A Party In My Pants – menstrual pads review!

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I’ve never been one to want to try those new period-soaking panties or reusable pads.  I thought the idea of running around in wet panties or stained, soaked pads was gross.  For some reason, the disposable idea sat much better with me.  I felt like the “ick” was further away from my womanly-bits.

But I was also intrigued by all of the adorable fabric pads available on sites like Etsy, etc.  They were just…too cute for words.  But my terror won the battle and I strayed back to my store-bought (organic or not, bleached or unbleached, etc.) pads.  And I’ve tried A LOT of them.  I’ve steered away from tampons (for personal reasons) and only use them when the necessity arises (like swimming!).

Out of the blue, I was contacted by a gal at Party In My Pants, a company that makes fabric, reusable pads (and a few other adorable things).  One of her co-workers had heavy periods due to Endometriosis and only found great coverage (and comfort) by using their gigantic overnight pad, called the Queen.  She thought I may want to try out their wares.

I didn’t see the email for about a month due to my surgery, recovery, and it got lost in the fray.  BUT, I eventually stumbled upon it and wrote her back all of my trepidations of using a fabric pad: the nastiness factor, the wetness, carrying around a stinky wet pad all day in my purse if I had to change during the day, having to wash them, and the fear of them just not being absorbent enough for my over-active period-blood-pushing uterus.

Liz took the time to calm my fears, explained the wide assortment of pads available, and threw together a gift package for me.  I let her know I’d have fun taking notes and share my opinions on the blog.  Ya know, just in case any of my readers were having the same fears of fabric pads.  BUT…I also let her know that if these bad boys failed me, the world would know. Ha!

Queue Aunty Flow:  I started period the afternoon of August 17, 2018.  I had a spare Always pad in my purse and donned it.  The following afternoon, the postman dropped off a package from Party In My Pants (We’ll just call them PiMP from here on out).  I excitedly tore into it and loved the assortment of fun things Liz chose for me.

I have the:

Medium: to me it feels like I would wear this on my light to medium days.  It’s thin, but enough coverage to make me feel safe from front to back.  My medium is an adorable fox pattern. OMG. Too cute.

Organic Super: can we say soooooft?  And it’s got cute little sheepies on it (including the black sheep!).  Larger than the medium, and a smidge thicker.

Super Overnight: GRUMPY CAT!  It’s large enough where I won’t be afraid of leaking at all during the night.

Queen:  The Mother of all pads! This thing is MASSIVE.  Full coverage … and I mean FULLLL coverage!  According to the description, it’s meant for super-duper heavy flows, or post-pardum bleeding, etc.  The big stuff.  (I wore this my first night)

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Testing out the Queen (literally the front tip of my panties to the full backside!)

That night I wore the Queen to bed.  I was skeptical.  I had a heavy-bleed day, but I figured I could wash the sheets if I made a mess.  I woke up Sunday morning surprised: no leaks.  I thought that my bleeding would just ooze and sit on top of the pad’s adorable panda material: nope.  I was bone dry when I woke up.  Usually my nights are heavy, especially on Day 1 or Day 2.  The only evidence that I was on my period?  A few stains on the pandas.  I must admit: it was kind of satisfying to have bloodied up a few panda bears!  I got ready to shower, unsnapped my Queen, folded it up, resnapped it, and set it aside near my dirty clothes hamper for later.  And, ’cause let’s be honest here…I sniffed it (curiosity killed the cat and all that jazz…).  It didn’t really smell like anything!  When I change a regular pad, I reek to high heaven.  Like, I drop my undies and the scent just wafts right on up to my nose.  But these cloth pads?  NOPE! What the heck?!?

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Time for the Organic Super

Before my shower, I grabbed a clean pair of undies and the Organic Super – awww, the sweet sheep were next for my period onslaught!  Snapped it onto my undies, showered, and pulled up the incredibly soft fabric ready for my day!  I bled moderate to heavy throughout the day. The instructions say to change the PiMP pads when you feel wet.  Well, I never did.  I literally wore that one pad the ENTIRE day…and night.  I had a bit too much champagne and rather than change into my Grumpy Cat Super Overnight pad, I just fell into bed while still wearing my pad from the morning.  So, of course, I expected to wake up an overflowing sticky mess.  I woke up Monday morning completely dry.  There was barely even a stain on the pad…on my adorable fleecy sheeps.  No leaks!  NOT A ONE!  Again: I unsnapped my dirty pad, folded it, snapped it shut, and placed it next to the dirty Queen by the hamper.

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The Medium (squee, sooo cute!)

