Menstrual Cups ☾
Women folk, I’m about to change your lives.
If you haven’t heard of a menstrual cup expect to cringe in approximately 7 seconds. If you’re not prepared to hear about vaginas, don’t read past this sentence.
A menstrual cup is what it sounds like, a re-usable silicone cup you insert during your period to collect the blood. It can then be emptied straight into the toilet or shower and re-used for 12-24 hours as a time. It’s daunting to look at, but they’re designed to be scrunched up for insertion and then pop open to form an airtight seal. You’re then able to carry on with your life as if your period doesn’t exist without discomfort or fear of leaks.
How to insert: http://www.wikihow.com/Use-a-Menstrual-Cup
Health: Made of non-allergen hospital grade rubber, cups are the best alternative to chemical-laden tampons. (Sensitive skin girls listen up!) Tampons are bleached and usually come with added fragrances or absorbency gels and as such they can significantly worsen PMS and give you Toxic Shock Syndrome. Gals may not know certain symptoms like thrush and migraines are reactions to these chemicals, so if you’re a regular sufferer I’d try switching to see if they are a cause. Some girls with endometriosis have reported the cups can even ease symptoms for them! \(• ◡ •)/
Tampons cannot distinguish between what they should and should not absorb, and often take your vaginal wall lining with them. Not only is this painful (guuuuuuurl you know what I’m talking about), it also makes you more susceptible to infection or disease when the body can’t naturally clean itself. What’s left behind may be remnants of dioxin (the by-product of bleach) and synthetic fibres. Of all the places, that’s not where you want those things.
But you don’t have to use a product that can kill you! Your reproductive health is not taboo, so you don’t have to accept pain or discomfort during your period. The cup is safe enough that you could forget you had it in for days and suffer no consequences.
Environment & Cost: Using one cup per decade is equal to using up to 5000 tampons. Depending what products you use, that saves some women up to $1500 in expenses. Plus, all the savings in chemicals, cotton, water, transport miles and landfill space. Cups range between $25-$50 online. I use Lunette from The Green Edge in Brisbane.
Practicality: Forget any ideas about it being gross, nothing is as gross as wrapping up your waste and placing it in the bin next to you. Srsly. I’ve found it easiest to replace while in the shower twice a day: tip out, rinse, replace. It’s all washed away never to be seen or handled by anyone! You can put it in early if you’re unsure when your period will arrive and never be caught out. The total invisibility also means you don’t have to worry about a tampon string while weeing or wearing a bikini. (This could have saved so much teenage angst). And most importantly for me, it’s ultimately suited to travel. Instead of taking up a quarter of your suitcase to travel to India (where they don’t have tampons), it’s just the one small fabric bag.
Even if none of the health issues resonate with you, the environmental factor should sell you on its own. It’s healthier for your body, healthier for our planet, and much cheaper and more convenient than your usual tampon/pad combination. Good luck, and enjoy a whole new relationship with your period.