Frequently Asked Questions!
1)Which pad should I start with?
If you are looking for pads only, I would suggest that you start with the heaviest pads of the make you are interested in that is not designed for nights. This would include the Eco Femme Day Pad, the Eco Rainbow Heavy pad , the Treehugger Heavy Pad, the Go With The Flo Standard or Shaped Maxi, the HER Ultimini pad, the Little Gumnut 13 inch pad, The GreenCycle Heavy pad, and the Wee Notions Heavy pad. Many women report lighter periods following the switch to cloth pads and this pad will either work for you as a heavy day pad or a night pad if your periods become lighter. I would also suggest that you buy at least one lighter pad or pantyliner for use at the end of your cycle. Some women like to buy 6 or so pads to start so they can try a variety. Others like to buy one per month! We have tried to keep our postage charges low so that it isn’t costly to buy in stages!
If you are looking for backup pads for menstrual cups or sponges, I would suggest looking at the Liners section which has a wide range of suitable pads.
2)I have no knowledge of sanitary pads, for example what size is best?
Pads range in size from 6 inches long to over 17. It depends how tall you are and also your personal preference. I am very tall – about 5 feet 10. I prefer pads at about 11 to 12 inches long for day and 12 to 15 inches long for night. Most people go by the size of the disposable pads they have been using, measure them and use them as a guide.
3) What sort of cloth should I get?
It really does depend on personal preference. There are 3 parts to cloth pads – top against skin, centre absorbent bit and backing fabric. For the top the choice is between natural fabrics whch are more breathable but easier to stain and manmade fabrics which are stain resistant but less breathable. The most popular natural is bamboo velour. The most popular manmade is minkee.
For the backing there are few pads with no backing but I would recommend you try pads with either water resistant or water proof backing. I would always suggest that women have at least one pad backed in PUL which is totally water proof unless the pad becomes totally sodden and then leaks round the side. Many people though prefer water resistant fabrics such as polyester fleece and wool. Of those wool is probably more breathable.
One other significant difference in cloth pads is whether they have absorbent wraparound wings or just small attaching wings on the back. The small attaching wings are loved by many as they make the pad less bulky to wear. But the wraparound wings provide better protection. I tend to wear the small winged ones on normal times and wraparound on heavy times and nights.
4)Which pads that you stock have more than one popper so that you can adjust them to fit different sizes of panties?
All Wee Notions and Homestead Emporium pads have 2 popper fastenings. All Moon Times pads have aplix fastening instead of poppers making them very adjustable. It is important to note that European underwear comes in many different widths. It is best not to assume that the pads you buy will definitely fit but to measure across it and check against the measurements given in the pad description. This is especially the case with smaller pads which often have only one popper setting and are typically narrower than larger pads
5) Which materials in the pads are most absorbent?
There is no absolutely agreed opinion on this! It has always been thought that bamboo and hemp based materials are more absorbent than cotton based materials. Recently however a new fabric of microfibre and natural fibres has been produced called zorb which has built a very good reputation and is used in our pads made by Eco Rainbow, Little Gumnut and Treehugger. Many pads use a proven mix of materials ie not just one to make up the pads
6) Which is the most absorbent pad?
My first choice has always been the Megamax and Ultimax pads by Homestead Emporium. We currently stock these with cotton/bamboo velour tops with cotton/bamboo inners. They are very large but slim pads and cleverly designed to especially cope well with nights and postpartum. I also now rate the Mega pad by Honour Your Flow as being equally good as the organic cotton is very absorbent – plus you can get PUL backed versions of this if you want whereas the Megamaxes and Ultimaxes come only in fleece backed which doesn’t cope with flooding quite as well.
7) Which is the best waterproof backing?
Preferences vary greatly. That is why we provide a range! PUL has always been agreed to be most waterproof and makes for a trim pad but some people find it a bit sweaty and less breathable. Some people think it is slippy and doesnt stay in place quite as well but some of our pads have a further cotton outer or cotton coating to address this. Windpro or polyester fleece works very well. It stays in place well but isnt quite as waterproof as PUL. Wool is extremely luxurious and comfortable and again not as waterproof as PUL. The most recent backing to be used is windbloc and polartec fleece which is fleece and has its breathability but is very dense and is regarded as as waterproof as PUL.
The Moon Times pads have no waterproof backing but you choose how many pads you require for them to work for you. Additionally the thong pads and pantyliners by Angelpadz are made without waterproof backing and need to be changed accordingly when necessary.
8) Which pads do you stock that are not backed by PUL?
The Moon Times pads, most Homestead Emporium pads except where stated, Go With The Flo which are all fleece backed or wool backed, all Angelpadz Thong pads and Pantyliners, some of the Little Gumnut, some of the Honour Your Flow all Eco Rainbow except Night. Some of the Little Gumnut, Honour Your Flow and Go With The Flo pads are backed by wool. All the pad descriptions state the backing of the pad so you are clear what you are buying.
9)How many pads do you need?
It depends on how often you wash clothes and how often you need to change your pad. Most women who use cloth menstrual pads report having from between 12 to 20 pads. Some do have more but thats sometimes as they like to have a large collection to choose from!
