Men, unless you want to read about menstrual cycles and our choices to capture all of ‘IT’ I suggest you pick another one of my blogs to read. If you continue out of curiosity don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Women. It’s time to get liberated. Keep readiing.
I’m sure most who have walk our beaches at the Great Lakes can all share the same stories of tampon applicators on our beaches. We are a disposable society and my walks over the years along the shores couldn’t hit home any harder. Miniature buoys floating up to the shore and on the beach (plastic applicators) are at every lake I’ve been too. You can read about it in the news and a lot of environmental sites discuss this problem. They are everywhere!!! The applicators are plugging up our waterways from our toilet to our lakes. Did I mention where we get our drinking water from? Right.
For many decades society has managed to make women scared of our own menstrual blood. Somehow the sanitary companies have sanitized our monthly period and made us think grossly of it. It’s our blood, from our body. It won’t kill you. Promise.
It’s time to reconsider how we handle our menstrual period. Its time we take back control. It’s actually long over due. I am frustrated with myself for not getting the switch happening sooner. There are so many good reasons for change. Financially, environmentally and safety for ourselves. I will dip a little bit into each aspect I feel is important.
Financially: Even though our own health should be the main reason for change I know financial is the one most would consider first, sadly. Tampons run us approx. $10/month. I know I was an avid toss and throw consumer and used close to a box monthly. So for me it was close to $120 yearly. For others that could be less or more. When I used organic cotton tampons the cost exceeded that by a lot, obviously. For simplicity we’ll stick with the $100/yearly. I have a cheaper solution. Keep reading.
Environmentally: If you give just one little crap about the environment you will see the need to make changes. These plastic applicators are everywhere. In our dead birds, in our dead fish washed up on the shore, as part of our shore-scape. It’s sad. Our tampons are polluting us in more than one way. It can take approximately 25 years for one plastic applicator to break down in the ocean. Longer in fresh water. Read that again. One applicator, 25 years. A women will use an estimated 11,000 to 18,000 tampons in her life time. That’s a lot of plastic applicators following us around. That’s a big unnecessary footprint on our earth. Applicator or not, toxins and waste are excessive on their own.
Health: There are items listed here that could also be under the environment but also belong here. Non- Organic Cotton. Pesticides. Herbicides. Remember from my other blog ‘Please Drink Responsibly’ heavy metals are in pesticides. Many tampons are made up of both cotton and rayon. This blend is bleached to give us the sterile white cotton look we have grown to apparently need. Marketing/brain washing. Although a far more toxic process was banned in 1998, the current one still carries health consequences. Detectable levels of dioxins (a left over toxin from the bleaching process) remain in tampons. Although the FDA claims the amounts aren’t traceable, this is true when it is measured using ppm (part per million). Beware. The traces are there when we use the measuring stick ppb (parts per billion). Dioxin is accumulative. It is stored in our body fat. Dioxins are a known carcinogen and when we consider where we place the tampon, our threat is heightened. Dioxins are also known to be a contributing factor to auto immune diseases, infertility and increase our risk of PID.(Pelvis inflammatory disease).
Then we get into another very serious health risks. Toxic Shock Syndrome. TSS. It’s actually a warning inside of every box of tampons. Every box. Toxic shock. Can lead to death. What are we thinking? Those that leave your tampons in for prolonged periods of time run a real risk of this. TSS. Wear your tampons according to the guidelines or you run the risk of serious consequences or even death.
The tampon industry has sanitized our periods FROM us, manipulated our way of thinking and as mothers, we teach our daughters the same dangerous sanitary habits and pass on the toxic choices, pads or tampons. Totally works in the tampon industry’s favour, but definitely not in ours or our environment. Take it back.
However, the alternative means you need to be comfortable with yourself and your fluids. It’s very liberating once you let go of all the stigma.
One alternative is organic non-bleached cotton. Expensive. Definitely better than what most of us use or have used, but still high in waste and high in expense.
The best alternative is saved for last. And let me introduce to you, The Diva Cup. Taaaadaaaaaa!!! I love my Diva Cup. Yup, it’s a cup to catch the nectar of your womb. (I must thank my friend for that saying..nectar of the womb). A food grade silicone cup that is inserted the same way a tampon is. More or less. You pinch it and fold it into itself and go deep sea fishing. Once inserted your freedom begins. You can go up to 12 hours on a single serve cup. I’ve gone 14 and haven’t had any issues. It’s incredibly liberating. Previously I’ve been controlled by time and fear. Fear of leakage. Restricted to where I can go and the time frame in which I must work within. No more pee soaked strings to reposition and ‘enjoy’ until the wet string reaches your body temperature. It’s just more convenient, non-toxic and earth friendly. I was an avid tampon tosser. I didn’t think TSS would happen to someone else, I am very aware I could of been that person. However, my tampons wouldn’t last for that long without spillage anyways. I even had to set my alarm clock during the night for every 3 hours during the first few days of my cycle, to avoid a crime scene clean up. Over sharing? Now I get to sleep as long as I want, uninterrupted. Freaking awesome!!
I won’t change tampons or pads in a public bathroom. I just won’t. I will abandon the mission and head home before that takes place. It’s one thing to pull the plug on your bladder in a public washroom while hoovering, it’s another thing to pull the plug on your uterus in a public bathroom. I don’t have any faith in those facilities, especially when the staff are responsible for the clean, not a cleaning company. Besides, what if a blood bath took place before I am in there. Ugh I just shutter at the thought of it!
I now have 12-14 hours of freedom. Freedom!! I can head out and do my groceries and pull a food bank shift off and go about my daily life without the restrictions of my alarm clock going off every 2-4 hours.
Warning: Emptying your cup can be a bit disturbing when not at home. Trust me when I say you do not want to do this in a public bathroom or anywhere that you’ll be uncomfortable with the bathroom acoustics. Thankfully a friend warned me of the noises it can make upon exiting your womanly cavity, so I’m doing you the same favour and passing the warning onto you. Upon exit it’s like a big rippling vag fart. The suction is being released and well, it’s just the noise it makes. You’ve been warned. You can thank me later.
The Diva Cup aka Menstrual Cup does take a bit more effort in comparison to a tampon. I know some tampons are without applicators and we all know how you get them in place, so a Diva cup shouldn’t be a rude awakening for those people. Like I’ve said, you just need to reintroduce yourself to your own blood and get liberated. It’s yours. If I can do it, so can you! It’s really not that big of a deal.
Some I’ve heard and I’ve read online, empty their nectar into the sink. Ummm no! Empty into toilet and use wipes to get her ready for her next shift. Flush. When it’s going away until your next cycle, put her in a bowl of vinegar and water and give her a good wash, dry and return to her own little pouch. This cute pouch comes with your purchase. Do not put on top rack of dishwasher. Yes I’ve read that too.
There’s what feels like a big cost .. It cost me $38.99 CDN. So what’s that $5 US? Haha just kidding. Kind of. But really it pays for itself in 3-4 months depending on your tampon usage. After that, it’s technically free periods. Would be a welcome change right?
There are 2 sizes. Choose accordingly. One for women who haven’t squeezed out a human and one for those that have.
I challenge all menstruating women to take their freedom back. I challenge you to invest in yourself, your health and your environment.
Become a DIVA!