Ladies, I've got to let you in on a little secret that's changed my life! Well, at least for one week every month. The amazing menstrual cup! I've ditched pads and tampons, saving myself lots of money, for this pretty pink thing. In this article, I'll share with you the pros and cons of using one, and how it's making my life easier.
Chemicals in Pads and Tampons
Ladies, we are gonna get right down to it, and use the V word. Uh-huh. You ready? We are gonna get personal!
Did you know that the tissues in your vagina (v-word!) are very sensitive? Sorry, dumb question. Obviously you already know that! Check out this quote from time.com:
“Unlike something you swallow, substances you place inside your vagina may not go through the body’s typical elimination and metabolic processes, says Ami Zota, an assistant professor of environmental health at George Washington University. Instead, tampon chemicals are absorbed by the vaginal mucosa, and from there are able to pass almost directly into your bloodstream.”
So, the next logical question is, what is in our pads and tampons?
Yes, also called, phthalates. It may seem really nice to try to eliminate some period odor with a fake scent, but those phthalates, a class of endocrine disruptors, have been linked to lower IQ's and higher rates of asthma. What? Crazy, right? There was actually a study done on this, if you'd like to read it! Plus endocrine disruptors do exactly that – mess with your endocrine system. Thyroid, adrenals, estrogen, hormones like estrogen and progesterone, pituitary gland, and more.
A chemical that's part of the bleaching process to bleach the fibers used in pads and tampons. These are known to be highly toxic carcinogens.
According to the EPA (article here),
Dioxins are highly toxic and can cause cancer, reproductive and developmental problems, damage to the immune system, and can interfere with hormones.
Instead of the highly controversial Gardisal vaccine to prevent cervical cancer (and causes a host of horrible side effects), perhaps consider organic tampons or a menstrual cup?! I dunno, just a thought…
All About the Menstrual Cup
So enough about the bad news, let's get the good stuff! I'm gonna be totally open and real with you about these cups.
Why I decided to get one
I've known for years that there were lots of chemicals in pads and tampons, so i started buying organic ones. First of all, many of the organic pads I've bought were very expensive and terrible, I would leak at night while sleeping. Obviously not a good thing! I knew I didn't want those chemicals every month, but trying the menstrual cup sounded so weird! Like, how can that actually work? And is it messy? (Now, I did like the organic tampons.)
Finally, two of my friends were telling me how they'd been using it for years and I knew then I had to at least try it.
So I went to Amazon and chose the Pixie Cup (there are many brands). I liked that I could get a box with two different sizes to be able to find the right fit, they have a nice tab to make removing it easy, and they come with pretty pink storage bags!
Finding the Right Fit
We are about to get really personal here! Might be TMI, but I know you'll want to know like I did! So, my friend told me how she had to have a shorter cup because her vagina is short. When I used the short one, I leaked out for an entire day and I almost gave up on them!
Then I tried the longer one that holds more, and voila! Perfect fit and I was able to wear it 8-10 hours with no problems.
How to Use It
The cups do come with instructions on their one, but here are my tips!
- Lube it up! I'd use some carrier oil, like almond, grapeseed, olive, fractionated coconut, coconut, anything to lube it up for your first time using it. I suggest getting something with a pump top so it's easy to squirt on every time (don't wanna reach a dirty hand into a bucket of coconut oil if you know what I mean! LOL)
- Fold it in half (like in the picture below)
- Slide it up there, not too far, but as far as is comfortable.
- Feel around the other edges of it to make sure it has fully created a suction, that there are no folds. Done!
- You can leave in for up to 12 hours. I wore mine overnight with no problems!
- To remove, pull on the little tab WHILE sitting on the toilet (Don't stand up! It'll make a mess!)
- Pop it out and pour into the toilet. Then reinsert.
- Wash with hot water and soap, or even boil when your period is finished. It actually isn't necessary to wash it every time you remove it.
Cons of Menstrual Cups
The only thing I don't like about them is that when I remove the cup, my hand does get all….ummm…yeah. Bloody. It feels gross! So I only take them out when I'm at home or another person's home where the sink is right there and I can wash my hands in order to pull my hands and open the door! But thankfully, the large cups hold a lot, so I think most women can leave it in while at work.
Or come prepared with a small package of baby wipes in your purse and wipe off your hands in the stall.
So there ya have it! What do you think? Would you give them a try?
Essential Oils for Blood Flow and Cramps
I have a magical, magical oil I use every month right before and during my period that I get from Young Living, Progessence Plus! It balances the Progesterone hormone in women which helps with all of the symptoms we don't like about periods – cramps, moodiness, exhaustion, heavy flow. I used to have to take Tylenol for my cramps and my flow was so heavy that I felt like I couldn't leave the house the first few days of it! But not anymore thanks to this gem! You can get it through me just by itself (you'll just pay full price), or get it 24% off when you join as a member with one of our starter kits (which are incredible!).
See the full video here!