Surprise! It’s a super special mid-week blog post. Crazy right? I can’t believe I’m writing this either. It’s 11pm on Monday night and I just feel like writing something. So I am.
Today I wanna talk about… periods. Don’t be shocked, almost every human with a vagina experiences or has experienced periods in their life. It’s a natural bodily function and nothing to shy away from addressing.
There are three main ways to deal with a period.
Option number one: Pads. Pads are useful for when you’re feeling lazy and your flow isn’t too insane. I used to only use pads, and now I almost never use pads by themselves for two simple reasons: 1) I hate the feeling of blood exiting my vagina and 2) I wear leggings almost every day. As a dancer, I have to give extra care to my methods of ~fluid~ collection because aside from the clothing situation, there’s also a lot of sweat and a lot of weird positions that your body might end up in. Also, I find it very difficult to feel “clean” wearing pads. Possessors of vaginas, you know what I mean.
Option number two: Tampons. Tampons, in my opinion, are MUCH more useful than pads. While pads allow all the crap to gush out of you and do a measly job at protecting your underpants from the aftermath, tampons actually prevent your flow from leaving your vagina (when they work properly). Tampons can be much more discreet than pads which make them great for leggings, leotards, etc. However, tampons definitely aren’t perfect so I always wear a pantiliner (or even a full pad if I’m not leaving the house) in combination with them. Personally, I’m quite comfortable with using tampons and find them to work very well – except for three major exceptions. 1) Tampons put you at risk of toxic shock syndrome, so you can only wear them for 8 hours. This means that when I wear tampons to sleep, I have to be very meticulous about setting my alarm and I expend a lot of nervous energy worrying about getting TSS. Plus I’m automatically limited to sleeping less than 8 hours a night. 2) Tampons create a lot of WASTE! Every time you use a tampon, you throw away the wrapper, applicator, and the tampon itself wrapped in toilet paper. That’s a lot of waste generated over the course of a period and a lot of wasted money spent restocking tampons every month. 3) TAMPONS HAVE SCARY CHEMICALS AND CRAP IN THEM! You can read this article or research others like it and see how SCARY it is that we insert these wads of chemical-laced cotton into our vaginas for 5-7 days every month! I once accidentally bought a pack of scented tampons, but by the time I realized they were scented, I had already opened the box and it was too late to return them. I wasn’t going to waste my money so I used the tampons anyway… and months later after I had stopped using them my vagina still smelled like some damn roses! It’s creepy and terrifying to think about the potential danger I put my body in every time I use tampons.
So, this brings me to option number three: MENSTRUAL CUPS. Let me tell you, menstrual cups are a wonderful, wonderful product of human innovation. I first heard about them on YouTube where women sang the praises of this safe, medical-grade silicone cup that sits in your vagina and collects your blood without doing anything to disturb the delicate ecosystem of your nether regions. Essentially, it works by creating a suction around your cervix, so when the blood leaves your cervix it gets collected in the cup. Later, you remove the cup, dump its contents into the toilet, rinse it out, and reinsert it. Since the cup is reusable and you flush the collected fluids down the toilet, virtually no waste is produced AND you don’t have to spend money on single-use menstrual products every month. I will say that there is quite a steep learning curve to using the cup, and I’ve only used it for one cycle so far, but I definitely think it is WORTH IT to at least try out. Menstrual cups are so much better for your body, the environment, and your peace of mind since you don’t have to worry about toxic shock syndrome! Also, menstrual cups come in all different shapes and sizes so you can find a cup that works well with your personal anatomy. Check out the links to resources and information on menstrual cups below! (Also feel free to ask me any questions you may have about menstrual cups. I may do a separate post on my personal experience using a menstrual cup later.)
The video above does a great job explaining how menstrual cups work and how to use them! This quiz helped me to determine which cup to try out.
So TECHNICALLY those are the three main options for menstrual care, but I also want to point out one more option: reusable cloth menstrual pads. I personally haven’t done much research on this (yet), but I definitely will in the future and you should too! Reusable pads allow you to save money on pads AND protect yourself from all the nasty chemicals and crap in pads that go right up against your skin. This YouTube channel is a good starting point for learning about cloth pads; you can also use Google to find various forums. Also, I know there are some shops on Etsy that sell cloth pads, or you can even make your own.
Alright, that’s it for me. It’s 11:44pm now and I need to finish my readings, shower, and sleep. Goodnight y’all! Have good periods and good lives.