The Labinni® leaf is the original cloth reusable Interlabial Pad, created by Obsidian Star. It is a leaf shaped absorbent pad that is folded in half and worn tucked between the labia to collect the menstrual flow. They are useful for those who don’t want to use internal products (Such as tampons, cups or sponges) but want something less bulky than a pad. They can also offer an extra level of security for those with a heavy flow, or for using overnight.
As they sit against the vaginal opening they absorb the blood quickly, so can be less messy than using pads. Teamed up with a pad, they can help give extra protection from a gushy flow and can help to absorb the flow before it channels where it isn’t supposed to. If the interlabial pad is allowed to touch the pad, it can help wick blood into the pad. Making them particularly useful for night use. They could also be used in the shower, while sunbaking, to allow you to sleep nude, to soak up post-coital fluids, and many other uses.
The Labinni® Pad is made from highly absorbent materials, however the length of time they can be used without leaking will depend on your flow. The absorbency rating of these pads is dependent on the style and fabrics used (The “long” leaf bamboo velour with bamboo fleece are most absorbent, the flannelette ones being least absorbent) however as a guide they can hold around 5mls on average. When the Labinni® Pad is full the blood will then seep out, so it is advisable to use these in conjunction with a pad/pantyliner for extra security.
As they are small they are easier to carry with you when you are out. Simply place the used Labinni® Pad in a “ziplock” plastic bag/wetbag and put it in your pocket, purse or bag.
Before you decide to purchase a Labinni® Pad, it is advisable to roll/fold up a handkerchief (or toilet paper) to the same size/width as the Labinni® you would like to try. Wear this for a little while to see if it is comfortable. Toilet paper will tend to dry out your skin more than fabric will (especially if you are trying this without having your period), but you should know fairly soon if it is going to be something would find uncomfortable or if it will stay in place. Generally, unless you are sitting on a hard chair, you should not feel uncomfortable, but it is important to check first to see how it would feel for you. Each labia is different so you should also check that yours will allow this type of pad, as women with small labia may find it will not stay in place.
Please note that these are not designed to be inserted into the vagina!
Labinni® Leaf Interlabial Pads by Obsidian Star come in 2 sizes (Mini and Long) and are made from a range of different fabrics. Generally bamboo or hemp fleece one side with bamboo velour or cotton the other side.
How do I use them?
The “leaf” shape is folded in half (either side out) and is then tucked/placed between the labia. Whether you tuck it fully into the labia or leave it protruding is personal choice (and depends on the shape of your labia). It can be unfolded for easy cleaning and faster drying.
You may find that if your flow is light the fabric may dry your skin slightly, so you may moisten the Labinni pad before using it to make this more comfortable.
How absorbent are they? Will I need to wear a pad?
These are designed to be worn with a pad/pantyliner as backup, or for short lengths of time only – they are not intended to replace pads/tampons/cups completely. The absorbency is around 5mls-10mls (depending on size/material), so they can be worn for a short time for moderate flow without a backup pad (depending on your flow.) If you have a moderate to heavy flow, it is recommended to wear these with a backup pad or pantyliner. When using them with a heavy flow, they can help wick the blood into the pad before it channels out up your buttocks.
How long can I keep them in?
They should be changed every few hours, or when full. They should also be changed whenever you go to the toilet.
Can I wear these while swimming?
Because these are worn externally, you cannot wear these while swimming, bathing or other such activities, as the Labinni® will get wet. However they could be used as a discreet pad option while sunbaking etc.
Can I wear these while showering?
You may find that you can wear them while showering, if you keep that area fairly dry. A little bit of water won’t affect the Labinni® pad, although it will stop it from being able to absorb the menstrual flow. Letting it get too wet however will make it leak/drip. As it is advisable to wash yourself fully when you have your period, you should avoid using the Labinni® while showering, so that you may clean that area.
Can I wear these while going to the toilet?
As the Labinni® is worn in the labia, it will soak up urine if you try to go to the toilet with it in place. So no, you cannot leave it in place while you go to the toilet. You will also need to be careful when sitting on the toilet that it does not fall out when you do so. It is recommended to remove the Labinni® pad while still standing and then go to the toilet.
They make my skin feel a bit dry, what can I do to stop that?
As the skin of your labia is quite delicate, and the fabric of the Labinni® is quite absorbent, you might find that if your flow is lighter, the fabric can dry out your skin. To avoid that you can fold the Labinni® pad so that the bamboo fleece side is touching itself, leaving the organic cotton/velour/flannelette side exposed – as those fabrics will be less drying on your skin than the fleece. Choosing an organic cotton topped Labinni® pad may be the best choice if you find the other fabrics irritate the skin.
The other thing you can do is to use warm water to make the Labinni® slightly damp before you use it (make sure it is only damp and not wet, as the more water in the pad, the less absorbent it will be for your flow). Using them damp should help eliminate the drying feeling, and should still provide enough absorbency for use.