Yeah yeah yeah. You say periods are gross.
Let me tell you why I will never wear a tampon again. I have found an alternative, called a menstrual cup. It is a silicone cup which is inserted high in the vagina to collect all of that period blood. It's cheap, reusable, and easy-to-use.
A well-researched article popped up in Pacific Standard about menstrual cups. It details the history of women dealing with their periods over the last 100 years or so. Natalie Shure writes,
Cup devotees, nevertheless, have several good reasons to evangelize their tampon- and pad-free lifestyles. Menstrual cups are cost-effective: While the average woman spends thousands on some 17,000 tampons and pads over the course of her menstruating life, one menstrual cup costs between $20 and $40 and doesn’t ever need to be replaced. They’re environmentally friendly too: Menstrual cups provide 12 hours of continuous protection, compared to disposable alternatives that must be changed every few hours. They contain safer ingredients, and feel less obtrusive without diaper-esque padding or a dangling string. One 2011 study showed that 91 percent of the subjects who tried them would recommend them to friends. There isn’t a woman on Earth who feels that passionately about tampons.
I personally am a HUGE advocate of the menstrual cup. A DivaCup user myself for about 5 years. That means I've been free of the burden, shame, and taboo of periods for that time. My sister introduced me to the little silicone cup. Told me how it simplified her life. Since then, every time I hear a woman complain about her period or ask for a tampon, I give my pitch for menstrual cups. I have numerous friends and family members who have made the switch and have stuck with it.
My 6 reasons why menstrual cups are the bomb diggity:
This is a one-time cost ($20-40), as cups need only be boiled at the end of each month and reused. Compared to the average woman spends thousands on disposable products through her lifetime.
Packing is simple.
Keep your cup (& its cute little pouch) in your purse. You will never be without again.
Create a conversation.
After trying the cup, I find women talk about their periods more openly. The social taboos and days sneaking a tampon into the bathroom are over. Women are proud to say, "I'm wearing my cup. Are you?"
When you only have to change the cup 2-3 times a day, everything is easier. Life is simpler.
Healthier for you.
The bleach used to make the cotton appear more "clean" is not so good for your lady parts. Women have been known to have remaining fibres of rayon & cotton from the tampon inside her at the end of her period which could lead to infection. Most contain dioxin, a toxic by-product of the creation of tampons. The cups do not dry out your vagina or alter your pH levels. You know it is sterile because you have boiled it yourself.
Let's face it, so many women flush those tampons. Sometimes even the plastic applicators. (Please stop doing that). The tampons/pads end up in landfills. They are made with cotton which is a heavy water usage crop and wrapped in plastics that end up in our dumps and oceans. With a silicone cup, nothing is wasted.
Can I use a menstrual cup right after birth?
A birth canal must have the time and space to heal itself in the weeks postpartum. Always check with your healthcare provider before using tampons or a menstrual cup after having a baby. Once given the ok and your period returns, a menstrual cup is safe to use again.