This is a bit of a taboo subject, because not many people discuss this, and I think a lot of people (especially men – ahem), like to pretend it isn’t real and doesn’t happen. But it does. Periods. The average woman of today has about 450 periods in her lifetime. Most women bleed for five days a month, every single month. That’s 2,250 days of periods. *sob*
It’s thought that 70% of women use tampons when they are on their period. The tampon and pad industry is said to be a $700 million dollar market. Tampons and pads are mass-produced and cheaply-made, yet sold at quite an expensive rate. The average women will use 11,000 tampons in her life. 11,000!
I had been thinking about what I am putting into my body (literally) when using tampons, and what I’m exposing my skin to when using pads. And a short little google search confirmed my suspicions. Tampons and pads are simply not good for you! This article from Collective Evolution was a mind-opener for me, and I’d highly recommend you read it in full.
Knowing you use that many tampons, it makes sense to investigate what exactly pads and tampons are made of. As you will see in the article I mentioned, they are primarily made of bleached rayon and types of plastic. Rayon is made from cellulose fibres with a process that uses chemicals like chlorine and caustic soda. Sanitary pads have a lot of plastic in them, which stops them being really breathable. On top of this, both pads and tampons are bleached using chlorine! The bleaching process releases a substance called dioxin which is linked to health conditions, such as cancer. Tampons can leave fibres behind too, causing infections. There’s also the risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome. Not to forget the effect on the environment. Scary, scary stuff.
This made me then investigate my other options, and I came across the menstrual cup. There are a number of them on the market: The Moon Cup, The Diva Cup, The MPower Cup (to name a few).
I settled on the MPower Cup simply because it is South African manufactured, and they are involved with The Karabo Initiative which I thought was an empowering movement.
The menstrual cup I use is 100% silicone (like most menstrual cups), and it lasts for five years. There’s no risk associated with using a menstrual cup – no Toxic Shock Syndrome, for example. It’s reusable, so you simply clean it and sterilize it between periods. To clean it during your period, you just rinse it out with water. To clean it in between periods, you simply boil it in water for 2-5 minutes. It is super comfortable to use, and you can use it overnight too. You can also swim, gym, and be active while using a menstrual cup.
To be honest, it took about three or four periods for me to get used to it – for example, to get the placement right. Now, there’s no turning back. I’ve given all my pads and tampons away, and will only use my menstrual cup from now on. You get used to it really easily, and it’s not any more invasive than using a tampon. The benefits are numerous.
The only difference now is that you are ‘in contact’ with your blood. This is a bonus, in my opinion, because you get to know your cycle more intimately. You can understand how much blood you are losing, and get a feel as to what is ‘normal’ for you.
This cup cost me R325.10* – although it may sound like a lot, remember that it lasts you five years. You end up saving a ton of money, compared to buying expensive tampons and pads every month.
This is not a sponsored post – it’s genuinely just a product I truly believe in, and I think we owe it to ourselves to empower ourselves and take care of our health.
*Price correct at timing of posting.