Reusable Pads: Your questions answered

Reusable Pads: Your questions answered

Switching to reusables can feel like a big jump, but it doesn’t need to be scary at all. We all have different bodies, and need different things from our sanitary products and that’s why we’ve developed a range of amazing reusable pads to meet different needs. This blog is here to answer your questions about reusable pads and help you find a pad that fits the needs of your body.

What is the difference between a reusable menstrual and disposable pad?

It’s pretty simple really. Reusable pads are made from materials that can be washed and reused, unlike disposables which are designed to be thrown out after one use. One massive benefit of this is that we can use much better quality materials than disposables, so they are kinder to you skin, and you can wear them for longer without changing them. It also works out cheaper for you in the long run and helps the environment, as you’re cutting down on the plastic you throw out.

How do reusable pads work?

Our pad is made up of three layers. The top layer of the pad is super soft, so it feels just like you’re wearing your normal underwear. The technical materials are super absorbent and make sure that the moisture absorbs instantly so it will not feel damp or irritating. The unique style, shape and thinness of the pad makes our pads super comfy and also make sure that the pad will not bunch up or disintegrate throughout the day.

Blood or liquid is absorbed through that soft top layer into the core of the pad where it’ll stay until washed. The core of our pads can absorb much more than a normal disposable pad. As a result, we can keep our pads as thin as any disposable whilst making them much more absorbent. This means you don’t need to worry about a pad line showing through your clothes.

The bottom layer of the pad is waterproof to give you added security that there won’t be any leaks. The black fabric of the pad also means you don’t need to worry about it showing through certain clothing and can make you feel confident.

How does a reusable pad stay in place?

Just like a disposable pad, our pads all have wings to hold them in place. The wings of our pads have poppers on them which you clip together round the bottom of your underwear to hold the pad comfortably in place.



How do you wash and clean reusable period pads?

When you’re ready to wash your reusable pads, just throw them in a cold wash and then dry them on a washing line or put them in a tumble dryer. It really is that easy!



The Superstar

We’ve spoken to a lot of women about what they care about most in their period product, and we’ve designed our pad around that, to make a super-comfortable, discreet pad that you know isn’t going to leak. Our ‘Superstar’ pad is our standard pad. It absorbs 16ml of liquid – the same amount as two disposables or a period cup.

The Little One

Lots of people use liners either when they think their period is starting or coming to an end and we wanted to provide a reusable alternative. It’s a smaller version of our ‘Superstar’ pad, and is perfect if you’re concerned about small leaks, or if you’re not sure you want to commit to reusables as yet but want to give it a try.

The Backup

Lots of people who use a tampon or a cup also wear a disposable pad, because they worry about leaks. Most of the time this pad is not going to be needed but, if it is, it can absorb as much as a tampon

The Active One

A lot of us also have to worry about leaking urine, whether that’s due to the sports we play or a result of having a baby. Either way, it can stop you being as active as you’d like to be. Many of us wear period pads to absorb this urine, but find them uncomfortable and itchy. This pad is specially designed to let you get active with confidence and in comfort.

The Sleepy One

We all know that horrible feeling of blood on your underwear, PJs and bedsheets. Our nighttime pad is super long and soft, so you won’t even know it’s there, while it makes sure everything stays where it should.

Go to our shop now to get the right pad for you!

The best reusable pad in the UK?

We love our pads, but you don’t just have to take our word for how great they are. Read reviews from our customers – including some who were pretty unsure about the idea of going reusable before they tried ours!

Amy: “Lilypads pads were super comfy and were really well designed to fit the body and aren’t bulky at all.
The main bonus for me was finding an alternative to the usual heavily scented disposable pads. It was always a worry while using disposable pads that I didn’t actually know what chemicals were in them. It was hugely liberating to not have that worry with the reusable pads!”

Shirin: “Honestly, it really isn’t an exaggeration to say these pads are life-changing. the reality is that disposable sanitary products just don’t give you that quality, comfort and security. I’m a menstrual cup user, but like a lot of people, I’m in constant fear of leaks, especially as I work in an all-male office. Using the lilypads reusable panty liners as back up means I’m covered in terms of leaks, and I’m comfortable. Gone are the days of feeling like I’m sitting in a soggy plastic landfill!”

Why I’m now a convert to reusable pads

Why I’m now a convert to reusable pads

For as long as I can remember my periods have been heavy and painful. Its not something I dwell on but I always viewed periods as something to endure or ‘get through’ even. Not exactly what you want considering the average woman will spend 10 years on her period in her lifetime(yes 10 YEARS). I viewed my period products in much the same way – I got by and I endured the annoying side effects that came with using disposable  and heavily scented pads. These being the itching , the irritation and the chaffing to name just a few. Until one day I decided I had enough! I had to make a change. Periods have rightly so been a hot topic of conversation in the media of late and through this I realised I did have other options,options that would not only benefit me but the environment to. Through researching these alternative and more sustainable  options I discovered reusable pads, cups and period pants. The one that appealed the most to me was the reusable pads after all they were still pads but I was intrigued to see how they might feel different and what effect this might have on me and my periods.

