4 Key Health Benefits of Reusable Period Products

26 February 2024  |  Admin

While disposable menstrual products have become the norm due to their convenience and ease of use, there is growing concern about their impact on both our health and the environment.

This is because single use period products are often made with synthetic materials and contain harmful chemicals that can disrupt the delicate balance of the vulva and vagina, and impact our overall health.

These potential health risks have opened up conversations around safer alternatives, including reusable period protection. Reusable period products are also more eco friendly and will save you money over the medium term, even allowing for the cost of washing in the washing machine.

In this article, we touch on some of the potential health benefits of reusable period products when you use them for your menstrual cycles instead of traditional disposables pads and tampons. 

Reduced Risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS)

Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) is a life-threatening condition caused by an infection that can happen when using a tampon or menstrual cup. Tampons can increase the risk of TSS in two ways: tampons that are left in the vagina for a long time may encourage the bacteria to grow, or tampons can stick to the vaginal walls, which can cause tiny abrasions when they are removed.

You should never use a super absorbent tampon just so that you can change it less often!

Although TSS is rare, switching to reusable period protection can help to eliminate your risk as the protection is external. The exception to this is a menstrual cup, which is a small cup that is inserted into the vaginal canal to catch menstrual blood. You can reduce your risk for TSS by washing your hands before use and cleaning your cup as recommended by the manufacturer between uses. 

Shop Heavy Flow Period Pants

Reduced Risk of Thrush

Wearing disposable sanitary products can contribute to the conditions that create the perfect environment for bacteria to thrive, leading to vaginal yeast infections such as thrush on your period.

This is because yeast thrives in warm and damp conditions, where airflow is restricted. The symptoms of thrush include white vaginal discharge (often like cottage cheese), itching and irritation around the vagina, and soreness and stinging during sex or when you pee. 

Avoiding scented products and regularly changing your pad will help to keep the genital area clean and reduce moisture buildup, but reusable menstrual products, such as period pants, cloth pads and menstrual cups, can help to eliminate your risk of a yeast infection altogether. 

'I suffer from lichen sclerosis and recurrent thrush and Cheeky’s reusable pads are simply life changing! Thank you so much! The organic cotton reusable pads are so safe, soothing and effective I honestly can’t believe it. No itchiness, LS flares or discomfort, and the absorption is second to none. I will never use anything else. I’m so happy too that there is nothing going into my bin at any point. Good for the environment and good for me! I love it! I’d also like to call out the fantastic, knowledgeable and personal customer services who really know what they are talking about! Great company' Fiona via Trustpilot

Shop Organic Cotton Reusable Pads

Free from Toxins

Tampons may contain odour neutralizers, dyes, pesticides, and fragrances. Because the vaginal wall is so permeable, this gives toxins and chemicals like pesticides direct access to our bloodstream. While a single exposure might not be harmful, the problem lies in repeated exposure, in particular when we think about how many tampons women use over the long term.

As Goop explains, ‘chronic exposure to toxins can increase our risk of cancer, cause oxidative stress and metabolic changes, and disrupt our endocrine system [which] can contribute to adverse developmental, reproductive, neurological, and immunological effects.’ The bottom line is that the harsh ingredients in your disposable tampons (and pads) can enter your bloodstream, and impact your health. 

Cheeky Period undies, on the other hand, do not contain toxic chemicals. They are made from the same, safe materials that you would normally wear, but with two additional absorbent and waterproof layers.  They come in medium flow and heavy flow options, so you'll find pants to suit your flow.

To be sure, keep an eye out for an Oeko-Tex Certification, which means it has been tested for regulated and non-regulated substances, and proven to be harmless to humans.

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Kinder to Skin

If you’ve ever experienced itching, burning, or irritation after using a traditional period pad, it could be because of a reaction to the harsh chemicals they contain.

That’s right — as well as increasing your risk of toxic shock syndrome, yeast infections and contact with harmful toxins, studies have linked traditional period products to dermatitis, which can cause skin irritation, itchiness, dryness, rashes and blisters.  

Switching to period undies, reusable sanitary pads or cotton pad that doesn’t contain dyes or other irritants can help to prevent dermatitis, in particular if you have sensitive skin. 

Not to mention that reusable solutions are much more comfortable than traditional products. Say goodbye to bulky, rustling, sticky, chafing pads and hello to soft, natural comfort!

Are Reusable Period Products Hygienic?

It’s clear that reusable period products are better for our health than traditional products, but are they as hygienic?

Yes, reusable period products are hygienic. That is to say that period blood is hygienic (there’s nothing “dirty” about it), which means so are your period undies or reusable period pads!

As with any period product though, you need to make sure you change them in line with your flow, and wash them between uses according to care instructions to prevent bacteria building up. Just remember that hot water doesn't work well with blood, so washing at high temperatures may lead to stains. Also worth avoiding fabric softener to prevent leaks from build up.

We hope you found this helpful.  If you've got any questions about making the switch to reusable period products, please get in touch.  We're a small team who all use the products ourselves and LOVE to help people ditch disposables.  Nothing is TMI!

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About the Author: Helen Rankin founded Cheeky Wipes, the original reusable wipes kit back in 2008 after disposable wipes caused her eczema to flare up. 4 kids later, internal period protection such as tampons or menstrual cups were no longer an option for her and she went on to develop their range of 'Simple Reusables' to include period pants and reusable sanitary pads.

The Cheeky customer services team pride themselves on providing honest, friendly advice and just LOVE to chat pee, poo and periods all day long, helping people make the switch to reusables! The Company was recognised for their hard work in developing environmentally friendly products with the Queens Award in Enterprise for Sustainable Development in 2021.


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