Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Alternative Menstrual Products
In honor of the upcoming Vagina Monologues and all the "The Vaginas are Coming" signs posted all over campus, I wanted to share something that I have recently discovered about my own vagina. My vagina is concerned about the environment and has decided to embrace environmentally friendly menstrual products. I have always had problems using disposal pads and tampons. They are expensive, wasteful, and they always seem to throw my vagina out of whack. Pads can be bulky and chafe and tampons tend to be uncomfortable and absorb all the good fluids that we all have down there. Also, when using tampons I was constantly worried about TSS and I would have to basically arrange my life around the removal of tampons every 5-8 hours (there is NO risk of TSS when using menstrual cups).
Thankfully, I have a wonderful sister who was able to offer some alternatives to tampons and pads. She told me about her menstrual cup and how much it has improved her periods. Menstrual cups are basically little cups made of medical grade silicon (they also come in rubber or latex for ladies with allergies). You place the cup in your vagina and it cups your cervix and catches the menstrual blood. There are many brands of cups available in different shapes and sizes (and they come in pretty colors!!! Mine is pink and super cute!) to suit different women's anatomy and flow amounts. You can leave it in for up to 12 hours and it can last for many years.
If you feel a little uncomfortable with the idea of a cup, you can also look into cloth pads as a way of reducing your environmental impact. However, I would recommend that everyone at least consider menstrual cups. They help the environment, your wallet, and you will learn a lot about your vagina and your periods. I have used mine for one cycle and I already feel so much more in touch with my body.
For more information, visit the ultimate resource on menstrual cups-- http://menstrualcups.org/.