Menstrual hygiene and taking care of our vaginal health are still a challenge for many women and female individuals. There are so many products out there that claim they know what’s best for your vaginal protection. However, many feminine care industries are run by men and have additional ingredients and materials that aren’t safe for the vagina. We’re here to give you accurate information about what menstrual hygiene product brands to use and all recommendations are created by women. First, let’s dive into what we know about menstrual hygiene.
What Are the Myths of Vaginal Hygiene
Some common myths about vaginal hygiene you may have heard are:
- Douching is needed to keep the vagina clean
- Douche if there’s a vaginal odor
- It’s okay to use water to clean the vagina
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health, 1/5 of women between the ages of 15 to 44 years old are douching in the United States. Douching can cause several problems such as pelvic inflammatory disease, bacterial vaginosis, cervical cancer, preterm birth, STD, infertility, recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis, and more. (The National Institutes of Health)
Menstrual Hygiene What We Know
Most women know the bare hygiene essentials when they are first taught about the menstrual cycle. However, some may be surprised to hear that not all women or female individuals are informed about the basic knowledge of a period and how to navigate it safely. Well, here is a quick brush-up list of what we need to know about menstrual hygiene:
- Washing the Vagina Regularly: Bathe and shower regularly every week. Cleaning the outer parts of the female genitalia is important. There are a lot of ailments and bacteria that cover our bodies and it’s important to keep our hands, body, and vagina clean. This will help prevent odor, especially during your menstrual cycle.
- Wash Externally: Yes, the vagina cleans itself, however, you can still wash the external area of the vagina the correct way. No using douches they are unsafe, and no shampoos or harsh soaps. There are some safe soaps with no scents that are best for cleaning the external part of the vagina.
- Wipe From Front to Back: When you accidentally wipe back to front this can cause harmful bacteria to come to your vagina which can lead to UTIs and yeast infections. Always go to the front and then back.
- Change Pads and Tampons Often: When you do not frequently change your feminine products it can lead to toxic shock syndrome (TSS). Know your flow and how many you need for the day. Pads and Tampons are the most well-known menstrual products in the world, make sure to use a fresh one every time you use the restroom.
You may be familiar with pads and tampons, but not all feminine products are safe. Here we have four reliable brands that were created by women using safe materials and natural ingredients. Remember to always do your research and finds what menstrual products are right for your cycle.
4 Products Kiss and Tell Magazine Recommends
“Founded by women with sky-high standards, we make period and sexual wellness products with you in mind. No mystery ingredients. So many ways to customize.”
This company uses no toxins or dyes, and everything is high quality with natural ingredients. Here are the two best-selling products, one for vaginal health, and the other for periods.
This 5.51 Fl oz is only $9
This wash is gynecologist-approved, hypoallergenic, and helps you maintain a Ph balance with no synthetics or chemicals.
Clean ingredients left featured include grapefruit, lavender, and aloe.
This product is also $9 and is used for all of life’s moments. Whether you’re on your period, went to the gym, are a little sweaty, or have had sex; it gives you a fresh clean.
Ingredients are 100% bamboo viscose. It’s hypoallergenic, gynecologist approved, and supports Ph balance.
This product contains 18 tampons for $9 and comes with a compact plastic applicator. You can customize based on your current needs. If you need light, regular, super, and super + based on your current menstruation flow.
These tampons are 100% organic and made from BPA-free plastic.
Sustainable underwear that is versatile and holds up to 3 times the regular tampon equivalent. It’s made of breathable cotton and is machine washable.
One pair is $30 but you can get 3 pairs for 15% off using the code UNDERWEAR.
With all-natural and safe ingredients, these products focus on the protection and health of the vagina and its needs. So, if you need period care and absorbency then these are the ideal products from this brand.
The co-founders are siblings Brianna and Bobby, and their goal has always been to solve the PMS symptoms that women face. Their research has helped work on menstrual health, menopause, gut health, and vaginal health. So far, they have been able to alleviate ¾ of the PMS effects.
Their product FLO by OPositiv is a vitamin capsule or gummy that focuses on pain relief.
A bottle of capsules or gummies with a subscription is $27.99. Or if you are doing a one-time purchase, it’s $34.99
FLO helps alleviate cramps, bloating, hormonal acne, and mood swings. An all-plant-based alternative with ingredients: chaste berry, Dong Quai, vitamin B6, and Lemon Balm.
