What I found out when I tried a monthly tampon delivery service
When I first got my period at the age of 12, I didn’t consider tampons as an option due to my mother instilling an unfounded fear that they were “bad for you.” In high school, I attempted using them once—unsuccessfully—while my friends stood outside of my bathroom stall, trying to be encouraging. The pressure was too much, so I ended up living a tampon-free life until I was 24. Since I was planning a trip to Six Flags where I’d be inconveniencing myself with constant pad-changing in between rollercoaster rides, I decided to finally conquer the fear.
For the most part, tampons and I have enjoyed a drama-free history, but once I made the effort to eat more organically and use natural products, I began to question the true safety of sticking one inside my body. I wanted to know exactly what they were made with. Around this time, I also heard about Lola, a subscription service that delivers 100% natural cotton tampons straight to your door every month.
Tampons currently out on the market are usually made of a cotton and rayon blend, but companies are not legally required to disclose all the materials used in their products. There’s also the question of whether or not the ingredients used in a tampon bring a greater risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome, known as TSS, which caused model Lauren Wasser to lose her leg. The FDA states on their website that tampons made with rayon do not necessarily have a higher risk of TSS than ones made with cotton. Although there isn’t any real scientific proof that using 100% cotton tampons is healthier, it was still nice to know exactly what I was putting inside of my body. Plus, the convenience of having them delivered straight to my door seemed like a pretty sweet deal.
Each box comes with 18 tampons. When you order, you can choose your assortment—whether you want a mixture of light, regular and super absorbencies, or a box of all the same kind. You can also easily change the assortment at your whim. Taking advantage of their two boxes for $9 deal, I chose a balanced assortment. Usually, it’s one box for $10 or two for $18. Similar to companies like AirBnb and Uber, Lola also has a referral program where you earn credit if you can convince friends to hop on their bandwagon.
When they arrive, the tampons come in a discreet cardboard box, which is fine for those who don’t want other people to know they’re getting tampons delivered, but I would totally not have minded a hot pink box that says “HEYYY, YOUR TAMPONS HAVE ARRIVED!” You won’t find any period shame with me.
A white box contains the tampons, which come in eye-pleasing shades of blue made to distinguish the various absorbencies. Sometimes there’s even funny sayings printed on the box or cards. When you open the box, the inside of the lid reads, “This too shall pass (and until it does, we’re here for you.)” For New Year’s, it came with a card that was printed with sassy “Realistic Resolutions.”
The tampon itself comes with a compact applicator, so you have to extend the applicator to its full size before you insert it. I found theirs much easier to use than other compact applicators I’ve tried that slipped from my fingers, which, as you can guess, could have quickly turned into nightmare situation.
Knowing that my tampons are coming in the mail each month removes the stress and worry of whether I might run out. They also make it easy to adjust the subscription according to your needs. When I realized I still had plenty left for my next period, I was able to modify my subscription so it skipped a month. Lola will send you an email reminder in case you want to adjust it before they send out your next shipment.
As for the cost, it is definitely more expensive than store-bought tampons. For about the same price as a box of Lola tampons, you can get double the amount in a variety pack from Tampax. Of course, you’re also paying for the convenience of door-to-door delivery and 100% cotton ingredients.
I do hope Lola expands their product range in the future so we’re able to get pantyliners, sanitary wipes and maxi pads all from the same place. For those who find themselves anxiously running to the store to buy tampons every time they get their period, this is the kind of subscription service that works like a dream.
Correction: a previous version of the article described the tampons as 100% organic cotton. It has since been updated.