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A bit of menstrual math: The average woman spends $7 a month on gear for her period. That’s $84 a year, which, over 40 years worth of periods, totals up to $3360. I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather put that tidy sum towards a trip to Hawaii. Or a crazy-expensive handbag. Or a dozen pairs of really, really nice shoes. Ahead a handful of ideas that will make your period tidier, more comfortable, and let you spend on worthier pursuits.
Lena Menstrual Cup
I know, I know, collecting your menstrual blood in a cup sounds about as appealing as, well, collecting your menstrual blood in a cup. But the reality turns out to be no more unappealing than using tampons. The flexible inserts aren’t messy to use or to remove. They don’t leak, and you can leave them in for 12 hours, which adds up to full day at the office plus after-work drinks. Plus, they pay their keep in three and a half moon cycles and then keep on keeping on for years.
REUSABLE PANTY LINERS
Lunapads Performa Washable Pad
You’ve got your tampon alternative courtesy of the menstrual cup, and now for its dance partner, the reusable panty liner. I’m honestly not sure why these haven’t caught on in a bigger way. Not only do they do the obvious good of reducing waste, they’re more comfortable than disposable pads and protect against leaks just as well. Another bonus: Women-owned brand Lunapads donates its product to girls in developing countries so they can continue to attend school during their periods.
Box Naturals Rosewater Wipes
I’ve been using baby wipes to keep my period tidier since forever, but they have a couple obvious disadvantages. 1) They typically come in super-size packs that you’d need an equally super-size handbag to tote. 2) They smell like they were made for babies, which of course they were. This grown-up take from Box Naturals keep your, ahem, box clean, smells nice, and is packaged in individual sachets that will fit in the tiniest clutch you own with plenty of room to spare.
HOT WATER BOTTLE
Oakhurst Hot Water Bottle
You can take Tylenol, or Midol, or countless other pain relievers when cramps have you curled up in gut-wrenching agony. In my experience, though, nothing’s better than heat. Lie on your back and place this hot water bottle, all dressed up in a cozy little sweater, over your abdomen and give it 20 minutes bake out at least some of the pain.
Thinx Hiphugger Panties
The first time I learned of the existence of panties designed to eliminate the need for tampons or pads, the whole concept seemed suspect—and more than a little gross. But in reality lined, moisture-wicking lingerie absorbs the equivalent of up to two tampons and just feel like wearing regular underpants. Thinx come in a variety of styles, from heavy-flow hiphuggers to a thong that works for 4th-day dregs. Buy five in various absorbencies and your month’s sorted.
Dear Kate Go Commando Yoga Full-Length
Working on the same concept as period panties, Dear Kate’s Kommando yoga pants let you exercise free of panties, pads or other encumbrances. They’re also pretty great as PJ bottoms, helping you get through the month without having to buy yet another new set of sheets.
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