Just for the ladies
Menstruating it occurs once a month and it sucks. On top of having debilitating cramps and feeling like you're going to snap at any moment it doesn't help knowing that SO much waste happens because of our once a month duty.
What do I mean about waste? I mean the amount of plastic waste that is accumulated. Between using plastic pads and plastic tampons it adds up pretty fast, and its not at all good for our environment. So I have done the hard work of trying out different tools that will help the environment and save you some money in the long run.
So here is what I did, I used up whatever I had left first and saved a few "pads" and "tampons" for "just in case" reasons. (which I haven't touched since)
I went to my local co-op and purchased a few items that turned out to be pretty life changing.
My first purchase was reusable pads. I know what your thinking, and it may sound odd but they are pretty amazing. They come in all different cute styles, shapes and sizing to fit your lifestyle best. They are super simple to use and clean. The ones I purchased are called Glad Rags. The price was pretty reasonable compared to spending money on tampons and pads once a month. These are amazing because they are handmade, soft cotton that doesn't chafe and they are packaged in a box so its earth friendly. These pads can be worn up to 5 years (if you handle them with care).
What I love most about the reusable pads is they pair great with the next thing I'm about to discuss.
Menstrual cup. I will NEVER use a tampon again. EVER. This product blew my mind. It was a little tricky to get used to so I wont lie to you, you really need to get personal with your vagina, but its so worth it.
The cup I got is called the honey pot. It comes in two different sizes, a smaller one if you never had children and a larger one for women who gave vaginal birth. First thing you need to do is sterilize the cup by putting it in a boiling pot of water. I do this once a month after each cycle has ended so its ready to use again for my next cycle.
The cup is good for 12 hours ladies.... that's right 12 hours. There is no risk of developing toxic shock syndrome, but if you leave it in for to long it may overflow. Also It can be used for up to a year, so I would much rather spend my money on a product that will last a year vs. a tampon that can kill you if you forget to take it out after 8 hours. One great thing about the cup is that it is made with medical grade silicon and is free from latex and phthalates. It is sustainable and good for our planet. This cup pairs perfect with the reusable pads (which I barley use now once you get the hang of the cup).
Lets get nitty gritty, I am about to share my first experience with the cup.
If you know me personally I am terrible at following directions and reading directions. My first time putting my cup in I was all nervous of it spilling and was so used to my old ways of tampons and padding up that I was skeptical.
About an hour with my cup in I thought I needed to "drain it" so it wouldn't overflow so I pulled it out. It was like pulling my vagina inside out. Hurt like a M***** F*****. I realized to that the cup was barley filled, so I put it back in and hoped for the best. After a few hours I took it out again. Same pain and discomfort so I had to be doing something wrong.
I did some online research (because I recycled the directions) and turns out I was doing it way wrong. Inserting and taking it out will take practice but there is a way to take it out that doesn't involve a painful experience.
Putting the cup in and taking it out just requires you to get a little more personal with your vagina then a tampon would.
To insert you need to fold your cup and push it in using two fingers, and it will "expand" once it is in. You may even feel when it expands and suctions to your inner walls.
So to take it out, head my words. Pretend that you are giving birth (seriously though) and push. Using two fingers on your dominate hand to grab the cup and pinch it at the top so it does not leak all over. So when you pull out the cup all the way let the contents drain into the toilet. Simple.
Make sure to clean it out thoroughly before putting it back in. I use the honey pot brand cleaner, but there are other products like foams you can use to clean your cup.
I have been using my sustainable methods for 6 months now and I repeat, I will NEVER use tampons/plastic pads again.
I am so confident wearing my cup that I can sleep comfortably, wear thongs, do my yoga and other activities without any worry. I have my reusable pads for just in case situations but to be honest I don't really need them when I have my cup in.
I hope you find this helpful and know that if you make the switch you are doing your part as a women to help our planet!
Reach out if you have any questions, comments, or experiences you would like to share.