Zero Waste Period

 

A little over a year now I was introduced to the concept of a menstrual cup by a friend.. and I remember thinking WHAT, HOW HAS NO ONE TOLD ME ABOUT THIS BEFORE?!

Excuse me for bringing in a lot of TMI to today’s post, but I think we all need a bit more honest TMIs in our lives don’t you think?

PB260002.jpg

I always instantly trust people who honestly share their story and experiences with ease and confidence.. I don’t even agree with what TMI stands for, it is rare for me to think any information is too much information (unless it comes from my close family ie. parents & grandparents.. some things I’d rather not know but everyone else.. PLEASE share!)

I get so frustrated and annoyed at how sterile the online world has become, how everyone hides behind their online personas and are too proud and too cool to ever talk about sex, bowel movements or periods.. come on! (I’m the first to agree that I do this too..!)

But hey! We’re all humans, we’re all made the same and surprise surprise most of us women & girls get a period every month whether you want it or not (unfortunately there isn’t an opt out button)

PB260014.jpg

I first got my period when I was 15, I think (don’t quote me on that figure) it came rather late, but I had been prepared for it, having chats with my mum and close girlfriends around me as well as older cousins etc..

I’ve never really been bothered by it, I’m regular like clock work, 1st days are always the worst, painful, heavy flow but never so much that I can’t function and then the following 4 days I feel totally normal (other than being a little moody and more tired)

I do get PMS perhaps a week to a week and a half before I’m due on and my symptoms are usually : a strong attraction to carbs & anything comfort food (sweet/fatty/carby), highly emotional (I’ll cry at the most random things), I feel more tired than usual in the evenings, and I get a little bloated (damn you water retention), but nothing out of the ordinary!

I actually find my period to be very empowering, and a monthly reminder that my body can create life.

(I’m not sure you truly needed to know everything there is to know about my cycle, but you know, we’re here to share so why not!)

PB260017.jpg

Since the beginning of my period, I always, always used tampons, I hated pads (that feeling of wearing a nappy was just a no no for me), I grew up being active, horse riding multiple times a week, swimming all the time and tampons were just very handy, but as I became more aware of my impact on the planet and became interested in the zero waste movement, it became clear that tampons and pads were one of the biggest waste that I was contributing to on a very regular basis.

It then it dawned on me that perhaps, not only were they bad for the planet, but tampons could be bad for my own health as well.

After a quick little research I discovered that the amount of chemicals in tampons, from fragrances, to pesticide residue in the cotton used, to carcinogenic dioxins that are a byproduct from the bleaching process were not only considered ‘normal’ but were widely spread in most brands.. If I didn’t want to touch these chemicals, why would I ever want to have them INSIDE me for extended periods of time, all day for a week, once a month… I mean how scary is that?! If you’re not ready to drink up some of these chemicals, you shouldn’t feel ready to put them up there, where they can go straight into your system.

PB260030.jpg

It didn’t take long for me to be sold by the idea of a menstrual cup, actually I ordered one right away.

After a little research I found this company called OrganiCup who seemed to have similar values to me, they use an unbleached cotton bag for storage (it’s also cute!), the packaging is made from 100% recycled carton & even their shipping bags are made of compostable material.. if that’s not a true zero waste product then what is!

Aside from cutting down dramatically on (period) waste and it being much better for my health, here are a few more things that I found made so much sense and pushed me to make the switch :

  • You’ll save money! and not just a little bit of money, the cup is £20 ( OR LESS if you use my 20% off discount code below…!!) and you can keep it for LIFE. This is a one time purchase, you don’t need to replace it in a month, in a year, if you take care of it, it will last forever. I used to spend around £5 to £8 pounds every month…! Oh and the cup means you never have to think about running down to the shops because you ran out… around the time I know I will have my period I carry around the cup in it’s little pouch.

  • You will have a better awareness of your body, and your cycle. You’re aware of what your body does, how much blood you’re losing, etc.. It’s super empowering!! I am a huge advocate for body awareness and self awareness, if you haven’t read this brilliant book, you need to do so asap!

  • No leaks… like none! This took a couple of cycles to get right, but once you know how to check it’s perfectly positioned, you can be sure it will stay in place and you can go about your day worry free. That’s another good point, you have to change/empty it FAR less than you would with a tampon or pad.. it’s liberating not to have to think about it constantly.

  • A lot of people have said it helped tremendously with their PCOS symptons, I can’t speak for anyone here as I have never had to deal with PCOS, but worth a try if you do! Some people say it’s also helped with their general symptoms during their period, less cramps, lighter flow etc.. (which I found to be true!)

  • Better for your vagina’s health, it’s not affecting it’s ph and it’s natural microbiome, no odors, no Toxic shock syndrome (the fact that this is even a possibility with tampons, is SCARY!!!), no bleach and other harsh chemicals.

PB260009.jpg

I share more of my experience with the cup in the first few months in this post, but after a couple of cycles, it was like second nature! I tend to change it in the shower, and if I can’t then it’s so easy to empty and clean anywhere. I found that I had to rewire my brain to do things differently during my period, but it didn’t take long and now it’s truly like second nature.

Generally the response I get when I mention menstrual cups is most people don’t want to see let alone touch their own blood, and I get it, but this is a part of who you are. It’s not more or less gross than your saliva or any other bodily fluid that you’re in touch with every single day. See this as an opportunity to learn about your body, about the beauty behind it all, the power of a woman’s body is immense and you should feel proud!

Once you’ve figured out how to use it, and you’ve practiced a few times (after 1 cycle you should already be up to speed, but give it 2 or 3 to feel completely comfortable!) - it’s really not that hard, not much harder than putting a tampon on. Once it’s up there you shouldn’t feel it, and you should feel FREE as the wind ;)

I got in touch with Organicup a few weeks ago because after using their cup for almost a year I loved it so much I wanted to see if there was any way I could work with them to share these with you too, and they were kind enough to offer a 20% discount code with all my readers!

If you enter the code “TANIAJOY” at checkout you’ll get 20% off !

(disclaimer : this is not a paid sponsored post but the discount code is affiliated - do email me tania@joyfelicityjane.com with any questions in case the code doesn’t work or you have any questions about the cup!)

I’d love to hear your experience with the cup if you’re using one already, and if you’re not and you’re tempted let me know your thoughts! I’d love to be able to chat with you all about our cycles like a close group of girlfriends chatting around the fire with a cup of tea.. maybe one day we can make this happen!!