Periods get a bad rap, since the dialogue surrounding them is overwhelmingly negative – if we talk about them at all. Often, when it comes to our periods, society encourages us to plug up and shut up.
At Other Nature, we work to change negative attitudes about menstruation, while promoting more environmentally- and body-friendly alternatives to mainstream menstrual products, including silicone cups, reusable pads, and non-chlorine bleached organic cotton pads, liners, and tampons.
Mainstream menstrual products are bleached using chlorine, which creates toxic chemicals called dioxins. These chemicals are released into the atmosphere and also remain in the chlorine-bleached products which we then put in or on our bodies.
Dioxin residue has been linked with many health problems, including birth defects, endometriosis, infertility, cancer, and damage to major organs such as the liver. Non-chlorine-bleached, organic products are SO MUCH BETTER for your health and the environment.
Reusable products have the additional benefit of producing far less waste. Around 7 billion tampons and 13 billion disposable pads are dumped into landfills each year, with one person's lifetime's use reaching an estimated 8,000 -11,000 products. One menstrual cup, on the other hand, can last you 10 years!
Menstrual cups (like our favourite: the Ruby Cup!) are inserted into the vagina and collect period blood instead of absorbing it like a tampon.
It sits in the lower vagina, and the sides of the cup create a seal around the vaginal walls, which stops the blood from leaking out.
You will usually empty the cup – depending on your flow – 2-4 times a day, and wash it with water.
Though it may sound weird at first, this is – in our humble opinion – a truly revolutionary invention, and we want everyone, everywhere, to know about it!
Some people find that choosing alternative menstrual products actually helps them to feel more positively about their periods. Walking away from tampons can help us distance ourselves from negative societal attitudes that construct menstruation as shameful and period blood as dirty.
Emptying your menstrual cup can – if you wish – be an opportunity to notice the amount, texture and colour of your flow, and see how this changes throughout your period. Demystifying exactly what is happening “down there” can be empowering!
If getting up close and personal with your menstrual blood doesn't appeal, don't worry: it's not a necessary part of using a menstrual cup. Reusable products are also wallet-friendly, and the extra cash in your pocket (for, say, chocolate) might also foster a friendlier attitude towards your “time of the month.”