No More Pads or Tampons


A guest post by Laurel Walker


I remember when I first heard of menstrual cups, I thought it was a really gross idea. I am not the kind of person who enjoys talking about my monthly visit from Uncle Red and Aunt Flo. A nice chat about my period isn’t my idea of a fantastic time but the people at You Are Loved and Twitter #PeriodTalks reminded me how important it is to shrug off the shame of public convention and raise my voice about things that matter. Too many young women aren’t adequately taught in their home, school, or peer group WHAT a period is and that there are options on how to stay hygienic and healthy “down there.” Periods shouldn’t be a taboo topic; it’s NATURE, people.

I was an early developer at nine years old and my mom did a good job of teaching me what she knew: pads and tampons. However, many eco-conscious women use alternatives to the standard disposable products and I didn’t even know that other alternatives existed! It was like a scary new world thinking about changing the products I have been using now for thirteen years.

The major two alternatives are reusable cotton pads, similar in theory to cloth diapers, and menstrual cups. I was terrified of trying a reusable silicone menstrual cup because I didn’t want to drop $30.00 or more on something that I may not like because, let’s face it, things are financially tight. I heard about disposable cups but couldn’t find anywhere in my hometown. Women around here are afraid of change…and being seen purchasing products that are potentially embarrassing. FINALLY, I noticed a small box of Softcups at my local CVS and snapped them up right then. I bought the only box of the only brand of cups on the shelf. (I also bought a box of tampons, just in case, and haven’t touched them yet.)

My first impression of the Softcup was that it looked like a giant’s condom. It was so, so strange but worked amazing well. Putting my Softcup in was weird the first time. Changing it was a little messy the first few tries and I remember being glad that I started the switch over the weekend so that I could have an adjustment time before heading out in public.

After my unexpected Fallopian tube removal last year, it was important that the cup not be painful or uncomfortable for me to wear. It wasn’t. In fact, I felt much more mobile and much less uncomfortable than when wearing a tampon. One of the major downfalls of tampons is that they dry out your vagina and make it really uncomfortable. When you break it down, what you’re really doing is forcing a wad of dry cotton into one of your most sensitive and delicate places by putting in a tampon. It doesn’t sound so normal or healthy when you put it that way, does it? It was also important that I be comfortable with the other effects. For instance, one major problem with pads is that it creates an uncomfortable feeling and sometimes a smell. You’re basically wearing a blood diaper, am I right? With a cup, I had none of the pad or tampon problems and it was a miracle.

Even better than that, you can wear a cup for 12 hours straight and it doesn’t have any effect on your bathroom habits. I have a heavy period, a very heavy period, and I have had no leakage problems up to the 12 hour mark. That means: no ruined sheets, no getting up in the middle of the night, no separate “period panties,” no awkward visits to the bathroom when you realize that you need to change your product and you’ve forgotten your purse, no purchasing panty liners to complement your tampon, and, best of all, no pain and no discomfort.

I was so scared to try menstrual cups but, once I took the chance, I realized that it was no mistake. I am a convert to reusable cups and I can’t wait until I can take my next adventure with an eco-friendly reusable cup instead of disposable cups.

 

Laurel Walker is the author of Opinionated Girl, a vegan, a stepmom, and a wife. When she’s not busy writing personally invasive articles on the internet, she practices Choi Kwang Do and is the Executive Board secretary for her local community theatre group. 

Comments

  1. I love the Reusable Softcup, which I tried after loving and using the disposable! Good for you for trying and loving it! I love it too, for the reason you mentioned, and for the fact that there is no “off time” of lovemaking with my fiance, and that I can swim with comfort. I’ve used cloth pads for 9 years now, since I started cloth diapering my oldest child. I didn’t think there was anything better – but the softcup sure is! 😀

  2. I have had a Keeper for a few years that someone gave me when they had a new extra and tried without much success a few times and then gave up. After becoming vegan almost one year (!) ago, I think more about everything I use and because I am very opposed to animal testing/cruelty, decided to give it another go. For some reason, it clicked this time and I can’t believe how much I love it! Definitely some learning curve but I believe we should all know our own bodies and not be grossed out by something so earth-friendly and cost effective.

  3. Hey guys,
    So I recently
    Recovered from having toxic shock twice. I’ve had to get used to using pads again which is awful, I hate it. I was wondering if anyone knew any information about whether or not it is safe to use the cups? Doctors have told me to not even put anything up there anymore. No one seems to know for sure though. Please let me know!
    Thanks!!

    • Adriana,
      I’m sorry this has happened to you twice – but this is often the case.
      There have been no TSS cases related to Instead SoftCups or to reusable cups like Keeper, MoonCup, DivaCup, Lunette. These cups collect flow, they don’t absorb it and have no fibers that can/will remain within you. All of the cups mentioned have websites and are on Twitter. You can follow us @youarelovedTSS and we can help you connect with one of their representatives who can answer your questions and provide you with information about them.
      I would love to hear your story and wonder if you would be interested in sharing it with others via our website.

  4. Initially these soft cups can be irritating,but later on i fell in love with them!I used mine along with adira period panties at the start,since i wasn’t quite sure if i was wearing the cup right.Now i am a loyal user of both.

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