Periods can be hard. And messy. And stressful—but they don't have to be. In fact, several menstrually focused companies are making it their mission to make your time of the month less of a drag with innovative, environmentally conscious, charitable, and indulgent developments. The days of simple sanitary napkins are over.
From menstrual cups that completely change the game to period subscription boxes that you'll love receiving every month along with your usual Birchbox, these companies understand what it's like to get a period. And they're here to remove the stigmas and stresses of that "time of the month." A little blood doesn't have to be a bad thing.
By now, you have probably heard of the absorbant period underwear brand Thinx (as well as the controversy surrounding the company's subway ads). But this is one brand that we will swear by. If you're someone who perpetually panics about period leaks, then Thinx will allow you to finally relax with a selection of underwear that's perfect for light or heavy flow days. Plus, now that the company makes underwear for transgender men who get periods, we love that it's become so inclusive.
With a sleek, minimalist design that looks refreshing compared with the bright, neon colors of the tampon aisle, Lola's organic cotton tampons are a breath of fresh air. Plus, you don't have to make a run to Duane Reade to get them. Simply select how many tampons you need, what level of absorbancy you desire, and how frequently you'd like to receive them, and they'll come right into your mailbox. A box contains 18 tampons, and you can get two boxes for just $18—not a bad deal at all.
If "treat yourself" is a regular part of your vocabulary, then Le Parcel for you. It's the Glossy Box of period subscription boxes, but the price isn't too steep at all. Just $15 per box will get you 15 items (think: pads, tampons, pantyliners), plus a free gift and premium chocolate. Your Aunt Flo might sometimes come as a surprise, so it really only makes sense to be surprised with a little treat everytime she visits, right? Right.
It's likely that you have already read plenty of articles extolling the virtues of the menstrual cup. But there may be something holding you back still. For instance, it may not be super-convenient to your lifestyle to wash out a menstrual cup when you need to. So, if you'd like to give the lifestyle switch a test-run, turn to Softcup—a menstrual cup that is offered in disposable forms. Sure, it's not as eco-friendly as a reusable DivaCup, but if you want longer wear, optimized comfort, and the ability to have not-messy sex on your period while also having the ability to simply toss your cup and insert another, then Softcup is right for you.
With a one-for-one model not unlike Warby Parker or TOMs, Conscious Period donates organic cotton pads to homeless women, who most often have a hard time securing menstrual products from donors. Plus, the company employs women to produce the pads. By 2016, consumers will be able to purchase the company's organic cotton tampons, helping to give back to this generous business model.
Reusable pads and pantyliners may not sounds like the ideal period product, but hear us out on this one: They're better for the environment (big time), as well as your body and your budget. People who get periods use an estimate of 12,000 to 16,000 disposable pads and tampons in their lifetime, so cutting back can do the Earth a whole lot of good. Plus, with no added fragrances, plastics, or chemical gels, reusable cotton pads are just better for your body. Cleaning them is easy—just soak them in cold water and toss them in their own load of laundry (or handwash). These pads will last you at least five years.
Sure, there may be plenty of period subscription services, but sometimes you just need the original. The Period Store allows you to have full control over what you receive in your box, offering basically every brand and product you can think of, from menstrual cups to aromatherapy remedies to sea sponges. So no matter how you handle your period, this online store has you covered. Plus, every box comes with a piece of chocolate and a small artwork—what's not to love?
What makes this company is great is the fact that it's probably sold in your local drugstore—but maybe you just didn't notice it. If you want to make the switch to organic period products, you don't need to spend a ton of money or order anything online. Organyc pads and tampons provide great absorbancy while also lessening the environemental impact of the period industry. That's something we can all cheer about.
If you are already a dedicated menstrual-cup user you may have already experienced that particular kind of anxiety that comes from not knowing exactly how full your cup may be. Well, soon that anxiety will disappear forever, thanks to LOONCUP—a safe, medical-grade menstrual cup that syncs to an app to update you on your period. Originally a Kickstarter, the cup is expected to be delivered to backers in January 2016. The future has arrived.