Top 3 Alternative Menstrual Products You Should Know

Some gals just don’t want to jump on board the tampon boat or the pad barge when it comes down to periods. Is that such a crime? Alternative menstrual products are something that all ladies should be well-versed in, and yet many of us aren’t. Did you even know there were alternatives?

Well, I’m here to tell you.

Disposable menstrual products are terrible for our environment and they’re terrible for our wallets, too. Why buy them if there are other options?

1. The Cup

The menstrual cup is a safe and effective replacement for the tampon that doesn’t create all the waste. It is made of rubber or silicone and worn inside the vagina just like a tampon. Cups are so safe that no health risks have been found related to their use (unlike tampons). You may never have heard of them, but this option has been on the market since 1932! It’s not the most well-known product, but many women swear by them. Brands that make them: DivaCup, FemmeCup, Keeper, LadyCup, Lunette, MiaCup, Mpowercup, Mooncup, and Softcup.

2. Reusable Pads

If babies can get away with having cloth diapers, I don’t see why women can’t get away with having cloth pads. Not only are reusable pads saving the planet and saving you money, but according to all reports I have seen, they are much more comfortable than your standard pad. Without the annoyance of bulk or allergy, these pads are simple and safe. Brands that make them: Lundapads, Glad Rags, New Moon Pads, Moon Loon Pads, Comfy Cloth Pads, EcoMenses, and plenty of others.

3. Sea Sponges

Sea sponges are another alternative to tampons. They actually come from the ocean floor and are without any synthetic materials. One sea sponge will supposedly last for about six months. All you do is dampen it and place it in the vagina the same way you would a tampon and then rinse it out about every three hours. Totally effective and totally natural. Though, not totally perfect – you can get Toxic Shock Syndrome from sea sponges the same way you can from tampons.

With so many different (and unknown!) alternatives out there, women don’t have to buy into using either brand-name tampons or brand-name pads. If you’re more comfortable with these products, that’s fine. But you should be informed about what else is out there. And you should experiment and find what’s best for you.

[Photo from:]



    1. Bec says:

      Love, Love, Love the DIVA cup, when I first heard about it I was grossed out and thought there is no way I'd ever use that thing. But overtime more and more of my girlfriends were trying it and raving about it, so I finally caved in and picked one up. Its actually amazing, you only need to change it twice a day (in the morning and before bed), its a little scary (and new) at first to use one but so were tampons at one point! Definitely try it. Don't use sea sponges though, they are not an environmentally friendly alternative, they are live creatures being removed from their eco system which messes everything up!

    2. Charlsie - Hollins University says:

      Great article. I think this information isn’t out there and talked about enough, and I know a lot of girls have made the switch from tampons and regular pads over to these products. I think it’s great to see College Candy featuring this, and even more fabulous for you to have written this!

    3. Lily says:

      I loooooove diva cups!!! Everyone should try them!

    4. livewell says:

      Thanks for sharing this! I'm past those years, but will show it to my 18 year old daughter.

    5. Brittany says:

      Moon cups are amazing! I feel so much more environmentally friendly. They are not gross at all.

    6. […] Top 3 Alternative Menstrual Products You Should Know Some gals just don’t want to jump on board the tampon boat or the pad barge when it comes down to periods. Is […] […]

    7. Lily Schmo from Koko says:

      cloth pads are AWESOME!!!!

    8. […] America’s economic downturn so dire that women should resort to reusable sanitary products? That’s what the makers of the DivaCup — a silicone Dixie cup that you insert to catch […]

    9. Kris says:

      I just started using my DivaCup and although I did have a little trouble and pain getting it in the first time (sorry if that's tmi) I love it now. It really is so much easier than pads or tampons and there isn't any of the mess of having your 'ladybusiness' all bloodied up because all of the blood ends up in the cup. I empty mine more than twice a day, but I'm still kind of new to this and a little paranoid that it might overflow on me. But I totally recommend checking it out.

    10. […] Reusable Menstrual Products – There’s the menstrual cup, washable pads, and sea-sponge tampons, all of which you can use, […]

    11. HCR says:

      Yep. I use cloth pads whenever I can. It saves me a lot of money. A LOT of money. I've had 4-5 of them for about 6 years now and they're fine. At least you know who cleaned them! Just because it's white, it doesn't make it clean.

    12. Molly says:

      I made the switch to a cup and love it. I am on my third cycle with it. It took some getting used to (this is the first cycle I've been totally comfortable with it) but I can't see myself ever going back to pads let alone tampons. I only wish I knew about them sooner (I'm 29). I use a Mooncup by Keeper and think cups are the best thing out there. There are many styles so choose the one that looks best to you.

    13. Jackie says:

      I am 49 and just started using a Diva cup and cloth pantyliners…..LOVE them. Wish I knew about all these other things 30 years ago!!

    14. Hapee says:

      FYI I got a yeast infection using the sea sponges, and I was uber-careful about following all sanitation/cleanliness steps and use etc. I am not prone to such infections. I found that the sponges were noticeably abrasive even though they were marketed for this purpose by a specialty company. This abrasiveness, while slight, I think may be why I ended up with the infection. (And yes, of course I was using them dampened, not dry!) Keep in mind that sea sponges are typically marketed for skin care use because they are abrasive even when wet (hence good for exfoliation). But that is not what you want going on “down there”! I would discourage women from using sea sponges as tampon replacements for this reason.

    • You Might Like