RUMPS: Reusable Menstrual Products
What are R.U.M.PS?
R.U.M.PS stands for reusable menstrual products: pads, tampons, and menstrual cups.
The Benefits of R.U.M.PS
Few sing the praises of disposable pads for their comfort; however, many who switch to cloth pads speak of the endless possibilities to make the experience pleasant. After all, cloth pads come in a variety of top fabrics: cotton, flannel, minky, and velvet to name a few. This means that you can make them yourself.
While disposables do come in different thicknesses, cloth offers alternative shapes to fit your preference. Experimenting with these choices allows you to determine which works best. According to a popular R.U.M.PS vlogger on YouTube, Bree a.k.a Precious Stars Pads, not everyone will testify that cloth pads are more comfortable than disposable, but no one has told her that disposable is better:
“I have never heard someone say that cloth pads are more uncomfortable than disposables. They might both be uncomfortable for you, but I've never heard someone say [disposables] are comfortable."
Cloth pads have the ability to last five to ten years. Disposables cannot be washed, and used again. As a result, between eleven-thousand to fifteen-thousand pads and tampons will be thrown away in each user’s lifetime, ending up in a landfill. Knowing that there is another way, why continue with disposables?
After learning how to care for cloth pads, there are hygienic benefits that do not exist with disposables. First, let’s explore the issues with disposables. The listed ingredients within these pads is incomplete. What is known is not exactly healthy. Just because they are white does not mean that they are bacteria-free; therefore, it may surprise consumers to learn that these products are not sanitized. We associate the white color of disposable pads and tampons with cleanliness; yet, forget that to achieve this takes toxic chemicals, such as bleach. Some of the chemicals that we do know of should never come into contact with our skin, let alone the most absorbent part of our bodies, where these products will be placed.
It is common knowledge that disposable tampons carry the risk of T.S.S. (toxic shock syndrome). The claim is that one is only at risk when a tampon is left in for too long; however, this is false. After a disposable tampon is removed, fibers are left inside the body. Most tampon users are familiar with the feeling of dryness during the removal process, but do not connect the fibers with this sensation. Bacteria can multiply on these fibers, which causes T.S.S. How does one rid themselves of these fibers? Thankfully, there are alternative options.
Reusable tampons are a bit controversial. They are typically knit, or crochet. While other reusable products are more hygienic than disposables, reusable tampons are still capable of causing T.S.S. Cotton reusable tampons seem to help to prevent this more than rayon; however, it is not guaranteed since the real issue is bacteria growing on the fibers left inside the vagina; therefore, it is left up to the user's discretion.
Menstrual cups are made with medical grade silicone. There are multiple ways to fold it for insertion. Once inserted correctly, the vaginal walls hold it in place, and the menstrual fluids go directly inside. It may be used for up to twelve hours, and be easily removed. Some users have experienced the cup flipping upward; however, they were capable of fixing the problem to remove it, anyway. This issue is uncommon, so not a reason avoid using them.
With proper use, menstrual cups can be removed as often or as infrequently as one likes within the time limit. It only needs to be emptied and rinsed or wiped before being placed back inside. The cleaning process is not time consuming, or dependent on special cleaning solutions. Many avid tampon users find this method to be a helpful and soothing alternative. Furthermore, these cups have greatly improved the lives of girls in Africa who could not attend class during their menstruation, otherwise.
Since cloth pads and menstrual cups need only be purchased once, it saves money. While most are more expensive per item than buying disposables, the money isn't being spent repeatedly to restock; therefore, the consumer is spending less in the long-term. In part, this is why reusable menstrual products are helpful for school girls and women in Africa—considering the price for any given pack of disposable menstrual products compared to their wages.
How/Where to Get Them
Most RUMPS can be found online. There are premium brands, as well as smaller businesses. Another way to attain cloth pads is to learn how to make them. D.I.Y is the most cost-effective method to grow your collection. Also, it guarantees that it is the size, style and material that you want. As someone who likes to sew, this is my favorite option.
Bree - "Precious Stars Pads"
Bree is a teenager in the business of making reusable cloth pads, and my favorite YouTuber on the subject. She has made countless videos on reusable menstrual products, answering any and all questions: How to wear them, when to change them, how to clean them, where to buy them, how to make them, how to store them, and so on. She is the founder of her R.U.M.PS company Precious Stars Pads.
Many on YouTube share their experiences and knowledge of reusable menstrual products. Some have been using R.U.M.PS for years. Others are newbies, reviewing a pad or cup to share with others. Their words help those in need of menstrual products to make better choices about their own health.
If you're interested in learning more from these experienced YouTubers, I suggest searching "R.U.M.PS.”
Are you still not convinced?
Some companies offer a free sample. Party In My Pants has a pantyliner give away. This way, the curious are able to try them without buying multiple pads.
Many privately owned companies have pads for less. Customers are able to buy more for the same price as one from a premium company.
Now that you know about the details of reusable menstrual products, what is your opinion?
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