The CEO and Founder is a mother of three and her story begins with her daughters who share their frustrations of school. The awkwardness of the menstrual cycle and the sanitary conditions of disposing of period products in the bathroom. The CEO recalls feelings the same way about her cycle. Having a period is nothing to be ashamed of but making it easy to throw away your used menstrual products was a bit of a challenge. Thus, SNUCS was created, a travel, water, and odor-proof Ziplock pouch that lasts for 24-hour use. There are fifteen pouches per box.
1 Pack– 8.96
2 Pack– 15.98
3 Pack– 26.38
This is a great product for individuals who are self-conscious about disposing of their feminine products. To reduce any mess or discomfort this helps clean the mess and dispose of it safely. Less self-conscious and more comfortable in the bathroom when you do your business.
Lauren Wang, Founder and CEO of FLEX, says, “Don’t blame your body. For generations, we’ve accepted that our period week should be uncomfortable. It’s time to change the status quo.” According to Lauren, her mission is: “We’re on a mission to help people with periods thrive, which means menstrual products are just the beginning. We believe in a world where the vagina isn’t a bad word, where trans men and non-binary menstruators are part of the conversation, and where nobody is turned away from essential period care due to their financial situation.”
Her strong affirmations about menstrual cycles and finding healthy safe solutions is what made me recommend this brand.
Flex Menstrual Disc
A menstrual disc is a new sustainable alternative to tampons and pads. This new period product sits in a different part of the vagina known as the vaginal fornix; this is the widest part of the vaginal canal beneath the cervix. There are two popular types of Flex Discs the Flex Menstrual Disc and Flex Reusable Disc.
Firstly, the Flex Menstrual Disc gives you size options based on your period flow.
If you have a Light flow, you will receive 4 Discs (If you use about 1-2 tampons on heavy days) for 11.99
If you have a Medium flow, you will receive 8 Discs (If you use about 3-5 tampons on heavy days) for 11.99
Lastly, if you have a Heavy flow, you will receive 12 Discs (If you use about 6+ tampons on heavy days) 13.99
Ingredients include Medical grade polymers, Mineral oil, Carbon black (for rim color), and Antioxidants
The Flex Reusable Disc
This is one size only and holds blood up to the equivalent of six super tampons. Made with 100% reusable medical-grade silicone this disc costs $34.99. To use either disc you must hold in place by your pubic bone by your pubic bone, leaving your vaginal canal unobstructed. For Reusable Discs you will need to clean the disc using cold water and mild soap, then rinse with warm water and store it in its pouch.
This cup is perfect for those who aren’t comfortable with the Flex Disc and its insertion process. With Flex Cup you are inserting it into the vaginal canal at the lowest position about a knuckle deep.
The steps on how to simply insert the cup are to unthread the pull-tab, wash cup using warm water and mild soap, and rethread the pull tab into the clean cup. Next, fold the cup, there are three popular folds you can do, insert the cup into your vaginal canal sliding it up and back toward your tailbone. Once the cup is in the lowest position make sure the cup has opened completely by inserting a clean finger into the vagina and gently press on one side of the vaginal wall to help open it up.
There are two sizes you can choose from based on your flow:
- Size 1 has the capacity of two super tampons and is great for first-time menstrual cup users who have light or heavy flows.
- Size 2 has the capacity of 3 super tampons and is for experienced cup users who like a bigger size or have had 2+ vaginal births.
Flex Cup is 100% suction free and made of Medical grade silicone, with no BPA’s, phthalates, or natural rubber latex. It’s reusable, stain-proof, and does not absorb odor. Both sizes cost $34.99
All three of these products are safe and made with gynecologist-approved materials. It does get a little messy when disposing of menstrual contents but a great buy.
Keep This in Mind Going Forward on Menstrual Hygiene Products
Now that you are aware of these 4 reliable brands, it’s time to take a step into a new era of feminine products. There are more brands out there that are women-owned, all-natural ingredient based, and with gynecologist-approved materials to start. Find out what products match your needs and comfort level. The future of feminine products is a vast one and there are many new ones out there for menstruating beginners and experts alike. Join the conversation, research thoroughly, and talk about it. We hope that these four products are a starting point for your menstrual hygiene journey.