Journey to Eco-sustainable Periods

September 20, 2017

 

Three years ago, I was sitting around a Montreal table enjoying dinner with two very good friends when we burst into laughter, “That’s awfully disgusting!” at the center of the Diva Cup discussion. After talking about the pros and many cons we had on the subject, I agree to serve as guinea pig and we went to buy one on the spot.
After my first period with it, I was so not convinced! The cup was awkward to insert, it leaked a lot, plus the emptying grossed me out. Tempted to try aren’t you?! Well, that first not-so-successful week was not enough to make me loose my faith. I watched an awful lot of Youtube videos on the subject, read blog post after blog post and even amazon reviews on it, and on my next period I was ready to conquer the Diva Cup once again. I even bought some sex toy disinfectant spray  to be able to wash it after every use and avoid boiling it as recommended. This time I knew what was in store for me thought: it takes practice to be able to place it correctly enough, not to feel it too much, and so it doesn’t leak.
It took me about 7 cycles to be confident enough with it, but three years later, and I am still using it. It is not perfect and leaks a bit from time to time, but I learned to overcome the cons.


Now, I know the little pamphlet in the box says you are suppose to replace your cup every year, but I really don’t see the need when my cup is still in pristine conditions. After searching through the internet to learn whether or not replacing it was a viable possibility, I found that while some women can keep it 2, 3 or 4 years, many keep it for 5 years and longer! Hell yeah, that’s one answer I like! And like Diva cup says,

deterioration such as a sticky or powdery film, severe discolouration or odour, etc. If you detect any of these signs or if you experience irritation we recommend you replace your DivaCup with a new one

and that’s unlikely to happen in the first year of usage.

My only cup issue so far is, I don’t like having something inside me at night, so I wash it and leave it to dry during that period which puts me in another dilemma: using disposable pads. Along with the liners I use for the cups leaking, the disposable sanitary products expense and bulk adds up quite fast. I only really realized that while travelling because this was the first time I ever worried about pads space allowance and their costs. I am extremely unlikely to buy a 10 pads pack at 8$ if a 20 pack is 13$… but where am I going to stuff those 20 pads in my backpack?! You guess that right, no where. So I just pray I’ll use all of them during my period. Hourra for wasting…

And that’s when, I stumbled on cute sustainable pads on Trademe, New Zealand version of Ebay. Made out of cotton or bamboo velour on top, and filled with a Bamboo terry core, and the bottom layer is PUL to protect clothes, so are the wings. YES, wings! That’s how it stays in place, two little wings held together by a pressure snap closure. I instantly saw the answer to my prayers and bought 3 petites light pads, for daytime use with my cup, and 2 standards regular pads, for night time as they are longer and hold up to the equivalent of 2-3 tampons.


They arrived right on time for my last cycle, and oh boy was I happy to try these during my period! At a glance they are the cutest thing, they all came in the same light pink PUL colour with different top designs. The pads also look and feel sturdy enough to last trough several use & wash cycles, like they are intent to.

After each use, I made sure to soak the pad and carefully wash them by hand so there was nothing left behind. It’s not too much of a task: you leave it to soak in hot water while you’re in the shower and wash it with a bar soap when you get out. Easy. Leave it to dry overnight and it should be ready to use the next morning, if you leave it in a warm enough spot. They can also be machine washed in hot/cold water and tumble dried if you don’t have that 5 minutes.
After my first week of use, I can definitely state that I am not going back to sitting on my backpack to make that 20 pack of pads fit in. These sustainable pads are just the perfect companion for my cup and I don’t have to make a trip to the pharmacy for my period now.

 

How does it feel not to have to spend a penny on period sanitary products and making my part in waste saving? Never felt better!

What about you? I’d like to know what you think about eco-sustainable sanitary product and if you found other solutions to the common disposable ones. Be sure to leave any idea in the comment section below, can’t wait to read them!

 

How to use a Menstrual Cup? So easy WikiHow shows you.

Need some more reason to take the leap from tampons to cup? Buzzfeed provides 18 of them!

You want more infos on the numerous Menstrual Cups available out there and a comparison chart, come right here.

And what about the pads? You can find everything you need to know here.

By Lea Tess

Right after graduating from a Arts & Science Bachelor in 2015, I took the first plane to China with my partner. Since then, we have visited many countries, lived in Australia and, currently, in New Zealand. I am passionate about food and making memories!

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