Lets talk about that dreaded week of the month….our periods. What comes to mind? Uncomfortable, messy, painful…and so many other not so nice words. And for some women, hormonal or other physical conditions can make menstruation even more dreaded. I have PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) which has made my periods a frustration my entire life. My cycle had always been irregular, heavy, and caused awful cramps and headaches. I know many other women who deal with some of those same symptoms and/or many others that are just as bad. I had heard about you could detox your period, but I wasn’t really sure what that meant.
So why Reusable or Eco Friendly?
Why the need to detox your period? I was so surprised when I found out that many of my symptoms could actually be caused by the menstrual products I was using. I learned that mainstream disposable pads and tampons can be full of chemicals that can cause things like Hormonal disruption, abnormal cell and tissue growth, and immune system depression. And I bet all of us have seen the Toxic Shock Syndrome warning that comes in every box of tampons.
Even learning all this, I was still not sure about reusable or eco friendly products. Would they work as well or be as comfortable? Would they be more expensive or messy? At MommyCon in 2016, I went to a session all about the different options in period care and I decided to finally try a menstrual cup. I chose the Diva Cup, after talking to Kim Rosas, who led the session at MommyCon. While I realize I can’t send you all to talk to her personally, you can take a quiz over at Put a Cup In It, of which she is a co-author. Tons and tons of good info on that site, by the way.
I was pregnant with my daughter during all of this, so it was a few months until I actually got to put my cup to use. The first cycle I used it, was a major fail. I couldn’t figure out how to get it in comfortably, made a huge mess and had to take it out in the shower. Discouraged, I put it away in a drawer, and figured I would just go back to what I was comfortable with. About 6 months later, I got brave and decided to try again. This time I watched a few videos and practiced a few times before my cycle to make sure I had a good fold and a good fit. This time was a MUCH better experience and I was legit shocked when my period was lighter than it had ever been. I was sure it was a fluke. I’ve been consistently using my cup for about a year now, and I can say it continues to be so worth it. On the cycles I have switched back to mainstream products I have had more cramping, heavier bleeding, and even skin irritation.
Plus I love the convenience of only have to change it every 12 hours. I’ve saved a ton of money too, not having to buy these products every month. I definitely realize that a cup may not be for everyone, and I am huge about doing what works best for you!
If I could offer any tips, it would be these
- If at first you don’t succeed, don’t give up! It can take some practice to learn your body and what type of cup and insertion folds work best for you. Practicing in the shower was super helpful for me.
- Ask questions! If you feel like you aren’t getting the results you hoped for, talk to your friends, bloggers or in ask in Facebook groups. I bet there’s someone out there that may have experienced the same thing or has a fix for you.
I’m not into a Cup, anything else I can try?
Not long after I started getting the hang of my cup, I was introduced to Flex discs. These are so stinking cool! I alternate between these and my cup. They aren’t reusable, but they are made of a medical grade polymer and hypoallergenic. Like a cup, these discs can be worn for up to 12 hours and replace tampons. Some differences, the discs are slimmer and, in my opinion, have a less of a learning curve, they insert more like a traditional tampon. Probably the coolest thing about them, is that they can be used for mess free period sex. Now, I realize sex may be the last thing on your mind during this time, but its sure nice to have options. Oh and you know I had to test this feature…it really works!
If you are more of a pad girl, I’ve got you covered too! Genial Day makes pads and pantie liners that are eco-friendly, cruelty free and dermatologically tested. I was again skeptical about these, mostly because I hate pads. I feel like I am wearing a diaper. But these, are super thin and comfortable and ultra absorbent. If you are curious, you can order a free trial on their site.
Another option, that I haven’t tried yet, is period panties. These are underwear that have absorbency, so no other product is needed. I have seen some really great reviews on them, and I would like to try a pair sometime. Have you tried them? I would love to hear your thoughts!
If you have been thinking about trying or switching your menstural products, I encourage you to at least give it a try! If you do, come back and tell me what you think!