp bleeding. It took me a while to realize it was the pads. According to the internet, a lot of women are sensitive to Always brand.

Edited by DesertBlossom

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I started reacting to Always waaaay back when they started making "dry weave." Other brands don't bother me. Have you experimented with those new period panties? I haven't tried them, but it might work. I like the diva cup, but I've never tried disposable ones. I tend to use super tampons on the first day and a half, then the diva cup for the rest of my cycle. It's a nuisance on my heaviest day, but more convenient when things are normal-light.

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The disposable cup is far inferior to a good cup. I won't beat that dead horse because we've had many conversations about them already. I will say, no exaggeration, the Diva cup changed my life!!

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I react to the new foam Always. I like cloth though. I don't do anything crazy with the wash.

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I totally had that same reaction to Always after my third baby. It was awful! I went to see my midwife about it because I thought it was some kind of crazy infection. So don't feel bad about not thinking of switching brands right away. I always buy the store brand now.

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The disposable cup is far inferior to a good cup. I won't beat that dead horse because we've had many conversations about them already. I will say, no exaggeration, the Diva cup changed my life!!

Seconding. Disposables are not even comparable. I love my Lunette. The Diva didn't fit me very well after having kids (even changing sizes), but the Lunette is awesome for my body.

 

As for pads, could it be a scented issue? I absolutely cannot wear anything with added scent.

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Laundry for cloth....

 

we have 2 of us who use cloth pads....

 

We don't pre-rinse or anything.  I have a wet bag in the bathroom that we toss them in.  After our week is over (we are synced), I throw them in the wash with 1/2 a lid of Purex, a scoop of Oxiclean, and put them on a 2 hour soak, 2 rinse  hot washcycle.  We have no issues with staining, smells, etc.

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Disposable cups do not sit in the body anything like reusable cups. They sit much lower down. You might hate disposable cups, but have no problem with reusable cups, because they're used in different ways.

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Life long issues with this for me. I use cloth pads. No trouble washing them. Diva cup never worked for me.

Edited by LucyStoner
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Seventh Generation pads are chlorine free and don't cause me any burn feeling. Target online has good prices.

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I just switched over to cloth a few months ago since I was ending up rashy with anything I tried and having crazy heavy bleeding and cramps. Tampons have not been friendly to me since I was last pregnant and cups were just not a good fit. I rinse as much as I can with cold water, spray with shout, and throw in the washer.  I wash and hang dry, usually with a load of darks which I do twice a week, so they don't set very long.  Already I have seen the benefits--shorter cycle, lighter bleeding, no leaking, and very little cramping.  

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Seconding. Disposables are not even comparable. I love my Lunette. The Diva didn't fit me very well after having kids (even changing sizes), but the Lunette is awesome for my body.

 

As for pads, could it be a scented issue? I absolutely cannot wear anything with added scent.

Yes to Lunette. Diva was just too long for my short vagina and low cervix. And the disposable brands were ick, just a weird fit for me.

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...The key is having enough that you don't have to wash them constantly. (If you don't have a utility sink in the laundry room, you can keep your soaking container in the bathroom, as long as you can keep little kids from getting into it!)

 

This.  If you sew, they are super-easy to make.  I like the one-piece kinds with a PUL backing and wings, as they are quite leak-resistant.  They fold up nicely, too.  

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The disposable cup is far inferior to a good cup. I won't beat that dead horse because we've had many conversations about them already. I will say, no exaggeration, the Diva cup changed my life!!

Amen! That's exactly what I say. It has changed my life.

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I deal with cloth by rolling up the used pads and storing in a bag in my underwear drawer and then washing in the shower daily (I drop them onto the ground while I shower and stomp on them a little, then once they are 'rinsed' I give a bit of a hand scrub). Once hand washed I wring them out and drop directly into the washer to await the next load so that they are then 'double cleaned'.

 

I personally found that storing then 'dry' until I could wash them by hand was preferable to the soaking method with released an odour I found objectionable. It's worth experimenting until you find a method that works for you.

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Try a regular cup. Thank about it, think about using a disposable plates versus a real plate, there's a big difference. I love my moon cup.

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Switch brands and use unscented.  I can use Always, but not the foam ones or any scented brand.  For cloth I keep a terrycloth bag for storage and toss it all in the wash.  I'm not crazy about cloth out of the house.

 

For cloth a former boarder makes (or used to make) some wild colored and printed ones that make it though the laundry without stains. (I can find her info if anyone wants it.)  I also have organic cotton ones, but I'm icked out by staining and don't want to spend the time and effort on laundry and I don't like bleaching and then rinsing them over and over.

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Just like diapers, the stronger/more absorbent the pad claims to be, the more likely you are to have a reaction to them. Try going for something less absorbent, if you want to stay with disposables. You will just have to change them more often.

 

As for cloth/cups - I love them! I had a hard time inserting the cup and getting a good fit until I realized that I could insert it while in the shower each morning. Makes it easier to get in and no mess! ;-) I wore it for 6-8 hours, and then I took it out and switched to my cloth pads for the rest of the day (when I was most likely at home, after running errands or getting home form work). Also, I had to snip the stem a little to get a better fit.

 

Good luck with whatever you choose. 

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Definitely dry storage until washing. I'd never ever use cloth if I had to have a pail.

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Try organic, non bleached, and unscented products & see if they help.

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I tried a disposable cup years ago. I think it was called Instead? It was a mess and a PITA.

 

When I used disposable pads, I was a Kotex girl. Tried all kinds, and that's what worked for me.

