Two cycles ago I finally made the switch from disposable menstrual products to a more eco-friendly alternative. It’s been something I’ve wanted to do for awhile but I just couldn’t grasp the concept of a menstrual cup and washable cloth pads. The ewww factor always came up for me even though menstruation doesn’t make me squeamish. Since I’ve made the switch I’ve learned that this new routine is SO MUCH easier and more enjoyable than I thought it would be. Yup, you heard me right. What I thought was going to be a huge hassle (but worth the extra work) actually ended up being easier and more enjoyable. I’ve decided to embrace my monthly flow and celebrate it’s return each month as a sign that I am fertile and able to procreate when I’m ready. Gratitude for the simple things in life can really go a long way in helping you achieve the life of your dreams.
Before I go any further I should warn you that things are about to get really personal. You can’t say I didn’t warn you! I promised to be open and honest about my approach to preparing my body for pregnancy so here goes nothing…
I finally decided to make the switch when I started to take a really close look at all the ways that I could reduce my exposure to environmental toxins before conception. Learning that cotton is considered the world’s ‘dirtiest’ crop due to its heavy use of insecticides (the most hazardous pesticide to human health) made me re-assess my decision to continue using tampons. In all honestly, the more I thought about it, the more it made me sick to my stomach that I was unknowingly inserting such a toxic product into my body each month. This really hit home for me as I thought about creating a safe home for a baby.
Initially, this decision made me switch to organic tampons… at least now my body wasn’t absorbing all those chemicals, right? But at what cost? I was still contributing to the 20 billion pads, tampons and applicators that are being sent to North American landfills each year AND this pricey alternative was really cutting into our budget. I started searching for a healthier, more eco-friendly option and realized that a local company, founded by Suzanne Siemens & Madeleine Shaw, was providing the very solution I was looking for over at lunapads.com! Here is a cute little promo video they recently created:
At first I was overwhelmed by the multitude of options available from Lunapads and I wasn’t sure where to start. There is no one-size-fits-all with periods, every woman is uniquely different and I wanted to make sure that the products I bought would be best suited for my flow and lifestyle. A simple click on their “Need Assistance?” box immediately connected me with Morgan, a very friendly and knowledgeable lunagal who was happy to answer all of my questions and make the whole process a lot easier. (I love good customer service!)
It was really important to me that I find a tampon alternative because using pads every day of my cycle just doesn’t fit well with my active lifestyle. At first I was a little bit intimidated by this seemingly not-so-little cup and being really unsure about when and where I was going to be able to empty and clean it with privacy. I was happily surprised to learn that you only need to change it a minimum of every 12 hours. What this meant for me is that I wouldn’t have to deal with it outside the house which was a huge bonus. I could insert the cup in the morning and then remove, rinse and replace it in the evening, all within the comfort of my own home. This is when it became apparent to me that the Diva Cup was going to be less of a hassle than tampons that need to be changed every few hours. So what exactly is the Diva Cup? It’s an internally worn reusable silicone menstrual cup that collects menstrual flow. It can be used for light, moderate or heavy flows and is perfect for overnight use! It is inserted in the vagina and sits at the lower base of the vaginal canal. It was even less noticeable than tampons. I didn’t feel it at all once it was inserted correctly and it didn’t leak! It took one cycle for me to really get the hang of the insertion process but now it’s quick and easy. Visual learner? Lunapads offers detailed insertion and removal instructions.
Seriously, these are the best invention ever! Lunapanties are a unique combination of underwear and lunapads all rolled into one. They are basically just underwear that come with some extra padding in the crotch area and they have cotton bands that allow you to double up on the protection by adding absorbent inserts. Both the lunapanties and inserts are made from super soft organic cotton (95%) and lycra (5%) for a snug fit. They are REALLY comfortable and can be worn as everyday underwear, for light to average flow or as backup protection with the Diva Cup. They have brief, bikini, hipster and thong styles that include a liner insert to adjust absorbency. I personally love the hipster style. They are super comfortable and I still feel sexy wearing them! Gone are the days of chaffing and itching. They don’t ride up or shift around and you can change the liner as needed. You can either wash them by hand or throw them in the washing machine. I bought 3 pairs and I’m so happy with them. I LOVE my lunapanties!
Still have some unanswered questions about how to use or wash the Diva Cup and/or Lunapanties? Check out the Tips & Advice page or leave me a comment below! They also have recommended products for your needs through pregnancy and postpartum.
Lunapads.com has some really great deals on right now. The Diva Cup is $34.99 and for the month of September their Sampler Pack (which is my next purchase!) is $24.99
Use the coupon code PERIODLOVE to receive an additional 10% off on orders over $35 (expires on March 31st, 2011)