Trying lilypads reusable pads for the first time I have to admit I was apprehensive , nervous even. Having never tried them before I really didn’t know what to expect other than what I had researched online. I opened them slowly and peaked in to see some lightweight and cool yes cool cloth pads not a word I would usually use to describe pads! Now confession time I did have visions …or dare I say it nightmares of reuable pads being big and bulky. Lets just say I could not have been more wrong. The design of lilypads reusable pads is right up my street – the black design of the pads makes them look sleek and modern. Not something I would initially say is important for a pad but considering you will be wearing it again and again I think its important they looked aesthetically pleasing. But now for the real talk and what you’ve probably been waiting for… did they actually work and how did they feel? Well my most frequent fear was that the pads would feel ‘damp’ for a better word while I was wearing them on my period as I bled. Another worry was if I would feel protected – having heavy periods this was a big concern. The answer is a huge no to feeling damp and a huge yes to feeling protected. I didn’t feel that icky damp  feeling at all but one tip is to always have a bundle of reusables at hand to change regularly. Much like my disposable pads I still had to change my reusables regularly but I found I felt fresher for longer and so much for comfortable. I  definitely felt  protected from leaks as my reusables felt secure with the handy button fastening keeping them in place. You might be wondering how you wash them and how that all works.Well to be honest I had no idea before I first tried lilypads reusable pads how to wash them ,luckily the super handy instructions that came with the pads explained how to go about washing them. You can simply stick your lilypads resuable in a cold wash (30-40 degrees) with your other washing for the day but just make sure to not include any whites or bedsheets and DON’T dry wash or tumble dry them. But was it all just a big faff you might be wondering. Honestly… no it wasn’t  – but I would say for it not to become an annoyance I would always make sure to have a bundle of them at hand to change easily. I did forget one day to actually wash them in time for the next day( blame it on a lack of coffee that day) but apart from that its no different from remembering to do your laundry each day.

The most profound change for me personally was to not have to deal with any of the nasty side effects that came with using disposable pads.Resuables felt so much more comfortable against my skin. I felt happy knowing I was no longer contributing to the immense pollution our menstrual products can cause to the environment but that’s a whole other story I could go on and on about! Overall I would definitely say I’m a convert to reusables but to make them work for my busy lifestyle I  think initially I would wear them on my lighter days to start with and most definitely at night( as they are sooo comfy) this is simply until I can get into a rhythm of washing them.

Pain inequality: Differences in pain and how this reflects an unequal healthcare system

Pain inequality: Differences in pain and how this reflects an unequal healthcare system

‘Who handles pain better? Women or men?’ This question circled my biology class at school more than once. Frustrating me, definitely more than once. Today, I am not even going to attempt to answer it. Instead I want to shine a light on the harmful inequality and biases which surround pain even today, focusing on the gender pain bias.

Pain difference based on biological sex is tricky to understand, how can we truly ever know what someone else is going through? Well, sadly we can’t. Although there are some pretty incredible researchers out there attempting to uncover more about pain, I will be focusing my attention to the social side of this issue- how pain is perceived and treated. I am not a health professional, but have based this on verified research with the aim to try and demonstrate how instilled and stretched gender biases are within society.

Recently, pain disparity has come to the forefront of our headlines. The Vagina Mesh scandal revealed thousands of faulty mesh implants were implanted leaving women with chronic pain and life long side effects. The needless suffering experienced by these women and the initial dismissal of these women’s complaints highlighted clearly that women’s pain can be institutionally misunderstood and prompted us to question ‘how can this still be happening?’

So what is the pain gap between men and women?

Firstly, it is important to outline the complexity of this issue. Pain disparity does not refer to just one thing. How our bodies respond and experience pain, how treatment responds to our bodies, how healthcare professional perceive our levels of pain and how we explain our pain levels are all unique factors involved and highlight pain’s multifaceted nature.

What I can tell you is that men and women are treated differently when it comes to pain.

Women in emergency departments who have reported acute pain are less likely to be given opioid painkillers compared to men. On top of this, it will take longer for women to receive them compared to men. Another study revealed that in reference to chronic pain women were more likely to suffer from it, yet more likely to be dismissed. Now is this because women experience less pain? Well, no. In 2011 the Institute of Medicine published a report on chronic pain titled ‘Relieving Pain in America’. It found that women tended to suffer more from pain yet their reports were more likely to be dismissed. How we experience pain is too vast and complex to explore within this article, but I encourage you to have a little research yourself as some of the insights are super interesting!

