All things period related

A blue butterfly pea flower

Some people have periods! Yes! Truly! Unfortunately, it is not something people really talk about often.

Sure it is associated with bathroom activities and all things 'civil' society does not like to discuss.The problem with that is when we don't talk about these things, it is easier for things to go wrong. People don't realise when symptoms mean something bad and the general social stigma aims to breed contempt for all things related to vaginas and those who have them.

I think it is SO important for everyone to know about menstrual products to remove the shame inevitably associated with their use and to grow understanding of other people's experiences. So I am here to break down some of the sanitary products available and a little bit of my experience with them. Don't stress, it won't be too much info for you readers, I promise.

First off the bat, tampons!

Strengths: absolute lifesaver on sports or swimming days, general all-rounder

Weaknesses: Fear of toxic shock syndrome, and I definitely felt a lot of social stigma around using them when I was younger.

When I first started getting my period, I was pretty ok with it. I was one of those kids who read too many science and biology books to be surprised by it really. But my first experience of using sanitary products like tampons was loaded with a bit of confusion. Firstly, the instructions are terrifying to a 13 year old. Put the what, where, what is an applicator, why the heck does it not work? My mum kind of had the approach of chucking a pack at me and telling me to read the instructions before slamming the door. Note to self: If you ever have kids, please, please explain the importance of making sure tampons are placed correctly and changed regularly. 

Explaining the importance of hygiene and feeling comfortable is better than vague references to the potential of life-threatening toxic-shock syndrome.


Next, Pads!

Strengths: there are awesome facts on the packaging, that is my secret to winning trivia nights!

Weaknesses: SO NOISY ARGGGHHHH everyone knows when you open one, makes me so uncomfortable. And I just find them physically uncomfortable and a bit messy.

I started using pads for a while in my later teenage years after hearing some of my peers say how disgusting tampons were. It was one of those things that still does not make sense to me but I endured itchy, uncomfortable weeks for about a year until switching back to tampons. That being said, I know a lot of people use them and are perfectly happy with how it works for them. That is one of the most important notes here, always do what works best for you.


Finally, period cups!

Strengths: reusable, clever

Weaknesses: awkward to change in public bathrooms

The idea of period cups is that they are reusable, you can boil them to sanitise them between use and just wash them out in the bathroom if you need to change mid-day. But, when you have a heavy flow, changing becomes more regular and washing my period cup becomes awkward when I don't have the privacy of my own bathroom to retreat into, something I definitely struggle with. 

Period cups are wonderful environmental alternative but it is SO important to acknowledge when something doesn't work for you. They didn't work for me and I am finding ways to source more environmentally-friendly supplies by buying things like organic cotton tampons (so FANCY right?)

Tagged in What messes with your head, health