Changing the World: one vagina at a time

January 12, 2018

 

 Over the last 17years I've been visited once a month by someone called Mother Nature.  She arrives without warning and usually outstays her welcome, some would say she is the mother-in-law I never wanted. Throughout these years my bathroom cupboard, my bags and sometimes coat pockets have been filled with tampons and sanitary towels galore, both masses of absorbent materials, both as useless and unreliable as each other.

 

Tampon Tax hit the headlines towards the end of 2017 and caused us women to step back and reevaluate our options. I took the time to calculate that I had spent an astonishing £1,142.20 on sanitary products in the last 17 years and it wasn't until my boyfriend shared an Instagram post with me, highlighting that 85% of tampons/feminine hygiene products are contaminated with cancer-causing glyphosate, that I decided to do some research of my own.

 

I had been reliant on tampons for years, but completely unaware of what harm they could potentially cause my body and also the environment. A well known fact that you may have heard is that using tampons can put you at small risk of developing a potentially dangerous infection called Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS). This could occur if a tampon is not used correctly or if it has been left in longer than it should. Tampons can also leave you prone to bacterial infection, they are often laced with chemicals and fibres from the tampon can come loose and remain inside you. Not only are they potentially harmful to your body, they are having a devastating effect on the environment. Just one tampon takes up to 6 months to decompose, and that's not including the plastic wrapping and synthetic materials that go along with it. The chemicals found in tampons and sanitary products leak into our nature and can end up polluting our environment. 

 

Throughout my research, I found that the solution to all the above problems lay in the menstrual cup. For those of you who aren't familiar with the menstrual cup, it is a feminine hygiene product made from medical grade silicone. The vegan, eco-friendly cup is inserted into you, as would a tampon, and collects menstrual fluid for you to empty. How disgusting you think, well that was my initial reaction too. I saw pictures and diagrams and thought to myself there is no way I could replace using tampons, no matter how uncomfortable and sometimes unreliable they are. It wasn't until my mother and her husband came back from a visit to her cousins and informed me that his girlfriend was raving about her menstrual cup. I'd never personally known anyone to use it, hence the initial scepticism, but after hearing how fantastic it was, it encouraged me to want for one. 

 

With menstrual cup at the ready my period promptly arrived. I had my apprehensions, it was too big I thought, I had no string to rely on, what if it got lost? The leaflet that came with my menstrual cup instructed me to wet it before I inserted it,  the water acting as a lubricant. Prior to this I had already practiced the two folding techniques it recommended, finding the one I was most comfortable with. I then braced the sumo-squat position and slid it in. I couldn't feel anything inside me and without the reassurance of that trusty piece of string, I was at the mercy of my body, which hasn't been that faithful in the past. The great thing about the menstrual cup is that you can leave it inside for up to 8 hours, so 6 hours into my first day I tackled the task of removing it to be emptied. A bit of advice from one female to another, on day one of your period I would opt to change it sooner than 6 hours, the heavy flow and specific volume meant that when I removed the cup, some extra fluid followed and it was a little messy. I'm going to be honest, because that's what The Naked Blogger is all about, honesty, I couldn't quite grasp the concept. Throughout the morning the cup had wriggled out of my reach and I began to panic. The instructions advised that if this was the case, gently push your muscles to bring the cup down towards the entrance, making it much more accessible to pinch and remove. The smell was another off putting factor, but within a second it was gone as I emptied the contents into the toilet. A quick rinse under the hot tap and I was ready to re-insert. This was going to take a little bit of practice. What you have to bare in mind when changing your menstrual cup, is that some public toilets don't have sinks inside the cubicles, so in this instance giving it a wipe or rinsing under a little bottled water is absolutely fine, just give it a more thorough clean when you can. During the day I still couldn't feel the cup inside me, I wasn't restricted to any sorts of movements, which would be perfect for the athletic type or women constantly on the move. I had worn a sanitary towel just incase of any leaks as I had gone into this blind, but found by the end of the day I hadn't needed it. During the rest of my period I had no troubles at all, I found that with practice the removal was becoming a lot easier. Another technique I had adapted was once inserted you could run your finger around the perimeter of the cup to ensure it had fully opened. After 4 days my period had come to an end and although I cannot scientifically prove that this was down to the menstrual cup, it was one of the shortest most pleasant periods i'd had in a very long time. 

 

Overall I was extremely impressed with everything the menstrual cup had to offer, the comfort, the ease, the fact I was saving money by only needing to replace it every 6-8 months and most importantly, helping the environment. It is a revolutionary product that more women should take a chance on.

 

If like me you are happy to make the switch or even try it out I have included the link to the brand of menstrual cup I use. The company is called Mooncup and they retail at £19.99 with free shipping (us women love a bit of free postage) . Just be aware they offer the Mooncup in two different sizes, so be sure to read the description and get the right size for you. Click below to order one now.

 

Get me a MoonCup  

 

All the best

 

 

The Naked Blogger

 

            

 

 

 

 

 

I decided to write this piece to try to encourage the use of the menstrual cup. I wanted to give my first hand experience as you often read reviews and wonder how much of it is true or how much someone has been paid to promote the brand. Just for your information, this I have done for free. 

 

 

 

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