I donned the cute foxy Medium pad for Monday morning, ready to leave the house and get to work.  The Medium felt far less noticeable than the Super or the Queen.  I walked around all day barely realizing I had it on.  By now, my flow was non-existent to low.  I don’t think I even stained the pad all day.

So, when I got home, I decided my period was going to be a short one (Friday through Monday; four days) and I thought I’d wash the dirty ones for my next period.  I expected them to be stinky: nope.  Not at all!  Although Liz did instruct me later to keep them unsnapped dirty so they don’t get musty.  I’ll snap them for transport (if I’m in public) and unsnap them when I’m home.  I was sad that the Grumpy Cat lay sad, forgotten…and grumpy…in my drawer.  Next time, Grumpy Cat, next time…

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So I set the settings on the washing machine as instructed: cold water and a low tumble dry.  My husband was so grossed out by the thought of period blood in the laundry (as was I) that I made them their own tiny wash load.  They came out great! My sheep & fox look good as new, but a panda or two are still stained.  Which is fine.  I expected it.  And it’s not gross or anything because the pad is laundry-soap fresh and clean.

As a precaution, I wore my Always pad to bed last night, just to catch any residual bleeding I may have.  Want to hear a funny story?  Apparently, I wasn’t as close to being done as I thought…and woke up this morning with a leaky mess all over my undies.  Way to go “super absorbent 10x” non-reusable pad.  Way. To. Go.  So am I wearing my fabric pads right now?!? All clean and shiny?  Nope…I have a water aerobics class to attend tonight and I have opted for tampons…

I thought I was going to wait until my next period to publish this review…but I’ve decided to publish it now and update it as the months progress.  Just so you can all get an up-to-date Lisa’s Opinion on how these fabric, washable pads are holding up cycle after cycle.

I loved them, though.  They never leaked.  They were adorable and made me smile every time I used the bathroom.  They were easy to clean and not as disgusting as I thought it would be.  I’ll buy a few more to add to my collection (right now I only have 4…and my periods like to last 5-8 days…) and we’ll see how it goes.

And I must add:  it felt REALLY good not having to peel a sticky pad out of a noisy wrapper and make a bunch of trash.  I didn’t think I’d really care that much about the “environmental factor” of fabric pads…but last night when I opened up my plastic pad and threw away the wrapper…it kind of hit me a little bit.  That it was the first time in days I had to do that.  And it really made me think about all the crap I have thrown away in the past.

For September’s period, I’m going to also buy their adorable (and inexpensive) little zipper “tote” bag that fits a few pads in it and I can carry them discreetly in my purse (clean or dirty…).  And next month I’ll actually give it the “out in a public bathroom” test.

Wanna try them yourself?

The people at Party In My Pants want YOU to try these out for free, too (well, the sample is free, but you pay a small shipping fee):  All first-time customers can order a free sample pantyliner on PiMP’s website for the cost of shipping ($3.99 US, $7.99 Canada). You want to check them out?  https://partypantspads.com/products/cloth-pad-curious-giveaway
And Party In My Pants let me know that domestic orders over $50 get free shipping.

Right now PiMP is selling their organic pads for NO EXTRA CHARGE! (the same price as the non-organic fabric).

Choices, choices, adorable choices!!

There are over 75 patterns at any given time, and customers can choose from lots of different fabric materials: cotton, flannel, double-gauze (which is a looser weave that allows blood to absorb faster), and organic cotton, organic flannel, and organic double-gauze.  And there are 13 different sizes you can choose from, along with a handy-dandy “sizing guide” to help pick the best fits for your periods!

How do I clean this thing?

The easiest way to wash & dry: after using the pad, just put it in the laundry hamper in such a way that it can dry out (you don’t want it to sit wet too long, or it will get musty, especially in warm/humid climates), then when you’re ready to do laundry just machine-wash it with cold water, then air-dry in the sun or tumble dry on low. No need to rinse or soak beforehand!

Can’t decide which patterns to pick?

I’m told PiMP always has great sales (under the “Steals & Deals” tab on the website), including “Surprise Party” and “Organic Surprise Party”, which allows customers to order pads at a discounted price- you choose the size and material, and PiMP staff choose from a random assortment of patterns! It sounds like a pretty fun surprise! I can’t wait to do this!

Bookface contests!

And PiMP has lots of fun contests on their Facebook page, including opportunities to help name new patterns.

My photos.

Yes, I’m gross. I take photos of things I shouldn’t.  But I wanted you to SEE!  And none of these are truly gross…

 

 

Thanks to the crew at Party In My Pants for helping me jump off the diving board and embrace reusable menstrual products!

