Category Archives: Cloth pads

Venus Matters

There’s a nifty little idea that could come in handy for all sorts of bedtime situations and appears, at least in idea, to beat towels and old blankets hands down when it comes to protecting sheets and mattresses.

It’s a Venus Pad.

The Venus Mat is a cotton-covered, absorbent, waterproof and washable mat that keep stains or wet-spots off the bed linens. (Learn more.)

According to the website, Venus Matters to a lot of women.

  • women tired of menstrual stains on sheets
  • women with new babies
  • teenage girls concerned about night time leaks
  • women experiencing night sweats and heavy flows
  • sexually active women
  • women concerned with the perceived curse of menstruation

Take a minute and watch the video.

Invisible Cloth Pads

If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to wear cloth pads AND what it would look like to others, take a look at this video.

In the video, the reviewer takes you beyond the usual blah blah about what they like about a pad and gives you a look at what it’s like to actually WEAR them in skinny jeans. See for yourself – does the pad show??

Cloth pads = period wise choice!  Well done Bree (aka Precious Stars)!

Periodic Resolutions

New year.

New resolutions.

New opportunities.

New vision.

New growth.

New you.

                                    As you look toward embracing the new year, consider resolving one (or more) of the following:

  • try a new Eco-friendly product
  • learn more about menstruation
  • explore your own menstrual experience
  • take the leap to a new/different product
  • begin a cycle day (CD) journal
  • live fully into the strengths each CD brings
  • examine your menstrual taboos and ask “why”
  • become more period wise
  • greet and celebrate each period

All I Want For Christmas

With Christmas a week away, I’m making my list and checking it twice.

If your list is anything like mine, there’s one person missing – YOU!

Take a moment and look at the gift ideas below and see if any are on your wish list. Maybe it’s time for your wish to come true.


Gift yourself this holiday season!  You and your period deserve it!

#PeriodTalk TweetChat

Tara, founder of @bpreparedperiod, hosts a monthly #PeriodTalk  TweetChat, which focuses on a “commitment to open menstrual conversation and education.”

Today I was privileged to be one of three guests in the #PeriodTalk TweetChat. The topic was Menstruation & The Organizations That Care.  The guests were Morgan @Pads4Girls, Celeste @DaysforGirls and Suzan (me) @youarelovedTSS.

A sampling of tweets from the guests follows.

Pads4Girls is a social impact project of @lunapads that supports education for girls in developing nations. We provide girls in need with reusable menstrual supplies so they can attend school during their period.  In many communities, disposable products are impossibly expensive, leaving menstruating girls to fend for themselves. Without means to manage periods, girls are forced to stay home from school rather than risk being shamed. Girls who drop out marry earlier, earn less & are at greater risk of developing HIV & dying from childbirth complications. Menstruation is a taboo subject & many girls reach menarche without knowing what is happening to them & why. The UN estimates that girls miss up to 20% off their class time because of their period. @Lunapads has been sending donated cloth pads to NGOs and groups working in Africa since 2001. In 2006 @Lunapads commitment to girls education was formalized with the creation of Pads4Girls. With the help of @lunapads customers, we’ve provided over 3000 girls & women with pads in over 15 countries. We partnered with @TTextiles to create specialized 1-size-fits-all menstrual underwear that hold absorbent pads. We’ve raised enough to provide 10,000 period kits made by @TTextiles to be distributed throughout Malawi in Feb!

You ARE Loved – a nonprofit org focused on raising TSS awareness. It’s impossible to raise awareness about tampon related TSS without talking openly about menstruation. You ARE Loved also provides factual menstrual information and shares about safer menstrual alternatives. In the summer of 2010, 20 year old Amy got sick with what appeared to be the flu – only it wasn’t. Amy died a few days later from tampon related Toxic Shock Syndrome. Her Mom, Lisa, decided to do everything possible to raise awareness so other families would not suffer a similar loss. Over time that vision grew and gave birth to a nonprofit – You ARE Loved. Please take a look at our TSS awareness brochure & share it with others. We are raising awareness about the ONLY fem hygiene product you should worry about causing TSS: traditional tampons. Brands like Kotex, OB, Playtex and Tampax all come with increased risk because they contain viscose. Any other menstrual option is safer when it comes to TSS – organic tampons, pads, & cups (disposable&reusable). It’s important to remember that tweens, young teens and younger women are more likely to develop TSS, and die from it. They are at increased risk because 1) they have not yet developed antibodies and 2) have risky tampon use habits.  TSS does not take a holiday. Know the facts. Learn what to do.

@DaysforGirls is a grassroots org of thousands of volunteers worldwide ensuring more dignity, education and health for girls. Mission is to give girls the dignity of quality washable menstrual supplies they can count month after month. Millions of women go without MHM. Our goal to reach every woman in the world by 2022. Collaboration and awareness is key.  Receiving MHM and knowledge is powerful. Afterwards women and girls have stood up to exploitation, child trafficking and FGM. In Kisii, Kenya after a DfG distribution and empowerment talk FGM (female genital mutilation) dropped by a reported 30%. Did you know that hundreds of thousands of girls are sexually exploited in exchange for hygiene? It’s hard to imagine. Girls suffer humiliation, infection, exploitation and marginalization just for lack of feminine hygiene.  One beautiful, educated 16 yr Kenyan girl said after learning what her period is, “I’m so glad to know. I thought I had HIV.” Imagine having to choose between being exploited to stay in school or being married as an enslaved child bride.  @DaysforGirls has sent over 60,000 kits to 30 nations on 5 continents thanks to volunteers worldwide. We also empower local women in the countries we serve to make their own.