What causes pain to be treated differently is hard to say. Is it implicit gender bias which is instilled within everyone? Is it assumptions about pain and how they impact women? Is it that pain actually impacts different biological sexes differently?

To start with let’s take a trip through history to make my first point…

Healthcare and medicine is never separate from society. Despite striving for objectivity, science, health and medicine have been socially constructed through time and reflect the ideas, movements and people around it. From antiquity to the so called sexual revolution of the 1960s, medical movements and ideas are constructed on the societal attitudes of the time, they are a part of history and therefore replicate the inequalities within its society. (I hope you are still with me- this is heavy stuff, take a breath)
Classical Greek philosophers such as Aristotle proclaimed the one sex model which presented the female anatomy as an inverted version of males, and thus inferior. Of course, we have come a long way from Aristotle, but the point stands that medicine has been used as a tool throughout history to subordinate groups of people or justify oppression based on societies desires at any one time. Even within the modern period we can see society and culture interconnecting to science. The so called ‘sexual revolution’ of the 1960s and the greater awareness and access to contraception remained reflective of the half-hearted acceptance of the sexually liberated women. Access was provided to married women only, and commonly only married, middle class women. Society and the ruling elites had not fully accepted the sexually active women and therefore healthcare was not too either. The work of activists, movements and oppressed individuals entering the medical sphere however should not be overlooked. They have made great progress to smash through barriers and overcome biases but more work is still to be done. Medicine is intertwined with the societies and culture it belongs in. Where inequality remains, medicine will reflect it.

So how can this explain the pain disparity? The often citied study “The Girl Who Cried Pain: A bias Against Women in the Treatment of Pain” found that women were less likely to receive aggressive treatment and were more likely to for their pain to be characterised as emotional or psychogenic and therefore not as relevant. Now this is relevant to our argument as it can demonstrate how instilled perceptions, stereotypes and assumptions about someone can influence their treatment. Were these women suffering less than their male equivalents? I doubt it. Yet their pain was attributed to emotion. Now this is not harmful for just women, the fact that men’s pain is less likely to be attributed to emotion is dangerous also. Yentl Syndrome also reveals the expectation that women should have to prove their pain is as serious as a man’s to be taken seriously.

The point of reference…

As well as instilled perceptions and stereotypes, the ‘standard’ human being, is male.

The female body is viewed as atypical when it comes to research or points of reference, despite being 50% of the global population. The reference man, used a standard human is usually a white man in his 30s weighing 70kg. Research for example on the prescribed amount of a drug you should take is commonly based on this criterion. Commonly drugs are tested primarily on men leading to unknown consequences for women depsiteit being known that drugs impact the sexes differently due to hormone levels, organ size and body ft composition. Just this year the Food and Drug Administration announced changes to the prescribed dose of Ambien for women.
To me that shows the scale of the problem we are facing here. But what harmful effect does this cause? Well it means that the female body is less understood in general. Leeds University researchers revealed that women are 50% more likely to be misdiagnosed from a heart attack compared to men due to the fact that heart trials typically use male participants.

Now what about actual clinical trials? Well I am sorry to say, these are no better. In 2005 a review of research in the journal of Pain, it was discovered that 79% of pain studies involved only male animals. Now for me there are two issues here, one pain trials for animals (but that is a debate for another day) and two the fact that biological sex seems to have been dismissed.

So back to the attitude towards female pain.

Reproductive female illnesses can demonstrate the lived reality that women’s pain is not taken as seriously as men’s. Worldwide an estimated 1 in 10 menstruators have endometriosis. Despite its prevalence this serious disease takes between 7 and 10 years to diagnose. 7 to 10 years! On top of this, 70% of chronic pain sufferers are women yet 80% of chronic pain study participants are men. Female pain is not recognised for what it is.

As the ‘reference man’ reveals (a white, 30 year old, 70Kg man reveals) there are lots of other factors tied into health inequality other than gender inequality. Race, class, body size to name a few are the other factors at play leading to biases and inequality within medicine. Recently a post went viral outlining the harm caused by the fact that medical textbooks and resources omit black individuals or skin. Conditions such as skin conditions are therefore studied and internalised by medical students using only white skin as reference when the symptoms and signs on black skin may be different. This is another glaring example of the fact that medicine is not equal.

Of course I could go on and on about the pain bias. The biology behind it, the variations across different locations and throughout different cultures. The topic is vast and requires more attention. What I have tried to do today, is shine a light on the reality that pain is viewed differently based on biological sex and this is dangerous. The dismissal of anyone within healthcare can be harmful but when perceptions and procedures become institutional it becomes more dangerous and subtle and thus harder to identify and address. Much more work is still needed to come.