PS ~ there are no affiliate links in this review. I don’t wanna make money off of you guys!!!! ❤

Endo Awareness Month: Giveaway!

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You may have read my recent review of Chiavare lube.  Well, Kaylyn is providing me with 5ml bottle of Chiavare Personal Moisturizer to give away to one lucky Reader on April 1st!  I’ll toss in a few Bloomin’ Uterus buttons and bracelets, too.  It’s our fun way of giving back and celebrating Endometriosis Awareness Month!

How does it work?

Simply submit your answer below.  Your contact information will be kept confidential and shared with no one and I’ll contact the winner directly for their mailing address.  I will post your answers (anonymously, if you so choose) on the blog, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram, along with the hashtags #endometriosis #chiavare and #bloominuterus.  On April 1st, I’ll have the computer randomly select a winner!

This is open to those who have Endometriosis…and those who have loved ones or friends with Endometriosis.  Really…what WOULD you do?

Want to play?

 

 

A fun way to spread awareness, get your voice heard, and win a few fun gifts!  And if you would like to see all of the submissions we’ve received, click here.

A New Lube! Bring on the Sex!!!

Chiavare 5ml

I’ve learned a fun “side effect” of blogging is sometimes people write you and offer to send you stuff if you’ll write a review. WHAT?!?  Well, it happens.  And I agree with it as long as the person or company understands that my review will be unbiased, and it may be negative.  I’m gonna be honest!

Why am I telling you this? Because it’s happened again…and this time…with luuuuuube! Yes!!!  And not just any lube…an all-natural lube created by a woman who HAS Endometriosis.  Which, of course, makes me super duper happy to support our not-so-little Endo Community.   And it’s called Chiavare Personal Moisturizer.

Anyway, on with the review!  (Mom…I know you’re reading this; you may want to turn away now or risk blushing!)

Back in early January, I received an email from Kaylyn Easton, who also has Stage IV Endometriosis.  She was hoping to tackle the stigmas of female health and sexual activity and bring something positive and beneficial to our lives.  And she has created an all-natural, chemical free, vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO, hypoallergenic, and edible (if that’s your thing) “personal moisturizer.”

I’m just gonna keep calling it a lube, but when you read the ingredients, you’ll come to understand why many customers also use it in other ways.

Okay, I’ll stop teasing and tell you what’s in it.  You ready?

  1. Coconut Oil,
  2. Almond Oil,
  3. Vitamin E,
  4. Grapeseed Oil,
  5. Sunflower Seed Oil; and,
  6. Evening Primrose Oil.IMG_2015.JPG

And…that’s it.  I’m no doctor, but I’m not sure people with a nut allergy should use this.  If you’re curious, you may want to email the company and ask…

I like to think of myself as a connoisseur of sexual lubricants.  I’ve tried soooo many different ones and had yet to find one that myself and my partner both liked.  “This one’s too sticky, this one’s stinky, this one wears off quickly, this one burns, this one gets chunky” – a whole gambit of negativity.

So, I had my doubts about Chiavare just because I hadn’t been able to find a favorite lube before…and I still had yet to tell my husband any of this.  So, the day it arrived, I tore open the package, rubbed a little on my finger and smooshed it around.  Initial thoughts: It’s smooth, odorless, wasn’t sticky, and it tasted good.  Chiavare came in this beautiful, discreet little 5ml black bottle, so, I plopped it on my nightstand corner to well…corner…my unsuspecting husband later that evening.

But, alas, he wasn’t feeling well.

So, I wrote Ms. Easton and asked if it would be safe with toys.  Her response? Basically, avoid latex condoms or toys.  Oil-based anything will likely destroy any latex-based products, but luckily for me, I have a latex allergy and my favorite toy is silicon.  Which led me to another question: can I use it with non-latex condoms?  Yep.  If you’re like me, this lube is safe with a non-latex condom.   The hubby and I aren’t trying to make babies, so we still wrap up every time.

So, the next day I gave it a go solo.  Again, I had my doubts.  I few pumps of the clear lube onto the head of my toy, smooshed it around with a bit of flair, and (well, you don’t need to know the rest).  Do know, however, that it was wonderful.  Slick, smooth, warmed up quickly to my body temperature, never got sticky or glumpy.  It was a wonderful experience.  As usual, though, wash all your toys afterward!  Ew…

It was a few weeks later before my husband and I were able to give the lube a human-to-human test.  He had no idea it was coming.  And the second I warmed a bit of lube in my hand and applied to…well, he and his Jimmy Hat, he instantly commented, “Ooooh, that’s a really good lube!” Again, sparing you the details of the act itself, I wasn’t disappointed.  And neither was he!  As we lay in bed aftward, he again commented on how much he liked the lube.  I explained it was new, where it came from, and what it was made of.  He’s never liked or commented positively on any of our prior lubes.  And this one he couldn’t say enough about how much he enjoyed it.

