Although approximately half the population deals with menstruation every month, period shame is still a pervasive issue. Period-havers understand the stigma, causing some to feel shame and embarrassment when their time of the month rolls around. Many continue to stash tampons up their sleeves or wrap a jacket around their waist to avoid uncomfortable conversations with unassuming coworkers, friends, and family.

Though there’s still a long way to go, countless individuals and groups are working to eliminate shame by talking openly about menstruation and its many woes. Whether it’s a talk show host speaking candidly on late-night TV, government-funded period products, or raw testimonials shared via social media, menstruation conversations have become more mainstream.

As anyone who’s had a period knows, the side effects can be wide-ranging—from cramping and nausea to moodiness and blood clots. However, thanks to technological advances, there are numerous products on the market working to ease these physical and emotional strains while offering more sustainable, less expensive, healthier alternatives to traditional products.

Period tracking jewelry

Apps are a common way to keep track of periods, but they rely on the user manually inputting information, which can be complicated, time-consuming, and easy to forget. With period tracking jewelry, you can monitor your menstrual cycle phases automatically. Accessories range from  bracelets, necklaces, and clips that allow easy access to menstrual information and effortless tracking.

Period underwear

Reusable underwear is a popular alternative to pads and tampons. Specially designed for comfort and functionality, absorbent underwear promises to keep you spot-free without feeling like you’re wearing a diaper. Though the initial cost can be steep, investing in high-quality period solutions will save you money in the long run.

Heating pads

Heating pads go hand in hand with period pain and have come a long way over the years.  Period-havers have moved past bulky microwavable hot pads or water bottles, opting for long-lasting heated solutions to help ease the pain as you go about your day. Single-use pads stick to pain-ridden areas, offering consistent, easily-hidden pain relief.

Menstrual cups

Menstrual cups have become widespread as period-havers attempt to waste less and prioritize sustainability. If consistently and adequately cared for and cleaned, period cups can last several years and are a simple way to live a more eco-friendly life.

While many swear by the cup, others prefer to opt for more traditional solutions because of the potential mess involved in the removal process. The important thing is to find what works for you. Play around with different options until you land on a comfortable product suitable for your period needs.

Smart pill case

If you take birth control, you know how important it is to take the pill at a consistent time every day. Irregular use can cause ineffectiveness, annoying spotting, and abnormal cycles, causing you grief as you struggle to remember your daily dose. A smart case will send reminders directly to your phone, prompting you to take your pill consistently, eliminating forgetfulness.

Reusable pads

Though reusable pads may not be the most practical option for errand-filled days, they have surged in popularity during COVID-19. With more people staying home, it’s easier to store and wash this sustainable alternative. Reusable products look similar to their disposable counterparts, with wings held into place by snaps instead of adhesive. Manufacturers make eco-friendly pads from cotton—which is better for maintaining a healthy pH balance and avoiding yeast infections.

TENS device

TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) devices aren’t as intimidating as they sound. You attach two stickers to your skin to use the device, which sends soothing pulses through the wiring for a non-invasive, drug-free way to reduce pain from cramps.

Wrap up

Period products have improved significantly over the past decade as technology advances and industries delve into menstrual solutions. From smart pill cases to comfortable period underwear, menstrual cycles are becoming less dreadful and more manageable for period-havers everywhere.