I've discovered that it's surprisingly easy to forget not everyone has the information you have--to become complacent about sharing what you know and changing the status quo. As a blogger and fellow human being, I have a responsibility to not forget. So, although a lot of women slam the door on topics involving menstruation, even in conversation with one another, Iâm just going to put it all out there for you to read in the privacy of your own electronic device because, at the risk of sounding like a hardcore crazy, I fear for the future of our daughters if we donât veer from the path down which we are currently headed.
Since I started having periods around the age of 11, I've used disposable feminine hygiene products without question or hesitation. Why would I question it? Theyâre individually wrapped, sanitary and totally safe, right? I never thought to question the processes or chemicals used in making them. Then, in my early twenties, I started noticing that my periods were getting heavier and more painful. The doctor told me that hypothyroidism was to blame and put me on thyroid medication. But, even with meds and weight loss, each month was more uncomfortable than the last for the next 5-6 years. At a loss, I decided that having children had changed my body and those changes must just be affecting my cycle. Grin and bear it was my motto.
About a year ago, I read about cloth pads and menstrual cups, and I was intrigued. Because of what I would later learn was uterine prolapse, I couldn't use tampons, so cups were out. But since we were already cloth diapering, I figured Iâd give mama cloth a shot. It was instant love. I know that love for a pad sounds crazy, and I know that reusable, cloth feminine products sound gross. Weâre conditioned to think that the normal processes of our bodies are embarrassing or shameful--in fact, Iâm typing this as I sit on a plane with my computer turned lest the man next to me see that Iâm writing about *gasp* periods). But if you can get past that initial reaction, itâs so simple and so much more comfortable than having a crinkly wad of chemical laden cotton crammed in your underpants one week (give or take) out of the month. Plus, after the initial investment to purchase a cloth stash, itâs cheaper too! I was also totally floored by the choices available. You can get cotton, velour, or even minky (my favorite because itâs so soft and resistant to staining). There are size options from liner to postpartum pad in narrow or wide width. No matter what your preference, there is a comfy cloth feminine product for you to pamper your lady bits with during that time of the month. (Iâm speaking mainly about cloth pads here, since thatâs what I have experience with, but for those of you who prefer tampons, you should definitely look into a cup.)
As soon as I switchedâIâm talking the first period here, ladiesâI noticed less severe cramping and a lighter flow. I was amazed. Then, I did more research and saw the results of the Womenâs Voices for the Earth (WVE) Detox the Box campaign. And let me tell youâitâs no wonder we are experiencing a rise in womenâs issues, from more severe monthly discomfort to infertility. Are the chemicals we have unknowingly been putting on and into our vaginas (oh yes, I DID just use the âvâ word!) entirely to blame? No, Iâm sure theyâre not. The chemicals we've been unknowingly putting on and into the other parts of our bodies are certainly another piece of the puzzle. But now we can no longer claim ignorance. Women have gotten wise to what weâre using to fuel our bodies. Weâre demanding quality, purity, and transparency from the food industry. Shouldn't we be doing the same for personal care products?
I've linked to WVE's Detox the Box campaign above so you can review all the information for yourself. Women have long fought for the right to choice and power over our own lives and bodies, and now is the time to exercise that right. Whatâs stopping you?