That's right! I've been using them since I was 17 and haven't looked back. Unfortunately for most of us, periods are unavoidable. But I decided I can prevent the bazillions of throw away pads I'd use each month (and the bazillions of dollars I'd spend on them) going into landfill and/or the ocean and waterways by using these ones I've made myself at home using a simple pattern and a sewing machine. These things last forever. I've still got and am still using the first one I bought at Woodford Folk Festival in 2006.
I make them from nice soft flannelette material that I've either got from op shops (I got 3 single bed sized sheets for $2) or found lurking in the cupboards. You could also recycle old flannel pyjamas you don't wear anymore, or any sort of other cotton clothing really, or even towels.
This website has the basic pattern I used, I just made mine square. At the bottom of the page are a few other resources for patterns/information too. Just type in 'homemade sanitary pads' into google.com and heaps of results will come up. I like these because they have a pouch like thing that I can put extra layers in on heavy days. I think people may be uncomfortable using these because they may think that the blood would just go right through - and this may be too much information - but I bleed like a banshee and have never had any leaking problems.
|Omg! my nails are clean!|
|This is the insert layer, I usually make it from three layers of material and quilt it so it doesn't go out of shape.|
I can't really praise these enough. I go to work with these (I just have a plastic bag in my bag to put used ones in to wash when I get home - I intend on making a proper pouch for them though). Perk - I don't have to touch the rank sanitary bin that people always seem to get blood all over when disposing of their plastic ones. I run/yoga/pilates while wearing these and they don't go anywhere. They don't get in the way at all.
Not into pads? Give a cup a go. The Keeper is one kind, but I've seen others. I've always hated tampons anyway so I just go with the pads. I might try it one day when I have a million dollars. They are expensive but apparently they last over 5 years. That's a lot of laundry saved. I couldn't find anything on the keeper webpage but you could probably swim with the cup. I don't swim very often anyway/afraid of sharks eating me so I don't really care about being able to swim on my period.
I use these for a few reasons: to save money, to help the environment, and I believe they are healthier for my body. Commercial pads itch me like crazy and cause shafe (I think I'm just allergic to plastic), so these nice material ones fit the bill perfectly. Give them a go :)