Health/Well Being

Period Cups and Vaginas – Oh My!

WARNING: I’m going to talk about periods, vaginas and feminine hygiene products so if none of these are of your interest, come on back another time or check out some of my other posts.

I’m going there, people. It needs to be talked about and I wished I discovered this product ages ago – oh, how life would have been simpler. I have been meaning to write about this topic for many months because it has literally changed my life in such a positive way and I want to share this with as many women as possible.

Today’s topic is going to be about menstrual cups. Now, I understand that many women react with disgust or even embarrassment when it comes to menstrual cups. I really encourage you to read this with an open mind and heart. I was one of those people who thought the idea was kind of gross as well but I am SO grateful I got my ego out of the picture long enough to give it a try because ladies…stepping out of one’s comfort zone always pays off as I will NEVER go back to using tampons again. Allow me to explain…

Over the last few years now, I’ve been making the transition to all natural products and personal care products being at the top of my make-over list. One day, I was in need of tampons and was thinking of buying the organic cotton ones.  Around the same time, I came across an article similar to this article, where a woman found mold on her unused tampon! My WTF radar went off like crazy, since I already have little trust in the commercial product industry. I started doing more research about the tampon/feminine hygiene product industry and what is actually in these products – what I found out, admittedly, I was mad.

As stated in this article by Dr. Mercola, Feminine hygiene products such as tampons and sanitary pads are an oft-ignored source of a variety of potentially toxic ingredients, including genetically modified organisms and pesticides.” He explains further that these companies are not required to disclose the ingredients in their products. This is a big, fat red flag if you ask me.

Aside from what’s actually in tampons and pads, I was finding articles and videos saying that tampons extend the length of periods (caused by the crazy chemicals in them), they dry out the vagina because it’s absorbing all fluids thus creating more cramping and discomfort, and when you remove a tampon some of those little fibers get left behind. Pads can also cause rashes – think adult diaper rash. There are plenty of articles out there that discuss these points and many others in more detail which is why I’m not going to reiterate what’s already been done. Again, I strongly encourage you to do your own research and find what resonates with you.

Once I got over the WTF factor and I’ll admit here, I’m not sure why I was so surprised considering most, if not all, mainstream corporations do not have the public’s well-being at the top of the priority list. However, I think it was the fact that I had been using products since I was 10 years old that had been messing with such an intimate part of me for so long (18 years to be exact) – for me, that was the straw that broke the camels back. I immediately started looking for other healthier options and came across the ol’ menstrual cup…the ol’ silver lining!

Make sure to get the clear one. No worries about synthetic dyes :)
Note: Buy the clear one (no synthetic dyes) and research different brands. I’m not endorsing Diva Cup. It happened to be the only brand at my health store.

I have been using a menstrual cup since the summer of last year and as I stated before I will never go back to tampons or any other feminine hygiene product again. Here’s why:

1.) Cost

I purchased the Diva Cup brand at $40, which can last you a decade if you take care of it properly. That could potentially mean spending only $4.00 per year for the next 10 years, as oppose to $10/month or more. More value for your hard earned money –  you are essentially buying products with your time – this just makes good financial sense.

2.) Environmentally Friendly

I don’t know the stats but think of how many tampons and pads make it to the landfill every year. There is no waste with a menstrual cup.

3.) Freedom

This is probably the most meaningful difference I noticed. You can leave your cup in for up to 10-12 hours. Yes, that long! It holds much more than pads and tampons so there’s no need to change it every few hours. I put mine in in the morning before going to work and don’t have to worry about it until I get home. How AMAZING is that? I feel completely liberated! My period has become less of an inconvenience and just one of those things our beautiful bodies do. And it comes in a cute, colorful cotton pouch which is so much more practical for traveling. No more awkward cardboard boxes to pack or giant handfuls of tampons to shove in our purses. Oh! And did I mention…no more leaks?! Good-bye panty liners!

Tampons-doing-it-really-wrong-5

4.) Health

This one is tied for 1st place with freedom. I feel so much better using something that is made from medical grade silicone which isn’t absorbed by the body nor breaks down and isn’t filled with harmful, toxic chemicals being adsorbed directly into the bloodstream. Yay for healthy vaginas (and bodies)! Not to mention blood and fluid soaked tampons hanging around in our girly bits for hours at a time, just sounds like a breeding ground for bacteria.

5.) Better Periods

Less cramping and shorter, lighter periods. Say what?! True story, ladies. 3 women who are near and dear to my heart have also made the switch to the menstrual cup and they have experienced one or both of the above. I never experienced much cramping, but I have noticed the little I used to get is non-existent and my period is lighter and shorter. The same thing has been experienced by the women in my life. This may be TMI for some of you, but I only get a day or so of normal flow then the 2-3 days are very light.

It’s important to remember, we are meant to have our periods; our bodies are made to do this. Debilitating cramping, discomfort and PMS are not natural – if this is you, something is out of balance and your body is trying to tell you. I honestly believe tampons especially play a large role in throwing our bodies out of whack thus making that “time of the month” dreadful for many of us.

Yes, there is somewhat of an initial “ick/gross” factor of pouring out the cup but to be perfectly honest, not only has it made me even more comfortable with myself and my body… I find it more disgusting to put a chemically laden, period lengthening, synthetic piece of bleached wood pulp into my vagina. 😉

When you know better, it’s difficult to not do better. I would love to give every menstruating woman on the planet a period cup. Whoever invented this product I will forever be grateful. I’d love to hear your experiences with using the cup. Or if you have any questions, please don’t be shy and feel free to ask me in the comments below.

Let’s start a healthy vagina revolution! And perhaps one day when enough of us boycott these industries, they will be forced to change their products and they’ll come out with something even better…I can’t even imagine!

Love,
S.

Advertisements

Leave me a little love note:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s