Okay. I am not talking about visiting people, but rather that monthly friend that comes to visit most women. After a 5 year hiatus from my visits, I was recently reintroduced to the joys of menstruation. I was one of those lucky few who have no sign or hint of menstruation during nursing — thus the extended time between…. For those of you who are disgusted by the discussion of menstruation, go ahead, leave and come back tomorrow!
Most women menstraute for about 40 years (from first menses to menopause). I am about half way in between, which means I have about 20 years left of visits from my monthly friend. I know most women use disposable pads or tampons during menstruation. I, however, use cloth pads. See, I calculated how many disposable pads I would need to last the next 20 years.: 5-7 days of menstration at an average 4-5 pads a day=35 pads a month (perhaps on the high side) . Menstruation comes every 28-35 days. That is 420 pads a year. Multiply that by the number of years that you have to menstruate. My mother was still menstruating when she passed away in her 50s. So, I estimate that I have 20 years left. I would use 8400 pads in the next 20 years. That is a lot! Now if you want to prepare for economic hardship or peak oil by storing up on pads, you would have to store that many.
Are there any other females in your family? I have two daughters — one of which is menstrauting and the other is not yet. They have about 40 years of menstration each. Yep. We would have to have a storehouse of pads to support us through our menstruation. Who has room for that? I certainly don’t. I would rather store something useful, such as wheat, over menstrual pads.
What is someone to do when faced with the possibility of a future without disposable pads? Think about it — for most of us, our mothers or grandmothers (and certainly our great grandmothers) lived before the invention of disposable pads. They got by. How? By using rags (the term “on the rag”), or other bits of cloth which would serve as something washable and reusable until the next period. I use cloth pads — (gladrags and lunapads are two popular choices to purchase). You can also make your own pads.
For those of you who prefer tampons, there are additional options. Tampons really can dry you out, so things like a DivaCup or a Keeper work well — they capture the fluid instead of soaking it up. You remove the item dump and clean and reinsert. I figure for a lifetime, you may only need a few. Again, less of a need to have your own warehouse for menses!
I realize that some of you may not be ready for the nondisposable route toward dealing with your monthly visits, however, keep this in the back of your mind. The time may come when you need to figure out something else (do you really want to spend extra money on something to throw away?) Keep some around — just in case!