Throughout the chat questions were asked to engage and inform TweetChat participants.

Q1: Please share ur name & the number of girls/women you’ve known that’ve been unable 2 afford fem care items (A. 0 B.1-4 C. 5+)

Q2: What percentage of class time do you think girls in east Africa miss due to lack of access to menstrual products?

Q3: What do you think girls in the developing world who lack menstrual pads use to manage their flow?

Q4: Before this tweet chat, how would you rate your knowledge of the need for fem care items abroad?

Q5: Do you know anyone who uses tampons?

Q6: Would u know what to do if u or someone u know got ill w/flu-like symptoms while using or w/in days of using a tampon?

Q7: How familiar are U with the symptoms of Toxic Shock Syndrome? Thx to Suzan symptoms can also be found @

Q8: Do you think lack of MHM (menstrual health management) solutions effect girls in the USA?

Q9: How can you raise awareness about lack of MHM?

If you’ve never participated in a TweetChat, I encourage you to attend the next #PeriodTalk TweetChat on January 11, 2013, hosted by Tara (@bpreparedperiod) of Be Prepared Period. More information, along with the transcript of today’s #PeriodTalk, can be found on the TweetChat page of Be Prepared Period‘s site.

What’s a girl to do?

What do you do when you wake to find your period’s started?  You do what many do and reach for your supplies.

And, if you forgot to purchase more, you look around and find a pad or tampon in your purse or backpack, knowing it will hold you long enough to get to the store where you can buy more.

But what if you don’t have easy access to a store?  What if you don’t have transportation?  What if you don’t have $$ to purchase what you need? What if you’re homeless? What if you’re dependent on others to provide for your menstrual needs and you’re too embarrassed to ask? What if there are no menstrual supplies available – at all?  What if your clothing is limited and you are unable to wash out your clothes each day?

What would your first day of menstruation be like?  How would you cope with the next 7 or so days of menstruation? Would you be able to attend school? Would you be able to work?  What would you do?

Millions of girls and women find themselves in this situation period after period, month after month, year after year, using leaves, moss, paper and old rags to absorb their flow.

Girls can’t can’t attend school on the days they are menstrual if they don’t have adequate menstrual supplies.  It’s true here in the U.S. and it’s true in developing countries as well.  Imagine yourself as girl who wakes up excited about the school day only to realize that she won’t be able to attend ALL WEEK because the newspaper or toilet paper she lines her panties with isn’t sufficient to prevent her from leaking through to her clothes.  And, then imagine how far behind the others you would become if you missed a week of school EVERY month.  What’s a girl to do?

I recently heard from an advocate for homeless women who said homeless shelters for women must ration what meager supplies they have.

Imagine being given two pads or two tampons each day, knowing they won’t last more than a couple of hours…knowing that you have a job interview…knowing that when you bleed on your clothes you will be unable to wash them for a week…knowing that you will bleed all over your cot that night, and yourself…knowing that there’s no $$ to purchase what you need…knowing that everyone will be aware that you are on your period because it will be visually obvious to everyone…knowing that whatever you find to line your panty with will most likely be less than sanitary and certainly will not be sufficient for your needs…and, knowing homeless shelters usually require that you are outside during the daytime and inside only for sleep.  What’s a woman to do?

For those interested in making a difference in the menstrual lives of others:

  • Four sites come to mind as examples of what can be done and opportunities that exist for assisting girls and women in meeting their menstrual needs: Lunette   Pads4Girls   Days for Girls   GladRags


Stop TSS Now – Period Talk

Toxic Shock Syndrome is something everyone needs to know about.  In a guest post for Be Prepared Period, I wrote:

It’s not enough to know about TSS.  We must be able to talk about it. Tampon users must be comfortable enough to say: “Hey, I’m on my period and I’m using tampons and I think I might have TSS – I need help!”  And, we all must be willing to initiate period talk, if only to raise awareness about TSS.

Be sure to check out the rest of this important post, which I wrote in support of this month’s #PeriodTalk. Also, consider yourself invited on Friday, December 14, 2012 at 2 pm ET when three nonprofits (Pads4Girls, Days for Girls, and You ARE Loved) will share their vision of a world where menstruation is no longer a taboo topic and what they are doing to assist women and girls with menstrual needs.

“Really really comfortable and really really awesome”

That’s how Kati, an 11 year old who recently experienced her first two periods, describes cloth menstrual pads.

Kati used disposable pads for her first period and experienced leaks, along with the need to change her pads every 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Kati’s mom interviews her in this YouTube video and asks her if she would ever use disposable pads again.  Kati’s immediate response is “NO” and she goes on to say that in an emergency she would find a wash cloth or a shirt to use instead of accepting a disposable pad.