Healthy tampon options may be on the rise, but so is something a little less, well, expected: pads.
Two better-for-you tampon brands—Lola and Kali—have just added (organic) panty liners and pads to their product offerings, and new feminine hygiene company L. is touting its pads as clean-ingredient staples for your monthly regimen.
So why is the seemingly old-school option of using a pad increasingly popping up? Is the pad—gasp—making a comeback?
“At Kali, one of the most frequent requests we’ve received since we have launched is for organic pads,” says co-founder Sarah Shake. “We do see a correlation with women using organic feminine hygiene products also wanting to use a pad instead of a tampon since they feel they are truly detoxing their body through their menstrual cycle when they aren’t inserting a foreign object in their body to absorb menstrual blood.”
“[Women] feel they are truly detoxing their body through their menstrual cycle when they aren’t inserting a foreign object in their body to absorb menstrual blood.”
Could it be that in the current era of menstrual realness, many women are looking to embrace their flow (a la free-bleeding marathon hero Kiran Gandhi—but a bit less messy) by using pads, or even panties with built-in liners like Thinx?
The founders of Lola are finding that to be true. “Since launching, we’ve had thousands of conversations with women in our community to find out what they really want in a natural format,” says co-founder and co-CEO Alex Friedman. “We hear over and over that they want organic cotton pads and liners.”
Pads do have some health benefits when compared to tampons, since they are not worn internally, says Eden Fromberg, MD, of Holistic Gynecology New York and Functional Medicine for Women.
Pads “do not retain secretions and bacteria, such as staph, which can cause toxic shock syndrome,”she says. “This is why sleeping with pads is healthier, since wearing a tampon overnight is often for more hours than the intervals that women change pads during the day.”
Whether you’re getting behind pads or sticking with your tampons (or a mixture of both), it does seem the pad movement has some wings (sorry, had to). One thing’s for sure: You at least won’t face the problem of forgetting whether you’re wearing one or not.
Speaking of menstrual realness, Lena Dunham just invested in making periods great again. And this is how to make cramps and period mood swings history—the Ayurveda way.