About a week later, the opportunity presented itself once more. Hubba hubba!  This time, though, instead of going in straight for the Deed itself, I wanted to treat him to a bit of a hand job (for lack of a better term? No offense intended to anyone).  Again, he loved the lube, but the only issue I had with it was during the hand job the lube soaked into his…uh…um….(you know)…so I had to reapply it a few times.  But once we moved on to the Horizontal Mambo, smooth as silk and never dried up.

Pairing this lube along with a few sexual positions that lessen the pain with penetration, sex is once more an enjoyable endeavor for me.  And for us.  And I cannot express how incredible that is.  My old lubes are now in the trash…nasty glompy chemical sticky things.

Despite the fact that my husband’s flesh devours the lube during a hand job, the lube is fantastic!  And I LOVE the fact that it’s all natural! We have enough going on with chemical exposure in our lives and if we can reduce it just by one little thing, it’s may help.

If you’re interested in checking out Chiavare for yourself, click here!  She’s got several links about the ingredients, testimonials, different uses, and her history.  The small bottle (the one I have) is about $10.  There’s a bigger bottle, but the wee-one has lasted us nearly 2 months, and we’re not even close to empty.

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I’m so grateful to Kaylyn for reaching out to me and sending me the freebie bottle.  Not only did I learn about an amazing product, but I get to support an EndoSister’s endeavors, and hope to spread the word to help others who may be looking for a good lubricant.  And I’ll be more them in the future!

I’m hooked.  My hubby’s hooked.  We’re hooked!  Thank you, Kaylyn, for making such a wonderful product!  I hope that your Endometriosis Journey continues along a positive path.

PS – these beautiful pictures were provided by Kaylyn at my request.

 

A paper on the holistic treatment of Endometriosis

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The Ohlone Herbal Center published Whitney Staeb’s apprenticeship paper in October 2016 about the holistic treatment approaches of Endometriosis.  If you’d like to read the 16-page report in it’s entirety, please click here.

It discusses herbs and flower essences that may help ease inflammation and symptoms.  Although it does not discuss doses, it does talk about the supposed medicinal properties of each and combinations that may help during cycles.  If intrigued, read the paper and consult with your healthcare provider and an herbalist.

Diet and proper nutrition play a large role possibly controlling Endometriosis symptoms.  She identifies some “ideal foods” that may be incorporated into, and excluded from, your diet.

Lifestyle changes such as switching feminine hygiene products, exercising, taking warm baths, using heating pads, and practicing good self-care may also ease the physical and mental issues of Endometriosis.

I encourage you to read her paper yourself (click here).  See if any of it speaks to you.  And, again, please do your own research (look for the pros and cons of each listed suggestion) and speak with your healthcare provider before starting any new regimen.

Have you ever, or do you presently, take any of the herbs/supplements referenced in this paper?  Please share your experiences with us in the comments below. Your journey may help others!

Yours,

Lisa

Tampons : Taboo ?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe History o’the Tampon:

The Egyptians used softened papyrus as a makeshift tampons and the Greeks used lint wrapped around wood.  Other materials used in the past were wool, paper, plant fibers, sponges, grass, and cotton.

Early tampons available to women in the 1920s did not have an applicator.  Some had to be removed by actually reaching in and handling the cotton or gauze tampon, while others had strings for easy removal.  In 1929, Dr. Earl Haas invented a stringed tampon with an applicator.  He filed for the patent in 1931 (a portion of which can be seen here), and later trademarked the name “Tampax.”  The rights and product were then purchased by Gertrude Tendrich, who founded the Tampax company.  And in 1936, the first Tampax ad was launched and a package of 10 tampons cost a whopping 35 cents!  You can view the ad here. There are a lot more tampons on the market to choose from, some with applicators (cardboard or plastic), some without, some organic, some with odor control, some without.

Do Tampons Contain Dioxins and Other Harmful Chemicals:

Some people believe that exposure to dioxins increases your changes of developing Endometriosis.  Dioxins are a carcinogen byproduct of manufacturing pesticides, herbicides, plastics, and paper. This has caused many women to pursue a natural and healthy lifestyle, avoiding as much exposure to environmental toxins and dioxins as possible.

