Cotton menstrual pads – a step towards pain free periods

bleed time-3

If you’re anything like me, you’ve been plagued by really heavy and painful periods since the very first one.  I grew up feeling that periods were a curse that simply had to be endured by women and something that I had to learn to live with.  I faced at least 24-48 hours of pain killers each month to get through it.

By my mid 20s, the pain had increased to such an extent that when I found myself slurring my words on the codeine based pain killers that I had resorted to using in order to attempt to function at work, I knew that I needed to find a different solution.  This post today talks about one of my most recent discoveries on my quest to having a pleasurable period.  Thanks to the help of these cotton pads which I purchased online from Earth Conscious, my last bleed was comfortably pain killer free.

Before I tell you all about the cotton pads, I want to back track a little to the moment of my codeine induced haze and the start of my journey of understanding and having an empowered relationship with my body, my fertility and my cycle.  It was at a screening of The Moon Inside You where I met Alexandra Pope and discovered her book that she co-authored with Jane Bennett – The pill, are you sure it’s for you.  I discovered that it is possible to have a pain free period and in fact there was much more to the cycle of my monthly bleed than I had even begun to understand.

After several months of applying some of the suggestions in the book I started to notice a difference in my cycle and welcomed my bleed. What we experience in this phase is a window, an opportunity to see into the past days, weeks or maybe even years and see what we haven’t dealt with, what hasn’t been released and needs to be as well as what’s needing to be healed. Each and every cycle our body is giving us messages as to how to heal ourselves, yet we barely ever listen.

Heavily medicating this part of the cycle instead of tuning into the womb’s message to rest and nourish ourselves robs us of this incredible opportunity to listen to our feminine wisdom. PMS symptoms instead become important messages from our bodies to be listened to instead of feared. Allowing the wild, untamed emotional self to be expressed (to clarify this is not the chaotic, unstable and scary pain and mood swings that some women experience which are often connected to hormonal imbalance and there are many natural ways to help balance these which I will be going into in future posts).

Along with giving my body time to slow down around my bleed, I have also discovered the importance of allowing my blood to flow out easily.  Menstrual cramps are partly caused by stagnant energy, so blood not flowing efficiently leads to stagnation and then pain.  Chemical bleached tampons have never felt good to me and even switching to using a moon cup a few years back has helped significantly, however still hasn’t offered the nurturing feeling that I’ve been looking for.

I recently discovered Lisa Lister’s Code Red book which in my opinion is a woman’s bible to all things period related.  In her own words, it’ actually

a 4-part lady code, that once cracked, will uncover a series of monthly superpowers that can be used to enhance your relationships with others, build a better business, have incredible sex + create a ‘bloody’ amazing life.

Who wouldn’t want that?!  In the book she talks about using cotton menstrual pads so I figured I’d give it a try.  I used some for my last bleed and I couldn’t believe how amazing it felt!  It was like the Rolls Royce of pads if there ever was such a thing.  So soft and comfortable, incredibly absorbent and so easy to clean.  At about £6 a pad they’re much more expensive than disposable pads, however they will last a long time and easily work out cheaper in the long run.  They’re also better for the environment being natural product based and most importantly good for our lady parts without any unnecessary bleaches or perfumes.

I bought some Earth Conscious Washable Cloth Bamboo Menstrual Pads on Amazon and love them.  They literally clip around your pants with the little popper clip and are machine washable.

Have you had a similar experience with cotton pads or do you have any tips to share with us?  If this is all completely new to you I would love to hear any thoughts that come up for you in the comments section below.




  1. Coretta says

    Hi Malita,
    The ladies in Zambia also use cloth as sanitary wear because they can not afford disposable ones. The cloths are washed and hidden away as when you have your period no one should know. There is even a root some ladies chew to ease the pain of a period.
    Some interesting I thought I would share with you!!!
    Love the blog

    • Marisa Shearer says

      Hi Coretta! That’s so interesting to hear that there is shame around having a period in Zambia. From the research that I have done this shame is something that slowly developed over time, however our ancestors way back did not face this same feeling. Instead it was seen as a sacred time, in fact there were red tents where women could go and bleed together and share in the wisdom surrounding this period in the cycle. Women become very wise and their intuition is very powerful at this time. I think the whole idea about shame and hiding all adds to the pain experienced as well. I think it’s up to our generation to change this, to teach the young girls experiencing their menarche (first period) to celebrate their initiation into womanhood and the magic that their cycle can bring. Perhaps the idea of shame was introduced to dampen down some of the power that women have… I find this stuff fascinating. I would love to know what the root is called in Zambia so that I can try some. I’m so pleased that you’re enjoying the blog! xo

    • Marisa Shearer says

      Hi Bernadette,
      Thank you for sharing the link. That’s such a shocking story, I had no idea it could get that bad! Definitely something that I think women should be aware of so that they can then make an informed decision about what they want to use.

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