Exercise & Reusable Sanitary Protection
We get asked often what is best for exercising: CSP, Cups or Period Underwear?
These are the most popular choice in period protection for exercise due to their discrete and reliable protection plus they can be worn for a much longer length of time. If you are a very active person you may want to consider a firmer cup such as the Meluna Sports cup. When you are fit your pelvic floor can squeeze a softer cup if under pressure during exercise. Squats and lifting weights are especially demanding on the pelvic floor. A menstrual cup is suitable to be used for all physical activity but it’s important to get one that suits your body.
In a generic google search you may find some information relating to retrograde, this is when the menstrual blood flows back into the uterus and some sources discourages cup users to use cups for exercise that involves your pelvis being raised (like Yoga, pilates, gymnastics). The theory was based on the chance that it may lead to endometriosis. This is a largely dated theory and now more is known about endometriosis there is no concrete medical studies that show a link between it and retrograde.
If you cannot use cups or you prefer not to use cups then there are some other options that are suitable for you.
Cloth Sanitary Pads (CSP)
Unlike disposable pads the lack of adhesive on cloth pads means that they are more likely to move about. You can help this by avoiding pads that have PUL back and using cotton underwear to help with grip. When you exercise it can make your period heavier and can cause flooding, for this reason it is better to choose quicker absorbing top layer, avoiding fleece is better, choose a more natural layer against your skin to aid quick absorption. It is better to change your pad just before you exercise so that you have a fresh one on.
We have also had feedback that the poppers can be uncomfortable if you are doing a sport like cycling or horse riding, we do stock bamboolik which is a Velcro alternative.
Some of our most popular pads are Fanny Paddams, Sew Sustainable, Red Rags, Anavy and Cheeky.
You may want to consider some back up protection when using CSP for exercising; that’s where period pants come in.
Period Pants are great for an all-round protection while exercising. If you have particularly heavy periods that can be made heavier by exercise then it may be better to use period underwear as a back up option rather than your primary source of protection.
If you’re on your lighter days or want back up for your cups and pads then period pads can be a really great option. Their advantage over pads is that they offer an all over protection and also don’t have uncomfortable fastenings.
The advantage of period pants is that the outline on your exercise clothes is just the same as ordinary pants no tell tale pad outline. Flux Undies invisible pants are ultra lightweight and thin and hold up to 15ml so make a great choice for a thin back up. If you need a heavier absorbency then instead I'd look at Wuka pants.
Written by Roisin Senior Advisor @ The Period Lady