Here we are, the final section of our zero waste period series, where I talk about my personal experience with zero waste period products.
So, a little TMI background information about myself… For the last 4 years, I have had the Mirena IUD, and this type of IUD stopped me from getting a period. Earlier this year I had it taken out and went back on the pill. Because I suffer from migraines, I am on an estrogen-free pill which, again, stops me from getting a period. This means I have rarely had the opportunity to thoroughly test out zero waste period products since starting my sustainable journey.
So, you might think that I don’t really have the need for lots of zero waste period products, but that hasn’t stopped me collecting 2 menstrual cups - The Hello Cup and a My Cup, 2 AKU Pads - one lightweight and one regular, and the most recent addition, a pair of AWWA (FKA I am Eva) period proof undies.
Over the last 6 months, I have had my period three times and got to try out a few items from my zero-waste period kit (which I was strangely excited about). My first zero waste period experience was the with my reusable pads and I fricken love them, they are black which works with all my black underwear and I quite like the idea of not seeing all the blood. I found them to be super comfortable, and because my period is quite light, they were fine for most of the day.
More recently, I was able to try out my menstrual cup, and like most people, I felt quite nervous as I prepared to try My Cup for the first time. I have talked about menstrual cups a lot and in detail with my friends who use them, so I was mentally prepared as to how difficult the first time can be.
My face just before I used a menstrual cup for the first time.
It took a few goes to get it in correctly and positioned right so that it felt comfortable. The first day I felt a bit sensitive and aware of a foreign object in my vagina, however by day 2 I was feeling comfortable and amazed at how I could have a normal day without noticing it. Taking it out was a bit trickier and I did have a bit of a meltdown as it took me a few times to get it. Poor hubby had to deal with me stressing out and being unable to do anything to help. I got there in the end and it has been much more straight forward since - I think it’s about getting used to your body and understanding what technique works for you. I have used the cups twice now and have found them to be a great option.
Now, I am not ashamed to say I have totally worn my AWWA period undies as a normal pair of undies just so I could see what they were like (and they are really comfortable). But just this week I was able to try them out for the purpose they were intended. I have quite a light flow, so I was able to get away with just wearing the undies, and they are super comfortable, didn’t feel bulky like a pad does and there was absolutely no leakage. My friend and I brought these at the same time and so far she is loving hers, and I can see why!
All in all, I am pretty happy with my zero waste period kit and can highly recommend all of the products I’ve talked about. The only thing I would do differently is have more period undies. I think using a cup during the day and period undies at night might be the way to go for me (because my period is so light). Even though Pads are not typically something I would use, it’s still handy to have a few on hand for emergencies and or if I’m feeling lazy and can’t be bothered with a menstrual cup.
KEY TIP: There are many reusable menstrual products out there so I would encourage you to do some research and look for an option that suits you, as not every period or vagina is the same. It's important to ensure you buy menstrual cups from well-known brands and not a cheap one from a dodgy website … remember you are putting it up your hoo-ha!
I really hope that this discussion has helped you to be inspired and break down the stigma attached to talking periods! This doesn’t have to be a taboo subject, and the more we talk about the more we break down the barriers and enable women everywhere to have the conversation that will benefit their health and that of the environment. And as always, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me, I’m only too happy to offer some advice!
Zero Waste Period Serries