Friday, March 26, 2010

Oh yeah, I'm going there!

NOTE: Keep your eyes out for my very first giveaway coming up within the next 7-10 days!!!


Disclaimer: If you're uncomfortable talking or reading about menstruation, this may not be the post for you. 

Your Menstrual cycle. Aunt Flow. Cousin Red. Period. Yup, that's what this is allll about. I'm going there alright! You're about to learn more about me then you probably wanted to know!

I got my period when I was 10. That means I've had this sucker for 15 long years. Well, that's not necessarily true. When I was 18, I stopped getting it regularly. I would have it 2-3 times a year for about 2 weeks at a time (and the doctor I saw about it said that was normal, right...). Last year, after having my daughter, my period came back at exactly 10 weeks postpartum and I've had it regularly every since.

 I've used several different methods of menstruation products. The most commonly used, of course, were pads and tampons. I used those for yearssssss. When I was in middle school, I had an unfortunate incident with the Instead Cup. Are you ready for this? Even more then 10 years later, this ranks in the top five most humiliating experiences of my entire life. I used it because I had an unusually heavy flow. In theory, it seemed great. Well, I was at school and I had to change it...and I couldn't. Oh yes, that's right, I couldn't get it out. I absolutely PANICKED. After what seemed forever of trying, I had to go to the school nurse and explain what happened. She called my mom and my mom had to come get me. L-O-N-G story short, I ended up going to the doctor to get it removed. I never used them again. To this day, if I see an Instead Cup, I cringe.

I have recently discovered a whole new world outside of disposable pads, tampons and ::gulp:: Instead Cups. Let me just say that the reason I discovered this world is thanks to an allergy I formed to the chemicals in tampons and disposable pads. Every month, my period was an extremely unhappy event because of this.

Different Menstruation Products
*Note: I'm not going to discuss disposable pads and tampons here because I'm assume most readers are aware of what they are. If you're not, please feel free to post a question and I'll be happy to answer.

Reusable Menstrual Pads (aka Mama Cloth): This is actually what women used until the late nineteenth century. It generally consisted of strips of folded rags to catch the menstrual blood. These days, we have many more options at our fingertips. There are companies who make reusable menstrual pads such as Glad Rags and Luna Cloth. You can also purchase them from many work at home moms who make them in their home. I personally prefer to do this. I have purchased mine through GEM Cloth Mama Cloth, who does an incredible job! She makes three different kinds, two with wings and one without wings. I personally prefer the pads with wings because they stay in your panties MUCH better then the ones without wings. Here are two pictures that I took from GEM Cloth (note: these are not my pictures):
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Menstrual Cups: Menstrual cups are an alternative to tampons. These are worn internally and are bell shaped with a stem at the bottom. The opening of the cup forms a seal with your vagina wall, allowing the cup to catch your menstrual flow. There are a few different options in the world of menstrual cups. Obviously, I already discussed Instead Cups which are disposable. However, since I'm a green and thrifty mama, the ones that are even better are the reusable ones. Two popular kinds are the Moon Cup, which holds an ounce of liquid and needs to be emptied several times a day. It is silicone and looks like this:
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There is also the Diva Cup. The Diva Cup comes in two different sizes, based on your age and if you've had children. It is made out of silicone and also holds one ounce. It looks like this:
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There are other options for menstrual cups, those are the ones I've heard of the most. I've personally not used one because of my Instead Cup experience, I'm afraid of using it (yup, I'm a chicken) but everyone I know who uses them absolutely raves about them! As for how long they last, the manufacturers say a year, but other sources say they can last up to 10 years.

Sea Sponge Tampons: Sea Sponge tampons are a completely natural alternative to tampons. They come in three different sizes based on your flow type. They should be removed at least every 3-4 hours and rinsed and last approximately 8 months. They are completely sanitary and safe to use. They look like this:
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I have also never used the Sea Sponge tampon because I just recently heard about them. I'm seriously considering using them though! I also hear great things about them from people I know who use them.

These are the main types of alternative menstrual products. There may be others out there, although I'm not aware of them. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask! I would highly recommend trying out an alternative to disposable tampons and pads. They are extremely bad for the environment and really not all that good for you either! Plus, it's a much more cost effective option to your menstrual cycle every month. I'm here to tell you as well that the first time you get to use those oh-so-pretty mama cloth is really exciting! I love putting pretty designs in my panties. Sometimes I go through them and try to decide which one I want to use this time.

One more, unresearched but still true thing about these types of products: Everyone I know who uses these has noticed a distinct difference in their menstrual cycle--it's shorter and lighter. We are not sure why, but the very first month I noticed that instead of 3 days of a really heavy flow, I only had 2 (now it's a day and a half) and my cycle was shortened by an entire day. Nice!

Sources: www.lunapads.com, www.jadeandpearl.com, www.epigee.org, www.gladrags.com, and www.gemcloth.webs.com

7 comments:

  1. Here from FF

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    ReplyDelete
  2. Great information. This is something I've really thought about, but been too scared to make the switch. You may have given me the confidence necessary. (PS I had a roommate in college who had a similar horrifying experience with Instead)

    I'm following from FF.

    www.commoncentshome.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm your newest follower from FF. Can't wait to read more, stop by my blog sometime! Happy FF!

    -K

    http://mypottyseat.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  4. Tina, I was really afraid too. Obviously my fear is still too overpowering to try the Diva cup, even though I hear ONLY wonderful things about it!!! I'm thinking that I am going to try the sea sponge though...assuming I'm not pregnant! ;-)

    Thanks girls for the follow, I'm following you back!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Following you from Friday Follow. Hope you will follow me back!

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  6. The sponge is alright. I wanna try the cup but your incident is still fresh in my mind to! Plus its kinda expensive....

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  7. I got all of my mama cloth from Michelle too, and for my 12 year old sister who is just now starting...LOVE HER! She makes some AWESOME Prefolds too but that's totally off topic.

    ReplyDelete