Having a period sucks. I think that’s something pretty much everyone can agree on. The only reason we like it, is because it means we aren’t pregnant. Everything to do with it sucks. Cramps, blood, mood swings. To be honest, mine is pretty mild and it still sucks, so I can only imagine what some of you have to go through.
Even though I’ve been getting my period for almost ten years, I still feel like I’m never prepared for it. Perhaps that’s due to a lack of education or the fact that everything to do with the female body is taboo. I still feel like a preteen when I’m trying to figure out what tampons to buy, or googling how to get out blood stains.
But yea know, I wrote a 20 page paper on The Female Orgasm a couple months back so I figure I am brave enough to tackle periods. Also I need to educate myself and stop being so clueless.
One of the reasons I am doing this is because I keep hearing about how feminine hygiene products are bad for your body, and more obviously, the environment. It’s estimated that women use about 20 feminine hygiene products per period. If every women in the world is using 20 products every three weeks . . . that’s a lot of waste created and a lot of money spent that you’re literally throwing away.
In addition to this stuff filling up landfills, it’s filling our bodies with chemicals. Tampons are made using cotton and/or poly fibers that are usually farmed using harsh pesticides. The cotton is then bleached using chlorine. Then you stick these things into an incredibly absorbent part of the body, which soaks up all the chemicals. So now you have all these chemicals entering your body (some of them unknown because tampons are virtually unregulated, and do not have to disclose the ingredients used to make them) and we don’t even know what the effects of these chemicals will be. One can avoid most of these chemicals by using organic tampons, but they still create a lot of waste.
Something that is a totally new idea to me, is that the average pad contains the same amount of plastic as four plastic bags. Obviously this is creating a ton of waste, but it’s also exposing a rather sensitive part of your body to a ton of plastic and the chemicals in it. This can lead to yeast and bacteria growth or even organ damage.
The solution to all of these problems is the menstrual cup. There are a ton of different brands available, most notable is the Diva Cup. Menstrual cups are little cups inserted into the cervix that catch all the stuff flowing out. The cups are safe for your body and are reusable (they recommend to replace them about once a year), saving you cash and preventing a lot of waste from ending up in landfills.
I found the Diva Cup website (http://divacup.com/) to be super helpful because, like I said, I know nothing. However I didn’t choose to buy a Diva Cup. I looked at several reviews that basically all said that every brand is good. So I ordered a Blossom Cup off of Amazon, mostly because it was only $20 and I get free shipping.
I think I’ll feel pretty good about this thing once I figure it out. It will mean I’m saving money, putting less chemicals into my body and producing less garbage. Apparently it is also supposed to prevent any smell and leaks, so that’s a bonus.
There’s one more reason I think menstrual cups are so great. Millions of women around the world cannot afford feminine hygiene products. I think in some places, the government might cover the costs, but it’s a rarity. In many places when girls get their period, they are prevented from leaving their homes because they do not have these products. The menstrual cup is the perfect solution and would be a great item to donate to families in need. If you are interested, you can donate here: https://www.femmeinternational.org/donate/