10) Which of your pads are wraparound?
All our pads attach with poppered wings round underwear except a few pads that state they are wingless. Those with absorbent wraparound wings are Wee Notions, Angelpadz, Eco Rainbow , Moon Times, Treehugger, Honour Your Flow and the wrap pads by Homestead Emporium.
11) Which menstrual cup is right for me -which should I buy?
The most important factors to choosing a cup are:
1) Choose right length . You need a cup that can fit under your cervix and be a comfortable fit within your vagina. This provides a good guide http://sizecharts.livejournal.com .
2) Consider your flow. If you have a heavy flow it is better to choose a cup with higher capacity such as the larger Mamicup, Femmycycles, Large and XL Me Luna and the Medium and Large Luv Ur Body. In addition a lot of women give good feedback on the Fleurcup as it has a round shape allowing good capacity for its size.
3) Consider the width. If you are used to inserting things in your vagina you will find it easier to wear medium to wider cups. If not you may wish to try narrower cups.
4) Many cups come with paper instruction leaflets so you may find this useful if you are new to menstrual cups.
5) Lastly there are lots of different colours and styles and sofnesses so you may wish to look at the softness/firmness , the type of handle provided to remove the cup, the ease of cleaning, the colour and the shape of the cup. Very soft cups may be harder to get a good seal on so if you are new to menstrual cups it may be better to try a firmer cup to start with.
The best guide is found here:http://sizecharts.livejournal.com/ It gives you a way to choose and also has a unique graph of the sizes and widths of all the cups on the market . In addition this is a guide to the softness and firmness of cups called the stiffness chart ; http://menstrualcupinfo.wordpress.com/cup-stiffness-comparison-chart/ Bear in mind that things do change and with the best intentions these may not be absolutely bang up to dateI
Then as an overall resource for all Menstrual Cups the best information source is the Menstrual Cups community on Livejournal: http://menstrual-cups.livejournal.com/ They have a useful resource section covering seemingly every subject you could need help including detailed information on most cups sold worldwide.I also find this personal site by Obsidian a Livejournal member to be very helpful with a lot of good cup information in one place and well structured: http://labyrinth.net.au/~obsidian/clothpads/TheCups.html
Additionally there are now a lot of useful practical how to use them practical tips videos on You Tube – do a name of cup or general menstrual cup search such as http://uk.youtube.com/results?search_query=mooncup&search_type=&aq=f
For individual cup information – for Mooncups the best place to start is the Frequently Asked Questions section from the Mooncup website: http://www.mooncup.co.uk/menstrual_cup_faq.html They also offer an advice service on Telephone number : +44 (0) 1273 673845 . I have also found some of the talk threads advice on the Talk section of the Mumsnet website informative- see www.mumsnet.com/Talk – Either look at the Health section or do a search on Mooncup.
For Femmecup the best place to start is the Frequently Asked Questions from the Femmecup site: http://www.femmecup.com/faq.html
For MeLuna cups they are helpful by email: firstname.lastname@example.org and their FAQs are good: http://meluna.eu/meluna-faq.html
For Lunette the FAQs are useful: http://www.lunette.com/index.php?id=27 and you can also contact them through the site
You are also welcome to contact us for advice as per our Contact Us section. However if you have medical concerns you should seek qualified medical advice.
10) What are the differences between the menstrual cups we stock?
13) Which pad topping would be the best for me? How do I make a choice?
As per the choice of backing, preferences vary! The most stain resistant are the man made fabrics such as fleece, minkee and lycra. Some people are more comfortable with natural fibres against their skin and prefer toppings made of hemp, cotton, soy and bamboo. We get very good feedback on the comfort of velour fabrics. Some women choose fabrics with organic content which we stock in bamboo velour, flannel cotton and cotton ecru. We stock some pads that are undyed so that women have the choice of non dyed fabrics with organic content. Overall currently the best selling fabric toppings are minkee, bamboo velour and cotton. I would suggest that you try these if you are having difficulty making a choice and also try a variety. If you have ever had issues with sensitivity to disposable pads or issues with thrush I would definitely suggest choosing natural fibres.
14) Are your pads suitable for incontinence?
Yes they are suitable for light incontinence use. I have in the past advised that PUL backed are likely to be more suitable but this is changing. All Little Gumnut pads are designed to be suitable for incontinence especially those with windbloc fleece backing as it is exceptionally dense. The Mega pad by Honour Your Flow is also designed for more heavy incontinence use.
15) How do I find all the pads made by one maker/manufacturer rather than searching by pad topping?
You go to the Manufacturers box on the bottom right of the Home Page. Find the name you want, press it and it will bring up all the products made by that WAHM or our other Manufacturers. The only products which wont be listed are the Trial packs which contain more than one maker’s product.
16) Can I pay by credit card?
Yes we accept all major credit and debit cards through Paypal.
17) I dont want to use Paypal. Have you any other payment method?
We are happy to accept bank direct transfers and include full details on our email confirming your order. This is now an automatic option on the site. Payment now almost always reaches us on the same or next day from the UK and in 3 to 4 days from Europe and we will send your parcel once the payment has been received.