Cloth based pads are unhygienic and harmful to women's health. How often is this heard? Considering today's society, when more women become aware of menstrual practices, this notion is embedded in their brains despite getting ample information from various sources.
However, in contrast to this ideology, cloth-based pads are highly recommended for use, and they don't cause any infection as misjudged by many.
Though many still question its absorbance and usability, using cloth-based pads is exceptionally good for the environment. Instead of commercially sold chemical-based sanitary napkins, they are better options.
Now, the million-dollar question arises. If such products are a healthy option, why do people harbour so many myths regarding this and still consistently purchase unhealthy commercial pads even today? Sujata Pawar, Founder and CEO of Avni- a startup focused on holistic menstrual care, shares her points with The Logical Indian.
Why Are Cloth Based Pads Demonised In The Indian Market?
The first conceivable reason for the misconception regarding cloth-based period pads is miscommunication. In India, it is prevalent for society to gain knowledge of some products from the television, such as product advertisements or even Bollywood movies. This has positively contributed to misguiding citizens into believing whatever they see on their screens.
Also, many menstrual awareness camps have taught people to stop using traditional handmade cloths as sanitary pads because they transpire unhealthy bacteria and cause infection in their urinary tracts. Understanding their concern on its reusability, however, in the big picture reality, this was just a marketing campaign to sell the commercially made chemical based pads to people.
The incredible growth of sanitary napkins in the market further led urban people to highly demonise the traditionally used cloth pads labelling them as an orthodox practice. Over the years, the western impact and social media have promoted these women to start using tampons and disposable pads instead.
However, in reality, the case is precisely the opposite, as many studies have revealed that commercially sold chemical-based sanitary products are the true villain. Using them can cause several types of yeast and bacteria infections, and their disposability causes extreme harm to the environment. At the same time, there is not enough information available on the internet about the benefits of cloth-based pads to make people conscious.
Some Common Myths Related To Cloth-Based Pads
Myth 1: Cloth pads are not hygienic
Cloth based pads are hygienic, in contrast to popular belief. They are highly sanitary and made with soft fabric; therefore, the chance of getting an infection or rash from them is meagre. They are only harmful if not properly washed before use, but that goes for all types of clothing.
Like any other sanitary product, women should also change cloth-based pads every 4 to 6 hours to maintain cleanliness. Wash them properly, sundry them, and store them in a clean space before using them again. The fact that they are washable, reusable, and highly comfortable to wear makes them the best period focused product for Women in today's market. Some modern-day cloth pad brands also have an antimicrobial technology embedded, giving an additional layer of protection against infections.
Myth 2: Cloth based pads cause leakage
This one might be the most believable myth regarding cloth-based pads. However, it's still not a myth. The fabric does not explicitly imply the lightweight synthetic that will leak with mere few drops when referring to cloth. When made with the correct type of fabric, cloth-based pads will absorb sufficiently. Furthermore, their material is thicker than the average sanitary napkins; hence leakage and stain are improbable, and they feel more comfortable.
Myth 3: Stains on cloth won't wash off properly
Another predominantly used argument against cloth-based pads is that it is tough to wash off the stains. Even in traditional times, when women used these pads, they often threw them away after individual uses. Fortunately, the rumour is untrue because removing stains is an easy task with suitable fabric.
One can try washing the material under running water and soaking it in cold water for 30 minutes. Any difficult stain will wash off, and the remaining stain will be cleaned after tossing it in the washing machine. However, remember not to use hot water to remove stains.
While light stains can remain even after washing nonetheless, this is not something that should disturb most people, considering how cloth-based pads give numerous benefits to our health and environment alike; therefore, putting with slight difficulty shouldn't create a massive turmoil in their lifestyle.
Myth 4: You can't wear a cloth pad during physical activities
While this myth is primarily rooted in the fear that most women have, that is the fear of over leaking during their periods, especially in public. And this often deters them from trying cloth-based pads outside despite their many benefits. But fortunately, there are many cloth-based pads available on the market that cures this problem for all.
Most of them have button closing wings installed so that the pad stays in one place and doesn't cause discomfort. If still concerned, girls can always opt for a larger size pad in the market that covers most of the entire area. Overall, the chances of leaks, folds, and rashes are negligible in cloth-based pads and wearing these; women can climb mountains if they want with no stain at all. Additionally, cloth pads made of organic cotton are the most breathable period product out of all options available in the market.
Learning Merits And Demerits Of The Product
Sujata Pawar states that it is about time that women today finally learn all the merits and demerits of the product they put so much faith in, significantly when these can temper their health and cause severe distress to their lifestyle. Using the type of sanitary product they want to use depends solely on their preference; however, under no circumstances should they can choose without being blind-sighted.
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