It is said that “on average women have a period for about 30-40 years of their life.”
As uncomfortable as it is, instead of being upset and frustrated every month when my period comes, I express gratitude! Crazy huh?! Well, think about it, if you are a woman and you don’t see your period, something is wrong with your body, and you’d probably be freaking out! Right?! Exactly! Having regular menstrual cycles is a sign that important parts of your body are working normally! And you’ll be able to reproduce: having children. So ladies, let’s be grateful!
After using pads for however long (yes, I know it’s gross, but I’ve never been a tampon girl), I decided to explore sustainable options of menstrual products. As we all know, pads can be irritating, and…..let’s NOT talk about the smell, let’s keep real ladies! Also, pads give you the illusion that you’re losing all the blood you have in your body, lol. If you are not aware, conventional pads and tampons manufacturers have no obligation to disclose their ingredients in their products! They use harsh toxic chemicals such as plastic, fragrances and odour neutralizers, artificial colours, and much more. Some of these chemicals can cause hormone disruption. After using conventional period products for years, I decided to opt for a more sustainable approach and started looking for alternative options.
*Note: You must always use clean fingers when using the products.
Difference between Menstrual cup and menstrual disc
A menstrual cup is different from a menstrual disc. The main difference is in the positioning of the object. As you see in the image, the cup is positioned in the vagina canal when the disc sits closer to the cervix; in other words, the positioning is higher.
This invention is a GAME-CHANGER!
Here are a few benefits of using menstrual cups/dics:
- Easy to use
- Various kind of cups
- No weird odours
- More hours between changes
- No chemical
- Better sleep
- Fewer leaks, if well inserted.
- No stress SNEEZING!
- It’s not as bad as you think!
- Messy removal
- Leakage if not well inserted.
- Can be difficult to find the right fit
Menstrual discs and cups are cost-efficient. If well maintained, a cup can last you over 5 years!
I initially transitioned with Soft cups/Flex menstrual discs. They are disposable discs that you insert. The disc is pain-free, but it’s scary once in your body. You can not feel anything. I like the fact that the disc is thin and it sits close to your cervix. You simply insert the disc and tuck it under your pubic bone. I used the disc for about 3 months then was frightened to continue because I’ve had a hard time removing it one time. Therefore I switched to the menstrual cups. Besides that, the Soft Cup/Flex is not reusable. I was looking for a sustainable option. Also, note that the removal is messy! You want to be at home, in the shower to remove it. Once inserted, you can’t feel anything. However, I had little leakages from the disc as my flow is heavy; but I loved my experience with Softdisc. I would highly recommend this product for something who’d like to have another alternative to tampons.
First of all, with menstrual cups, you must measure your cervix. Doing this will guide you to purchase the best cup for you. I’ve been using the DivaCup for almost a year now. I bought the Divacup Model 1 initially (30 ml). I experimented with too much leakage, so I got the Model 2 (32 ml). I was still having a lot of leakages. I would watch videos about menstrual cups and ask people around me about their experience, and theirs was great. Trust me; I was getting irritated not having a good experience with the cup. I watched this video from Put a cup in it, and they helped so much! Pushing the walls of your canal made a huge difference. But again….I still had leakages. To be more secure, I use menstrual period underwear. Menstrual cups work for many people, but it was not my case.
Trying another menstrual cup/disc
As mentioned, my experience with the Softcup was the best. After using the Softcup and Divacup, I decided to get a reusable menstrual disc, similar to the Softcup. So, I came across Nixit. I couldn’t resist and purchased it! So far this product was the most expensive one, but it’s worth every penny!
How to insert
At first, I experienced discomfort. I then reached out to the company to express my concern. They got back to me with a very detailed explanation to let me know that the disc was not inserted properly. A deep squat was helpful for positioning the nixit. Same as the Softdisc, you have to tuck it under your pubic bone and doing a few Kegels after insertion to make sure the nixit is positioned correctly. It’s was also helpful pushing nixit back and down when inserting (rather than up like a traditional cup or tampon).
How to clean
It is imperative to sanitize your cup before and after every cycle. The process is straightforward.
There are 2 ways you can clean your cup:
1) Place your cup in boiling water for 5 minutes and place it on an absorbent surface to let it completely dry.
2) Place your cup in a bowl, add baking soda and submerge it with boiling water and let it sit for 5-10 minutes. – I personally prefer using that method, and sometimes, for extra disinfectant, I add a little bit of vinegar and baking soda to the water, as well.
If your goal is to avoid using pads or pantie liners altogether, using menstrual period leak-proof panties is a great alternative. If you are new to menstrual cups or discs, I will strongly suggest using protection to avoid leakages.
Pads & Tampons
If you still prefer using tampons and pads, I would suggest that you use products made with organic cotton without the use of any bleach.
Here are a few of the brands I’ve used and love.
L. Pads https://amzn.to/3dlb8Cz
L. Tampons https://amzn.to/2xTKmAO
Seventh Generation https://amzn.to/3ggfECY
Natracare – https://amzn.to/2WwnqC6
Organyc pads/tampons https://amzn.to/33ORcDT/https://amzn.to/33CNuNm
Hope this article was helpful. If you use some of these products, feel free to share them below.
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