Re-usable period products

There are now loads of choices of re-usable products that are so much easier to use than disposable ones.

Choosing what period products to use is a personal decision and it is important to find what works best for you.

There are now loads of choices of re-usable products that are so much easier to use than disposable ones, and better for the environment and for you.

Research into period pants and menstrual cups (also known as Moon cups) has shown that these are safe and hygienic, with a reduced chance of infection, and leakage compared to traditional market plastic products.

Period Pants

Absorbent, leak-proof & breathable mid-layers keep you dry.

Wear for the day or night, rinse, pop in the wash and reuse (tip: rinse in the shower before popping in the wash). All you need do is choose your brand and style. These look the same as regular knickers, hipsters, bikini style or big pants! They come in different absorbencies to suit your flow and can keep you dry all day.

Reusable Pads

A cheaper alternative option to period pants. Simply pop in your pants as you would a disposable pad, rinse, wash and use again. There are lots of great styles to choose from. If you need to change one when you are out, you can get small bags to keep them in, very hygienically.

Menstrual cups (also known as moon cups)

If you don’t fancy the extra washing, try a menstrual cup. These should last 5-10 years and only need to be emptied approx. every 12 hours.

With practice over a few periods, it can be as easy as (or easier) than using a tampon.

Menstrual Sponge

This may be something you hear about but come with a word of caution as they may be associated with a higher risk of infection and we wouldn’t recommend them for this reason. They are sponges that are inserted and absorb blood. They usually need changing more often than a menstrual cup and can be a bit messier to change. Once removed they can be rinsed and re inserted.

Eco-friendly disposable products

If you are not quite ready to go down the re-usable route, reduce your environmental impact with eco-friendly products that are biodegradable and plastic free. Available as tampons and pads. And why not try a reusable tampon applicator or just use a finger, rather than a single use plastic applicator.

Having a period whilst being in hospital

Please don’t worry if your period catches you unprepared whilst you are an inpatient, this can often happen, especially as having an operation can trigger a period! Just tell your Nurse or Occupational Therapist and we will help. Another place to find useful information is on the Brooks periods information website.

For more information online about period products visit Period products Great Ormond Street Hospital (

For further details about periods visit Periods: Just the facts | Health For Teens

Find out more on the downloadable information leaflet on this webpage.