In the past few years my approach to periods has really changed; it started gradually, but now I’m totally plastic free, with a range of products that I love and get me through that time of the month.
I have a short cycle, 19 days, so have more periods than most, its sucks a bit. So that’s 19 periods a year, bleeding 5 days a time- 95days bleeding per year (eeeek!) In ‘old money’ that would be 380 pads or tampons per year!!!!! Not only is that lots of ££££ (which could be better spent on new shoes) but alllllll the waste: plastic wrappers, pads, tampons, boxes.
So I thought I’d introduce you to my ways; I use a range of different products, so hopefully something to suit everyone, or at least something you may be willing to give a try.
Period Cup I’ve tried a few different cups, all have a very similar design; a simple silicone cup, with a ‘wick’ at the bottom to aid removal, and a flexible silicone ring at the top. The favourite cup I’ve used, and I’m sticking with is the CUP IT kit from Secret Whispers. This kit is great becomes it comes with two cups; a smaller blue one and a larger pink one- so you have the option to try both, instead of wasting your money on the wrong size. Most cup brands offer a couple of cup sizes- one for younger women and/or those that have not had a vaginal birth, and a second for (you guessed it) older women and/or those that have had a vaginal birth, but this is obviously just a guide, and you may find you need the other side.
Cups are simple enough to use, but take a little practice: but by the end of my second period I had no leaks. Whilst experimenting with cups I’d advise to also ‘double up’ with a pair of period pants or a reusable pad (see below). You only need one cup, take out; empty (rinse/wipe), and reinsert. The cup it kit comes with a small material bag to keep your cup in your bag whilst expecting your period.
My tips for cups are:
- Fold the cup ring in half, squish between your thumb and index finger of your dominant hand an insert- try and push a tiny bit further up.
- You may need to ‘trim the wick’ for comfort
- When removing, squeeze the base of the cup (so there’s no vacuum) before gently pulling the wick
- Try both sizes to see what suits best
- Stick with it for 2/3 periods before you decide whether its for you.
- if you don’t get on with one brand, try another
- Enjoy the £££ you save
Shop at secret whispers use ‘ivfninja-10’ for discount
Period Pants I held off trying period pants for ages, as I just didn’t get how they could be effective. I always preferred tampons to pads, so a cup felt more my ‘normal’. Then Wuka (Wake Up Kick Ass) sent me some pants to try ~(AD-pr product)- and WOW!!
There are lots of different brands available, but I’ve only tried WUKA and couldn’t pick fault with them, so haven’t tried others. They have a range of different pants from thong, to high leg bikini, to shorts, and they come in different absorbencies too; their super heavy can hold 60 mls of blood!
They are super comfy, absorb the blood away from your body, so you don’t feel sticky and stinky, and they’re really discreet too. on a ‘normal’ flow day I wear one pair all day and then change for the night- yes, they’re that good, they keep me sorted for a 12.5 hr shift on my feet. Shop at Wuka
My tips for period pants:
- Wear when expecting your period to avoid any ‘oh no moments’
- Buy a range of fits and absorbencies to suit your flow
- great for post partum
- use with a cup whilst getting used to it
- Try with your daughters as easier/less daunting then a cup
Reusable/washable pads Probably the easiest of swaps, as you literally swap disposables for these much prettier and eco friendly version.
I was really apprehensive again, but after being gifted some Bloom and Nora pads I love them. Great for extra reassurance when wearing a cup (or tampon) or on their own.
They come in a range of shapes and sizes for everyday of your cycle-and they wash easily and retain their colour. Bloom and Nora do a great wet/dry bag as well, so you can store used pads with no mess or smell.
Let me know what you think?