WHEN she started her period at the age of 13, Makayla Kane never thought twice about using sanitary towels.
Like many young women, the mum-of-four, 36, from Texas, struggled with embarrassing leaks during her teenage years and felt incredibly self-conscious whenever she had to change her pad in the school bathrooms.
"My worst moment with my period was when I was 16 and out shopping onthe heaviest day," she said. "I just could not keep it contained. It went all over my shorts and I had to wear my sweater tied around my waist which was so obvious."
However, that was nothing compared to the stress Makayla felt about the "crinkling" noise her pads made when she changed them at school.
She continued: "In middle school, I was so worried about having to do that that I'd avoid going to the bathroom when I could."
For years, the mum would spend $20 on a new box of tampons and pads every month – and by the time she hit 27, Makalya had spent a whopping $3,360 [£2,400] on sanitary products.
As a result, the mum decided to drastically cut out tampons and look for a more environmentally-friendly alternative.
She said: "In 2013, I started using a menstrual cup and I absolutely loved it. Then I bought some cloth pads online and was hooked.
"You feel like you're wearing a cloud. It's like having a dry, comfortable, extra-thick pair of underwear."
In the eight years Makayla has been using reusable pads, she's saved a staggering $1,900 [£1,400].
She said: "In a nutshell, you save lots of money. But you do have to spend a bit upfront for a stash to get started.
"Say you needed 20 pads and it’s going to cost you $100. But after that, you don’t have to buy them anymore. That’s it, you’re done.
"The other bigger factor is the impact on the planet. You’re reducing your carbon footprint by re-using and rewashing your pads every month and using the same ones. One pad can take up to 800 years to biodegrade."
And she feels so passionate about sustainable sanitary products that she began selling her own in summer 2020.
People say it’s disgusting. The most common comment I get is, ‘I would never lug around a used pad in my purse and smell like that all day.'
"I have several different sizes," the mum explained. "But the bottom layer is made out of weather-resistant fleece you find in sporting apparel.
"In the middle, they have two layers of bamboo fleece and cotton velour for the wings and on top."
What's more, her $45 sets of reusable pads also come with a matching pocket in case you need to change them on the move.
And on her website, Makayla – who also makes reusable nappies – sells a resealable bag to store used pads before you wash them when your cycle ends.
She added: "At the end of your period, you take all the pads – including the bag – and wash them. There is no right or wrong way.
"A lot of people like to rinse them off first. A lot of people like to keep them in a bucket and soak them. A lot of people like to boil them or spray them down with a stain remover."
But don't they start to smell? Well, Makayla claims she's never had an issue with this.
"I have never had a smell problem with reusable pads," she said. "And if someone could smell it, they would literally have to be right up in your butt!
"That bag is kept in the bathroom with my husband and all my kids and they can’t smell anything."
To promote her pads, Makayla joined TikTok last year – much to her 13-year-old son Daniel's horror.
She added: "My kids are always like, 'Mom your ENTIRE TikTok is about periods!'"
But while the majority of her 120,000 followers are supportive of her work, Makayla does have to deal with her fair share of trolls.
"People say it’s disgusting," she said. "The most common comment I get is, ‘I would never lug around a used pad in my purse and smell like that all day. That is disgusting.’
- Set of five pads, $45 – see here
"The carrying it around with you seems to be the biggest problem people have. My problem is, they’re watching one video and making an uneducated opinion about me.
"A lot of people just see me as taking my bloody pad off and putting in my purse and think ‘that’s disgusting’. And then they move on."
However, business is still booming for Makayla and she struggles to keep them in stock.
"Almost every time I do have a restock, all 100 pads sell out," she said. "And if it doesn’t sell out that first day, it sells out in the next one."
Although Makayla's husband George, 37, supports her "100%", she says her friends have been "sceptical" as they wouldn't use the products themselves.
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What's more, the mum is adamant that she'd never pressure her daughters – Aubrey, nine, and Gracie, 13 – to use them.
She continued: "I have tried to normalise menstruation in my household so that the kids aren’t embarrassed or freaked out by it.
"I even ask my girls, ‘do you want to use cloth pads when it’s your time?’ And one of them wants to and the other one doesn’t.
"But I will always keep educating her by leading by example and maybe she will change her mind.
"I don’t want to force it upon her or be traumatised by it!"
For more real life stories, this mum has spent £50K on surgery including a designer vagina to look beautiful, women hate her & say she'll steal their husbands.
And this woman said she'd never relied on men for cash & others shouldn’t settle down until they earn at LEAST six figures.
Plus this woman started saving for a nose job at 10, gets up at 4.30am to do her makeup & would never let the postie see me slap-free.
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