I recently read a book titled Cunt, by Inga Muscio, which is a narrative bringing back the true meaning of the word Cunt and getting a better understanding of how powerful a woman’s vulva is, and learning how to love it through the author’s personal experiences.
While reading the book, I was inspired to start a self-care project for healthier menstruations.
In the book, Muscio explains how she got, a better understanding through her periods by following the moon phases, which some women do when they are trying to determine their next cycle or ovulation. The author also suggested some natural products she used so she would no longer be taxed or harmed, by companies who make period products for women.
Some of the products mentioned were the following:
Before reading this book, I knew about most natural products that were healthy for your period, except for a period towel, and after learning more information about them from the book, I started my menstrual project, which I will go into more detail below.
First and foremost, I am not getting paid for mentioning any of the products used for this project. I purchased all products with my own money.
For four months I tried new period products that used vegan materials, made by women for women, or an alternative to save money and the environment. Some products I bought online, and others I purchased at a local drugstore or farmers market.
Before my project, my menstrual cycle was pretty regular, but I would have the worst headaches, and my flow would vary. Now everything is in sync since I began using the four following products that are “healthy” for my body when I am menstruating.
Products For My Menstrual Project:
Thinkx: The company Thinkx has created underwear for every day of girl/women’s period. Before my purchase, I have been skeptical about the company for a while because I didn’t understand how wearing underwear made for menstruating would be comfortable, I thought it would feel like wearing a large maxi-pad which I loathed. I have been following the company since they were founded in 2014, (because I love underwear) but I never got around to purchasing a pair until I started this project.
It turns out I love my Thinkx underwear. I purchased the hiphugger, in black, for the first day of my period, which holds up to 2 tampons. The first time I used them I used them on a light day because I wanted to see how much they hold because I wanted to avoid leakage. They turn out to hold up to 2 tampons worth. Throughout the four months and up until now I still use them on my heaviest days sometimes with a tampon if I believe I’m going to have a long day, and I have yet to experience leakage. For the holiday’s I decided to purchase more for myself so I can switch off the colors and style throughout the year.
Sea-Sponge ( Menstrual Sponge): Women have used Sea Sponges for thousands of years in many countries across the globe, according to Elissa Stein, in a Womens’ Health Magazine article about her book on menstruation. While the sponge has been around for years, my first time hearing about one was in Muscio’s book Cunt, which told a funny story about how the author came about using one, which led me to use one. After laughing my head off at the funny scene of a sea sponge in Muscio’s book, I did a little research and went about purchasing one of my own from Amazon. Once the sponge arrived, it took me an additional two months to give it a shot because of its texture, and the work that comes with using one. However, I tried the sponge, and it was not a great experience. You must wash it thoroughly before each use, and you are dealing with your blood. I don’t mind dealing with my blood because I like blood, but it is a messy experience, and I have OCD ( which this experience has taught me). I only used it for a month, and from my experience, the absorbancy wasn’t all that great ( maybe I did it wrong), I experienced leakage, and to top it all off, I couldn’t take my mind off my period. Despite my horrific experience some people still live by the sea sponge, and that is great, but this was not my preference. If you are interested in how a sea-sponge works Hello Giggles published a great article that goes into more detail.
L. Organic Cotton Tampons: My entire menstruating life I have mostly used tampons. I know they are not suitable for you due to the chemicals used to make them, but they have always been something I preferred over maxi-pads. Before my project, I was a big fan of Kotex, and sadly, my go-to tampon was their brand U, thankfully I started my project just in time to avoid being apart of the recall the company has just gone under, due to their tampons leaving particles inside of women after being used. While on the hunt to find vegan menstrual products I came across L. and decided to choose their brand over other vegan brands because of their “why,” ” At L., we believe that periods should only end sentences. Not education and opportunity,” and movement, ” Today, L. works with a network of more than 3,000 female entrepreneurs and is making over 130 million health products accessible to girls who need them.”
You might be thinking a lot of companies have this same motto, but I secretly fell in love with their packaging as well. Their applicator is BPA-free, the cotton used for absorbancy does not contain chlorine, and they are reasonably priced for me
.Diva- Cup ( Menstrual Cup): The menstrual cup has been around since the 1930s (Stein; Women’s Health Mag), and has been known as a useful tool for menstruators. It is another product that was designed by a woman, and similar to the sea- sponge, a user is dealing with their own blood. When I first started my period, a menstrual cup was apart of the three products my mother shared with me, and it wasn’t until this project I decided to try one. I can honestly say I loved my cup, but once it was time for me to take it out to empty it I had the hardest time, and the most embarrassing moment in my bathroom ( I did not read the instructions). I might try it again just because of how proficient it was and figure out the right way to take it out without pain.
I must say, after I’ve started my project I have seen many changes with my bank account and my period, and after having a thorough physical exam I come to find out I have an extremely healthy vagina, with regular periods that have brought on better pre-menstrual symptoms that alert me my period is coming.
Although I’ve found my favorite products, this is an ongoing project of mine since my body is changing continuously as I age, and I am the type of person who needs to keep my options open.
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