In the Blog
I got my period, and I’m over the moon
I got my period this morning, and I’m - pardon the pun - over the moon.
Not because I thought I was pregnant (although I am indeed glad not to be pregnant right now). No, my menstrual joy derives from two sources.
One: I’m not on the birth control pill right now. I was on the pill until this past winter, and since coming off it, have had very irregular and sparse periods, which is - although not unusual - a bummer. It’s not nice to feel like your body isn’t working properly, and particularly not nice to feel that an artificial pill you took messed you up good and proper. But I was greeted by a throbbing uterus this morning, and damn, it’s nice to feel my body working like it should. I didn’t realize how much I liked ovulating until I stopped. Now that things are up and running as normal, I can’t help but feel like there’s something pretty magical about my cyclical peaks of progesterone and estrogen - it’s like there’s a little alchemical lab right in my tummy.
Two: Eco-friendly menstrual products. My eagerly anticipated package arrived in the mail last week, with a collection of re-usable cotton panty liners (in a variety of shapes and colours), reusable panties - which have the cotton padding sewn right in, and - that most awesome of menstrual products - a reusable cup.
Of course our good folks at Shameless have covered reusable menstrual cups and other green period before, but it’s still worth mentioning again - especially for me as I’m a first time user.
Menstrual Cups - Moon Cups, Diva Cups, Lunnettes and Keepers - are soft, flexible silicon cups which you insert, wash and reuse. They cost about $35, which might seem steep, but when you think about how much you spend on tampons and pads in a year, it’s not much really.
Most women know not to leave a tampon in too long - which of us didn’t learn about toxic shock syndrome in highschool? - but few women seem to know about the environmental impact of disposable tampons and pads. Something like 14 billion pads and tampons find their way into North American landfills every year, along with unnecessary chlorine bleach (which you don’t need inside your vagina or in the environment).
Manufacturers actually made menstrual cups many moons ago (sorry, I can’t seem to help myself today). But they were taken off the shelves because “they failed to gain enough market share,” according to Wikipedia. In other words: women only had to buy one. Manufacturers could make a lot more money off us with disposable tampons and pads. And so for decades it was incredibly difficult to get anything but.
As my mother remarked to me today: “You’re lucky you know. Cups went off the market before I found out about them thirty years ago, and now I’m post-menopausal. I hate to think about how much money I spent.”