Having your period ? – The ECO-FRIENDLY way

Hello all 🙂

Having your period is one of the most frustrating and hated times of the month, with the need to buy pads or tampons, and it’s an added  drama if you forget to buy them and run out. Having to change in a public restroom is a nightmare, since they are not the most hygienic places on earth.  You don’t always smell fresh and clean, you don’t always feel fresh and clean either. Pads can get too saturated and tampons can leak as well!

Finding the right menstrual products can be a hassle. Also a lot of women are allergic to the products used in pads or tampons. Like the bleach, or the odor control substance that is used in them.

BUT … there is a ‘better’ way to have your period. More relaxed, non toxic, practically allergy proof, safe for all ages, invisible and ECO-FRIENDLY. Think about how many disposable products you go through in your life ! Women have about 400 menstrual cycles in their entire life. That’s about 12000 (twelve thousand) disposable products through the drain and that is a lot of money. What if you can have your period using the same menstrual product for 5 to 10 years and save a lot of money at the same time? 

Let me present you the menstrual cup. Made from medical grade silicone or TPE, they are strong, reusable and eco-friendly. I myself use the MeLuna menstrual cups in size small.

A friend of mine asked me about how I handle my periods. With disposable products or with a reusable cup? I had never heard about cups before, so I asked her to elaborate. She told me that it was soft, non toxic, invisible and you can reuse it every month. To be honest, I was a little doubtful at first. Having never heard of it, it just sounded weird to me. Reusing something you bleed on. Then she asked me if my disposable products caused me any discomfort. Well yeah they did. I was using tampons at the time and I had to admit, they made me dry, itchy and painful on the inside. I hated the fact I always had to put up a new one whenever I had to go and pee. I had used pads before, but that was just not my thing. My friend said that menstrual cups respect your inner flora and don’t damage your vagina like tampons can do. To add another plus … You can keep them in up to 8 to 12 hours. I went online and did some research and I came across the Precious Star Pads youtube channel. I watched several of the videos and decided to order myself a cup. My friend had a MeLuna, so I got one too.

MeLuna cups come in 4 different sizes: S, M, L and XL. They also come in 3 different types of stiffness: Soft, Normal and Sport. Sport being the extra stiff one. They even come in 2 different lengths: Shorty and normal. I got 2 small normal length cups. The cyan one is a soft one and the bright green one a normal. Mine has a ring at the bottom so I can grab it better. You can choose between a ring, a ball,  a stem or a classic without any thing on the bottom. The grip rings on the bottom of the cup also help to hold it. (Not all cup brands have a choice like this)

Here you can clearly see the difference in stiffness. I haven’t tried my green one yet. It just came last week and my cycle was just over. I can’t wait to try it next month. I bought the normal density one because I had the feeling my soft one didn’t always open up completely. Especially on days I when I was  tensed and stressed,but even though it didn’t always fully open, I never had any leaks. It really has changed the way I have my period. It’s so much less painful, fuss-free and more relaxed.

Let me explain how a menstrual cup works.

First sterilize the cup in boiling water for 3 minutes before using it. Also wash your hands !

cup folds

To insert the cup it needs to be folded. These are the 4 most popular folds. You can see that the S-fold is a little hard with my small cup, but it should work perfect with a larger one. I prefer the Punch-Down fold, but the 7-fold is pretty easy as well. You can practice on inserting and finding the best fold for you on non-period days. If you feel that the cup isn’t going is very well, you can use a little water-based lubricant on the rim, or moisten it with some water. To fully master insertion, it takes 2-6 months.

MeLuna_Position

When fully inserted the cup should pop open and create a vacuum inside of your vagina. Don’t worry, there are suction release holes just under the rim of most cups to make removal easy. Don’t be afraid the cup will just drop out of your vagina either. Your vaginal muscles will keep it in place. Now your cup can remain inside your vagina for 8-12 hours. So no more worries about having to change in a public toilet when you are out shopping for the afternoon. You can even sleep with the cup, no problem at all. If you are worried about the cup leaking, you can always use a thin (cloth)pad or (cloth)panty liner to capture the blood in the event of leakage. To remove the cup, simply pinch the bottom to let air flow into the cup. Once the suction is released, you can simply and gently pull the cup out. Empty the cup in the toilet, rinse it under water or with a paper towel and re-insert. You don’t have to sterilize the cup every time you re-insert. Just sterilize it between two periods.

