GIRL TALK - Let's Chat, Period.
Art by Rosie Mcguiness
For me, I've always known the topic of 'periods' to be taboo, especially when talking to men. At the beginning of this year spent a month with the most empowering women, and a regularly talked about topic between us was that 'time of the month'. I learnt so much from just talking very openly about different women's bodies and experiences. With each cycle is an opportunity to heal from that previous month. I started to view my period as a 'reset' button, tracking my menstrual cycle and being more loving and gentle with myself especially at certain times of the month, instead of constantly feeling like I should power through as if I am a man. Just being able to fully predict my month, understand the feelings linked with the cycle and simply 'give myself a break' , allowed me to become more present and create a connective voice between the body and mind. Changing your mindset and seeing your period as a positive release, allowing the previous months emotions and hardships to fall away changed me. I started to feel so consciously in tune with myself, and wanted to actively learn about my body and cycle. I believe it's important that the taboo of talking about just a natural and beautiful process stops, so young women don't ever feel embarrassed to speak about it and will like me, feel confident to learn and not just accept without knowledge.
Anyway, to cut a long story short, I reached a new milestone in my life where the subject of 'the big red monster' is talked about openly, and is not something to keep hidden or secret, especially around men. With this, I started a new journey of saying goodbye to the dreaded tamp, and being more conscious about what I was putting in my body, and into the earth.
Why a Menstrual Cup?
Menstrual Cup = Happy Vagina + Happy Earth ( I mean what more could you ask for!? )
Soft, comfortable silicone firstly less disruptive to natural vaginal pH and actually unlike tampons, the silicone material doesn't absorb your natural moisture potentially causing internal dryness and irritation. Using a cup also prevents leaks or odour, unlike tampons and pads. Ever heard of Toxic Shock? Toxic shock syndrome is cause by a build up of bacteria and is extremely rare if you use a tampon properly and with precaution. However it can affect anyone, it is strongly linked to women accidentally leaving in tampons. It has been linked to tampons because they can cause dryness and can scrape the vaginal walls making you more prone to allow bacteria.
Tampons should be changed every 4-6 hours, which is easy to keep on top of if you have a very heavy period because unless you want to leak, you have no choice. However, when experiencing a quite comfortable, or light period, it can be really easy to forget to change your tampon all day sometimes! A Menstrual cup is great for both of these times of the month. A heavy flow that would have you constantly changing tampons or pads, can be left 10 to 12 hours with a cup. And It's near impossible to forget, or lose a menstrual cup compared to a tampon.
One thing we love is that you can us one Menstrual cup for years. According to Harvard, around 20 billion sanitary napkins, tampons and applicators are dumped into US landfills every year and over 5 billion feminine hygiene products are disposed of worldwide. Of course, when wrapped in plastic bags, feminine hygiene waste can take centuries to biodegrade. Considering that an average woman can use 11,000 tampons over her lifetime, imagine the impact that has on our earth, during her lifetime and beyond! Sanitary waste, like every other type of trash, is either incinerated which released harmful gasses and toxic waste in the air, or is sent to landfill As with any reusable product, this creates less environmental waste than tampons and pads and therefore helps eliminate the huge feminine hygiene waste from landfills which we ladies are the sole culprits of.
" In an analysis of 'Always' pads in 2014, it was found that they contained traces of “styrene (a human carcinogen), chloromethane (a reproductive toxicant), chloroethane (a carcinogen), chloroform (a carcinogen, reproductive toxicant, and neurotoxin), and acetone (an irritant)" - Women’s Voices for the Earth
Via The Ruby Cup
There are an overwhelming amount of menstrual cups on the market, and with it being quite a new thing, it can be really hard for us ladies to know where to even start! So below, we've linked you to a few of our favourites:
The Casco Cup : Made in the US, and produced from medical Silicone with no Latex, Plastic, BPA, dyes, or chemicals, the Casco Cup is FDA registered and comes with its own silicone case. It comes in 3 sizes, with the option of a case. The Casco Cup pride themselves on being earth friendly, and cutting out the middle man for the best and safest quality!
The Ruby Cup : The Ruby Cup works on "Buy One, Give One" concept. Every Ruby Cup purchase includes a Ruby Cup donation to a girl in Africa through collaborations with East African charities and organisations. The Ruby Cup is made out of 100% medical grade silicone and is available in two sizes and 4 colours.
The Yukki Cup : The Yukki cup is a great one for those who have trouble getting the cup to open or are very physically active when menstruating because even the “Soft” version is firmer than several “firm” cups on the market.
The Hello Cup : The Hello Cup is made and designed in New Zealand using top notch medical grade TPE (a type of plastic), so be wary that not all cups are plastic free. However, although plastic is a type of waste we want to be conscious of avoiding, by using this cup you will still be saving in the long run!
Before you start your new plastic free period, here are some tips to take into consideration
Read the instructions
Wet the cup
Get the correct angle
Wait for the ‘pop’
Keep it low
Partially insert then open
Trim the stem
Get the right size
See the full article via Menstrual Cup Australia HERE