Surprising products to help you through your period

From green-ifying our periods to helping us stay on track, there is no denying these products are adding some variety to our monthly visit.

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After roughly 318 visits from Aunt Flow (yes, I calculated), I think I’m stuck in a menstruation rut. Each month, I stock up on the obligatory menstrual paraphernalia (tampons, Midol, chocolate) and just go about my business. Unbeknownst to me, menstruation is seeing some interesting, if not peculiar, products to help us track, time and green-ify our cycle. Here’s a quick peek at three I found the most interesting:

1. Tampon Minder
This hands-on app keeps you from forgetting to remove your tampon by sending you a discreet reminder on your smartphone when it’s time to be replaced. Simply customize the program with basic information about your menstrual cycle (start date, duration) and the app notifies you when things need to happen. Here’s the thing: Who are all these women forgetting to remove their tampon? I applaud the intentions of this app, as its main goal is to prevent toxic shock syndrome, a potentially fatal illness caused by bacterial toxin, but I’d also like to believe we’ve got this one covered already.

Note-worthy element: Once you set the app, it sends you stealth reminders on your smartphone that you can customize with songs of your choice. I was torn between Sinatra’s I’ve Got The World On A String or U2’s Sunday Bloody Sunday.

2. Reusable pads and liners
What’s red and green and soft all over? Reusable menstrual pads. These pads and liners are environmentally friendly, cost effective and can liven up your lingerie drawer like nobody’s business with their festive patterns and bursts of colour (no, really). You can buy them individually or in packs, based on your needs. They’re offered in different sizes, for light days to heavy flows. Be sure to purchase the travel pouch too, as getting caught without a discreet bag to stash the used pads in will likely cause as much embarrassment as not using any protection at all.

Note-worthy element: Sure there’s a certain ick factor but there’s also something really appealing about the velour softness some of these reusable pads are made from. A quick Etsy search gives you a huge pattern choice as wide and varied as your flow. Also, I have it on good authority that sticking them in the dryer prior to use helps relieve cramps. Canadian company Lunapads recently donated 400 of their reusable pads to South Africa in order to help keep girls in school. The eco-friendly options also divert over 1 million disposable pads and tampons from landfill sites in North America every month.

3. DivaCup 
Originally developed in the 1930s, the DivaCup is a reusable, menstrual cup that is worn internally. It collects, rather than absorbs, and can be worn up to 12 hours at a time. Made from silicone, this is the only reusable menstrual cup allowed to be sold in Canada. A quick Facebook poll informed me that the DivaCup is a real favourite (and not just among my hippy dippy happy pals). Friends cite ‘absorbency supremacy’ as the main reason they’re such loyal fans of the cup (especially among those who have given birth). When asked about the splatter factor, I’m told that has never been an issue. Ditto for leakage. They’re also one of the most popular items sold on Well’s site.

Note-worthy element: This little cup appears to be saving the environment, our underthings and our wallets. Need more convincing? Watch this video and tell me you wouldn’t think about it.

Do you use any apps or alternative products to help get you through your period?