The FDA assures the public that due to newer standards and processing procedures, the amounts of any dioxin levels found in today’s tampon products are safe.  “…dioxin levels in the rayon raw materials for tampons are reported to be at or below the detectable limit of the state-of-the-art dioxin assay, i.e., approximately 0.1 to 1 parts per trillion. FDA’s risk assessment indicates that this exposure is many times less than normally present in the body from other environmental sources, so small that any risk of adverse health effects is considered negligible. A part per trillion is about the same as one teaspoon in a lake fifteen feet deep and a mile square.”

Deodorizing or artificially scented tampons may contain chemicals that have been linked to cancer and birth defects.  Many cotton crops in the United States are routinely sprayed with pesticides; cotton which is then transformed into your tampons.  Additionally, many people are concerned that non-organic tampons or pads contain cotton from GMO crops.

Regardless of the FDA’s public announcement that tampons are safe, legislative efforts are ongoing for additional regulation and research.  Tampon safety concerns have been raised before the Congressional House in 1997 and again brought in 1999, 2003, 2005, 2008, 2011, and in 2014.  Each of these acts was brought forth by New York 12th District Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney. Her bill would seek further research about dioxins and other chemicals found in tampons and encourages the FDA to further scrutinize the the materials and toxicity levels of feminine hygiene products and to better inform the public about any potential risks.  Keep up the good work, Congresswoman Maloney.  If you would like to write Congresswoman Maloney, you may reach her at one of her several offices, which can be located at the bottom of her page here.

Additionally, there is a petition on Change.org to force manufacturers of tampons and pads to fully disclose their ingredients on their packaging.  If you wish to review and/or sign the petition, you can locate it here.

Retrograde Menstruation:

Many physicians believe Endometriosis is caused by retrograde menstruation.  Think of a backwards period.  Menstrual blood in your uterus flows backward, through your Fallopian tubes, escaping out into your pelvic cavity.  The endometrial cells contained in that blood stick to your pelvic cavity and organs, grow, bleed, and cause adhesions.  There have been several studies on retrograde menstruation, and oddly enough not every woman who has retrograde menstruation has Endometriosis.

Many people have voiced questions and concerns if using tampons blocks the natural flow of menses, forcing it to back-up and cause retrograde menstruation.  And many people do not believe that retrograde menstruation is a cause of Endometriosis.  And yet others believe that the use of tampons lessens the risk of developing Endometriosis.  An interesting response by the Endometriosis Research Center can be read here regarding the findings that tampon-use reduces the risk of developing Endometriosis.  The truth is : nobody really knows.

What Am I Going to Do:

I have a unique situation: I have two cervix; a left and a right.  During my teens and 20s, I didn’t know I had two cervix.  And always “bled around” my tampons: the string would be filthy, my clothing would be ruined, but generally the cotton was unused and…not completely bloodied.  In my 30s, I was told I have the two fully-functioning cervix.  And my physician encouraged me to try using two tampons.  And *voila* it worked.

But since reading all that I’ve read about Endometriosis, chemicals, and healthy living, I’ve made the switch to organic pads.  If using tampons increases my exposure to dioxins or other chemical toxins, or even increases the risk of retrograde menstruation, I’m not going to take those risks.  And if they don’t increase any of those risks or exposures, who cares?  I’ll be living healthier anyway with organic, unbleached goodness.

I have yet to take the step to washable/reusable fabric pads.  I just remember seeing a menstrual pad belt  when I was a kid and it was…horrifying.  And that’s all I can think of when I think of these new (easy and convenient) washable pads.  But who knows? Maybe I’ll get tired of spending money on disposables and take the plunge!

What about you? Want to chime in? Drop a comment below 🙂

Resources:

About.com

Bloomin’ Uterus

Caronlyn B. Maloney

Change.org

Congress.gov

Congress.gov – second link

Endometriosis Research Center

Estronaut.com

Mercola.com

Museum of Menstruation and Women’s Health

Naturally Savvy

Naturopathic Doctor News & Review

Sciencedirect.com

Swarthmore College Computer Society

United States Food and Drug Administration

United States Food and Drug Administration – second link

United States Patent and Trademark Office

~ Again, I am a layman.  I do not hold any college degrees, nor mastery of knowledge.  Please take what I say with a grain of salt.  If curious, do your own research 😉 Validate my writings.  Or challenge them.  And ALWAYS feel free to consult with your physician. Always.  Yours ~ Lisa