 

Post kids, I went to cloth, then Diva cup. Now I use a Lunette cup. I LOVE it. Much better than the Diva and takes away the fuss of cleaning cloth pads.

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When I read the thread title I thought this would describe harassment by environmental activists over your contribution to the sorry state of the planet.

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I remember having reactions to all disposable pads for a while after my second child was born. OUCH!

 

For years I used a combo of cloth pads and a Keeper.  Then, a couple years ago I went camping while having my period and decided to try disposable again. I was and have been fine with disposable since then. I actually use Always, fwiw.  I still use cloth and my Keeper, but will use a disposable if needed.

 

So, just keep in mind that this may be temporary.  But, I save so much money by not using disposables that I don't use them often.

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When I read the thread title I thought this would describe harassment by environmental activists over your contribution to the sorry state of the planet.

 

I just pictured a voice saying

No

Nooo

UGH.

NOOOOOOOO.

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OP, go ahead and try a different brand, but I need to put in another vote for cloth pads. I started using them shortly after my period returned when my 11 year old was a baby. I was using cloth diapers for him and found out about cloth pads so I decided to give them a try. I can't guarantee that pregnancy and childbirth wasn't what changed my cycle, but I used to have severe cramping, and I have almost none ever since I started using cloth. I just store them dry in a covered pail in one of the bathrooms. At the end of the week I prerinse them in washer and then wash them on a hot cycle with an extra rinse. I sometimes even put dark colored clothes with them. I don't add anything extra to the wash. This routine does mean some staining remains on the pads, but my pads are dark colored and it doesn't show up a lot. Plus, what does it matter? Who's going to look at them?

 

I don't think disposable pads are evil but I do think cloth pads are better and not really as hard to use or to clean as many people make them out to be.

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One thing i did with my recent batch of mama pads, was to make them with an insert like some of the fancy cloth diapers.  The layer next to my skln was an old t-shirt of DH's that needed to die.   The insert was microfiber towel sewed into an accordion shape, by sewing down the folds.   Bottom was an old washcloth with snaps at two opposite corners.   I went with the insert method because it was ooky the way no matter how long I tried to get all the blood out, I could always get a little more it seemed.  The rest most likely came out in the wash, but this way I knew for certain.  

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Another that says give a reusable cup a try! I hated the Diva but the Lena and Fleurcups work well for me. A trick I learned on this board: flip them inside out. The stems and the grippy things always irritate me, and putting the smooth side out fixed it. And a giant YES to putting it in while in the shower.

Edited by Forget-me-not

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Only a disposable kind. I figured it was a good test but I couldn't get it in properly. I may have to go that route though and try again.

 

If you don't mind spending the money, I'd try a normal cup. I couldn't get the disposable kind to work either. You may still not like it. I don't love mine. I don't get people who gush about theirs (haha). I find them messy and awkward to change out.

 

Sorry you're having trouble with this.

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What exactly is a reaction to disposable pads? I have no rash or irritation. Just wicked cramps. It's hard for me to believe that changing the kind of product I use would do anything for the cramping, pain, heavy flow, length of period. For those who say it makes a difference, how does it work? Very curious here.

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Like others have said, disposable cups are very different from the reusable ones.  However, you may not like any real menstrual cups either, and since you already know you like cloth pads, I would just try to figure out how to make the laundry work.  I recommend no rinsing and no soaking.  Simply collect the used pads in a small, dry bucket with no lid (for air circulation to dry them out).  Then when it's time to wash, dump them in the machine with your other laundry (a load of darks or towels) and turn it on. Tumble dry. Done.  I used to think a cold water soak cycle in the machine was important, but I've stopped doing that and haven't noticed a bit of difference.  

 

When you're away from home, you need a wet bag, preferably one with two pockets to keep the clean ones separate from the used ones.  Just remember to empty the used pads into your bucket when you get home and then wash the bag when your period is over.

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There are some brands I cannot use.  The same thing happens.  And most of those brands are the national popular brands.

 

Possibly TMI, but I like the Equate generics from Walmart. 

 

These here:

 

http://www.walmart.com/ip/10423559?wmlspartner=wlpa&adid=22222222227000015044&wl0=&wl1=g&wl2=c&wl3=40753429952&wl4=&wl5=pla&wl6=78604920512&veh=sem

 

The types that are more plasticy in texture I avoid.  The more cottony feeling ones are fine for me. 

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What exactly is a reaction to disposable pads? I have no rash or irritation. Just wicked cramps. It's hard for me to believe that changing the kind of product I use would do anything for the cramping, pain, heavy flow, length of period. For those who say it makes a difference, how does it work? Very curious here.

I think the OP is talking about rash and pain.  The rash is usually caused by the plastic reducing air circulation, creating a moist environment (which also causes the smell as the bacteria proliferate).  At the same time, the highly absorbent gel stuff in most disposable pads can suck the moisture out of the delicate mucosal tissue, which causes a diffuse, achy pain in the vulva and pelvic region. Tampons can cause that achy pain, too.  I used to think that pain was just part of having a period, but it completely went away and never came back when I stopped using tampons.

 

Also, it definitely did make a difference in the length of my period.  It went from ~6 days to ~4 days. The bleeding also "seemed" lighter, but I don't know for sure because I didn't have a good way of measuring before I started using a cup.  I never really got cramps either way.  As to why it makes a difference, I don't think anyone knows exactly.  Some people suspect that the highly absorptive mucosal tissues take up the chemicals in disposable products, and those chemicals throw hormones out of whack.  I don't know.  It's all anecdotal of course, but a lot of women do notice a difference after switching.

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