My Periods Smelled Again: Why I Made My Own Pads & Liners


Today we’re launching Flex Bamboo Pads & Liners that fight odor naturally.

Slight period odor is completely normal and healthy. No one should ever feel shame about that, including me.

However, in my pad and liner quest I found a distinction; other pad brands, even organic pads, actually made my menstrual odor worse, sometimes even foul. And that experience is one that nobody should tolerate. 

We deserve a healthier, more comfortable period experience. And our products should never make our vulvas tingle, burn or itch.

What I love the most about our new products is the fact that they fight odor naturally. 

Additionally, Flex Bamboo pads and liners are 

  • Extremely effective at preventing leaks, are ultra-thin and comfortable; bamboo has been shown to be more absorbent than cotton
  • Made with only clean ingredients; ZERO added fragrances, pesticides, herbs, deodorants, GMOs or elemental chlorine
  • 100% free of PFAS and independently lab-tested
  • The combination of a 100% bamboo top sheet with a Japanese SAP core make our pad both ultra-soft while super thin, moisture-wicking and absorbent

I just had my period, which is now quite heavy, and our pads performed exceptionally well for five hours at a time without staining or odor. 

flex bamboo period pads

I invite you and your period-having friends and family to experience the difference in our pads and liners and send me your feedback directly. I can’t wait to hear what you think.

Flex Bamboo Pads & Liners are available for purchase on Amazon and

AND for even more deets…this is the story of why I made these products. (Hint: It was in part because I had to stop using my own Flex discs for a while.)

How Quitting My Own Product Led to Our New Product Line

I never thought I would create a line of pads and liners. While I’ve been on a personal crusade to make discs mainstream, I assumed that pads and liners didn’t really need innovation. 

I was wrong.

A couple of years ago my OBGYN directed me to quit wearing any internal period products, including my own discs and cups, due to a temporary medical condition. 

I felt shame, embarrassment, and shock when I had to quit using my own products for a brief period of time. 

I also felt fear. Fear of the physical and emotional discomfort that led me to create Flex in the first place. 

It’s hard to describe how uncomfortable I felt when I went to the store to buy other period products for the first time in 8 years. 

I used to get yeast infections from pads and tampons, which was what sparked founding Flex. I was pleasantly surprised to see a lot has changed since launching our brand. 

I loaded my cart with all of the “better for you” pads and liners that I could find:

  • Organic cotton
  • Natural herbs for odor prevention 
  • Non-GMO or elemental chlorine 
  • I also threw in a number of conventional, non-organic pads from national brands because my flow is really heavy and I honestly trusted those brands more to prevent leaks

As a non-pad user, what I discovered over the next few months surprised me:

  • The well-known conventional non-organic brands worked the best for me to prevent leaks
  • The conventional pads smelled terrible after wearing for hours
  • The all-natural brands I used either leaked or felt bulky, and also smelled after wearing for just a few hours
  • I tried pads with “natural” herbs to help prevent the odor, but those made my vulva feel like it was on fire
  • My yeast infections came back

I didn’t think my expectations were too high: where was a pad that was clean, ultra-absorbent, not bulky, and didn’t smell terrible? 

Many “Better For You” Period Products Simply… Aren’t. 

I had known for years that scented period products would give me infections, but I didn’t know that some of the ingredients used in those products have now been linked to allergies, asthma, cancer, endocrine disruption, and poor pregnancy outcomes. 

Black women in particular are most likely to face negative health outcomes.  

According to a 2023 study led by Columbia University, expectations around vaginal odor control disproportionately fall on black women, who historically and still face significant discrimination related to beauty and hygiene. 

The study confirmed that social identity shapes a person’s preference for odor-masking period products. 

Young people, people with less formal education, and black women are most likely to use scented and scent-altering menstrual products. 

This influences toxic chemical exposures for these groups, which ultimately contributes to America’s extreme inequities in women’s health.

Are any scented vaginal products intended to help women thrive? Or are they intended to perpetuate and capitalize off of deeply-held stigmas and insecurities? 

Numerous studies have recently been published regarding harmful PFAS discovered in the most commonly used period products including pads, liners, tampons, and period underwear. PFAS are also known as “forever chemicals,” which present numerous personal health and environmental risks.

Period Odor & Stigma Is a Social Justice Issue

The entire reason I started Flex was to create healthier, more comfortable period products for everyone. 

Women are still getting cancer, allergies, and asthma from the period products that are marketed and sold to us.

The majority of people today turn to pads and liners for their periods; I would not be fulfilling my own higher purpose or my company’s mission to turn a blind eye to research in favor of promoting Flex discs and cups, no matter how much I believe in our products.

That is why my team and I have spent the past two years developing a truly unique line of pads and liners

This article is informational only and is not offered as medical advice, nor does it substitute for a consultation with your physician. If you have any gynecological/medical concerns or conditions, please consult your physician. 

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