Now that Lil Helper has released their Hypatia pads it seem like it was time for an honest review about them.
What are Hypatia pads?
They are a reusable menstrual pad made up of absorbent layers of bamboo terry and a leak proof PUL layer. There is a stay dry material on the top that touches your goods. They snap in place around your underwear and you change them like you would a disposable. Just instead of throwing them in a garbage, you put them in a wet bag until laundry day!
Squeamish about washing blood? Weirded out by the used Hyps pads mixing it up with your laundry?
So was my mom when I explained them.
Truth is, anyone with a period is a pro at washing blood out of clothes and underwear so I don't see this as being much different. The environmental benefits alone were enough to make me try it! Never mind the irritation I get from using non-breathable disposables for a week. You don't get that with reusable pads!
Adult diaper rash is not pretty on the poor nether region.
So, since having my second child my period has been wholly out of whack. What once was like clockwork and fairly easy to handle has become an ordeal. Major headaches and fatigue in the days leading up to it and I could spot for a full week before the floodgates release like Hoover Dam.
Or I could have super fun cramps and have a heavy flow for a week and then 2 weeks later have it come back again. There is no rhyme or reason to my period anymore. If my period tracker had chart it would resemble the most ridiculous of connect the dots.
Literally all over the place.
So knowing that I’m never positive when my period will start anymore I started wearing a couple Hyps light in anticipation.
Period Day one
I start spotting. Nothing crazy but by wearing a Hyps pad regular (in anticipation for the inevitable explosion) I could avoid ruining yet another pair of underwear. Best part, the Hyps were super thin, and quite flexible and did not irritate at all!
There was some sliding of the pads as the day went on, so I will continue to experiment with the best way to counteract this.
Days 2 and 3
Continue on the same. Just spotting. It’s like my body can't make up its mind. Biding its time and lying in wait for me to drop my guard and assume its over, so it can come on full force and take me completely by surprise.
Release the kraken.
Ok. I won't go into details at how intense my period got at this point, but here's a mental image and you can use your imagination from there
So while I suffered through cramps (they finally came on with a vengeance) I walked around Costco and hoped that the Hyps would hold up. They did.
These pads are the quicker-picker-upper of period blood. I stayed dry. There was no leaking and they’re super thin so I didn't feel like I was walking around with an adult sized diaper.
How thin you ask? Well, I was wearing my tightest mom jeans there was no outline of pad bulk at all! Bonus!
Don't let the super thin profile of Hyps fool you. These things can absorb!
I started off wearing the regular Hyps, which were holding up just fine, but as things got crazy, I switched to the heavy Hyps. They’re longer (by 2 inches) and I felt better protected from all sides.
How did Hyps fare overnight?
Its recommended that you change your Hyps every 2-3 hours. I think that's pretty standard. You obviously can’t change that often during the night but my experience using them at night was nothing short of miraculous.
My little guy just started Kindergarten and admittedly its been an adjustment (Especially considering the last 7 months of no routine during the pandemic). So fast forward to this Monday where after a restless night I roll over and see that its 7:53am. My dude starts school at 8:30am! *Panic mode*
I rush through throwing together a lunch and getting him some breakfast. Got his bag packed and managed to get him to school on time, no one none the wiser. Its not until I get home and realize I have been wearing my Hyps since 9:30pm the night before (yes, I go to bed early).
Holy crap! I have been wearing my pad for approximately 10 and half hours! I expected it to be fully saturated and having leaked onto my underwear and pants but nothing! In fact, I venture a guess that it could have held more, and I promise, my flow was no mere trickle.
It’s recommended you have 3-5 pads a day for each day of your period depending on how often you do laundry. I only have 10. I washed them on the 3rd day. Simple wash routine. I wash with my diapers. No bleach or fabric softeners and you can hang to dry or throw them in the dryer on low-medium for about 20 minutes.
I thought I had the hang of them but by day 5 I leaked through one. Bummer. The reason being I thought the regular Hyps would be fine for me but the heavy was more appropriate. This isn't because the regular doesn't absorb- it does that just fine!
However the length of the heavy Hyps (13” VS 10”) is more effective in keeping me leak free.
Either the shape of me or the nature of my movements causes most of my wetness to be nearer to the front than the back. Because of this, the longer Hyps gives me more protection up front, which was necessary and helped avoid and further leaking.
*Update* After many conversations about this I have learned that there is such a thing as ‘back bleeders’ and ‘front bleeders’. I personally am a front bleeder.
I had been wearing the longer narrow part upfront and was leaking. Once I turned the tag to the back and had the larger, more absorbent end up front, voila! Leak free.
So if you’re having an issue try turning it around!
2- Sliding around
Your pads might slide around. Theres no sticky back that adheres them to your underwear like disposables.
Things I found helpful: Wearing a cotton type underwear rather than satin-y underwear was helpful. Less sliding around that way. I also put on underwear that was more form fitting rather than looser fitting ones, as it helped keep everything in place better.
Also, due to the fact that my blood pools closer to the front than the back I found it necessary to pull the Hyps forward a bit once they were snapped in place. Snapping the last snap helped keep things tighter and lastly, if you find you’re still having any sliding issues, wearing leggings can be helpful too!
Lets be honest, leggings are a period go-to anyway! My jeans get pretty tight with menstrual time bloat, so this is a win/win!
I’m currently a cloth diapering mama so I just throw my pads in the wet bag along with the diapers that need to be washed.
Hyps come with a mesh laundry bag or you can purchase the gorgeous combo bag to keep them in!
Once I no longer cloth diaper, I’ll keep them in a small wet bag until wash day and wash them with my regular laundry.
I am the proud mama of two littles and I guarantee, my used Hyps pads will be less gross than some of the stuff that ends up in their pockets after an outdoor adventure.
My overall experience with the Hyps reusable pads was super positive. I loved not having to use disposables which I’ve found have been causing me severe irritation and discomfort since I got my period back, plus it was nice knowing that I wasn't adding extra plastic and chemicals to the landfills.
Keeping in mind most people get a period cycle of 4-5 days, a considerable number of women have a period cycle of 5-7 days or even 8 days. Those suffering from PCOD & PCOS often encounter this kind of period cycle. Which again adds the number of pads used.
Taking an average of 5 days of the cycle and a change in every 4 hours, a person would require 5 pads a day (4 for the day + 1 for the night) making a total of 25 pads.
Think about how many pads you could save from the landfill!
Have you made the switch to reusable menstrual products? Have you tried reusable pads yet? What are your thoughts on the Hyps?
Want to try them yourself? Get them here!