I asked some cup wearing sisters for their experience with menstrual cups. Their responses are below:

Maria:

 I bought the diva cup because it was sold at a local store – it was an impulsive buy, but I’d known about cups for some time. I had it for about 5 or 6 cycles now, so I’m pretty new, but it has definitely made my life easier. I have managed to use mine leak-proof for the last cycle! It’s refreshing to wear normal underwear and know that your period is taken care of. Also showers, urinating, swimming and cuddling my partner is mess-free and less complicated. Great learning curve though for someone who has only worn pads in their life!

Kasey:

Being a Cloth Diaper Mom, you more often introduced to people making suggesting for other eco-friendly products from stuff for your vagina, to your health, and body. At first glance even though you cloth diaper when someone mentions ‘Menstrual Cup’ or ‘Reusable Menstrual Pad’ your first reaction is always astonishment. Growing up you never hear of these things despite the fact they have been around for years. When I first saw people mentioning Menstrual Cups and Reusable pads I thought GAG!! How could anyone do that? After awhile, being someone who was a tight budget and hated Tampons, I decided I will take the plunge into the reusable Menstrual Cup. I bought a Meluna Cup from a Co-Op and I was so confused by the sizes and variations but luckily Meluna gives you a wonderful guide on deciding what the best cup for you is. Some people fear that they will leak and have a thin pad for safety however even when I was brand new, not once did I ever have a problem with it leaking! At first it might feel a little uncomfortable on your cervix, but that is to be expected because you are putting a foreign object in your body and one you’ve never introduced before. After some uses, your cup should feel like nothing is there! There is so many brands out there but after using my Meluna for three years I don’t see anything better than Meluna.

Anupriya has written her own blog piece about having periods the eco-friendly way. Please check it out. www.thealternative.in/lifestyle/towards-greener-periods/

Carla did pieces on different kinds of menstrual cups. Do check them out and don’t forget to check the rest of her blog ! misscmytake.blogspot.be/2014/09/divacup-review.html

There are lots of different cups out there, do your research to see which one is best for you. If you are wondering how to find the best cup for you, take a look at this video. It helped me a lot.

Also if you don’t fancy using cups, there is the option of  reusable cloth pads. A lot of info in the Precious Star Pads youtube channel as well.

If you are wondering where to buy a Meluna cup:

Belgium/The Netherlands: www.bumaround.nl

UK/Germany: www.me-luna.eu (you can select languages on the right hand side)

USA: meluna-usa.com

I’m not putting up other websites of other cups, because I don’t have experience with any of them. But google is your best friend for finding them. (I was not sponsored by MeLuna in any way, I bought the cups with my own money)

Cups vary in price from $20 to $45 each. So select the one you think will be the best for you withing your price range.

You can always mail me with questions about this: Bunnywunnie8@telenet.be

Thanks to all ladies that helped me with this blog, for proof reading and sharing experiences !!!

I hope I made you think twice about managing your period. Comfort is something all we ladies value during that time of the month.

Would you consider using a cup or are you already using one ? Let me know in the comments 😀

Be Happy !!!

Bunnie

Advertisements

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Farrah
    Jan 04, 2015 @ 16:19:12

    Props to you for this post! I wish more people knew about this + the cloth pad option! It’d prevent so much waste from happening!

    I’ve been using reusable pads (http://www.fairyburger.com/reusable-pads/) for almost 5 years now, and am so glad I made the switch to them! :]

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  2. Trackback: Mentioning Unmentionables #1: Menstrual Cups | Laissez Faire

Please leave a comment :)

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

%d bloggers like this: