The following is a guest post from Juliet of Twisting Vines…
I first came across reusable menstrual products somewhere around 2000, as a very broke post-grad student. Financially and environmentally it seemed like a good option, and I bought myself a Keeper (then the only menstrual cup I could find online, and as I recall, I had to get one shipped to the UK from Canada!).
I was an immediate convert. It was more comfortable than tampons, knocked a fiver off my monthly budget (a big deal for me at the time), and meant no more guilt about shoals of white cotton and blue string bobbing around merrily in the ocean.
The Keeper went missing some five years later and was replaced by a Mooncup. By this time they were becoming slightly better known – I was seeing Mooncup stickers on toilet doors at the Glastonbury Festival every year, but still had to buy online, from the UK this time.
Five more years passed and the dog ate my Mooncup (yes, really…), by which time I was able to buy a replacement one in a bricks-and-mortar shop, as they have become standard stock at the high street chemist Boots. The times, they are a’changing.
Then I fell pregnant, and didn’t need to use any sanitary protection at all for nine months, plus the six months of exclusive breastfeeding before my period came back (I was very annoyed; the return of my period when my baby was still feeding every 60-90 minutes day and night felt a little harsh). Out came my trusty Mooncup — only to find that, surprisingly enough, childbirth can do things to your nether regions.
Much to my distress, the Mooncup was distinctly uncomfy, even when I changed to the “post childbirth” size.
So I’m dutifully practising my Kegels, and the Mooncup may yet make a comeback; but in the meantime I’ve discovered a whole new world of washable menstrual pads. They come with bees on! In lovely fabrics!
But most importantly they’re more comfortable than the chemical-y disposable variety (even the hippy non-chemical disposable variety), for now more comfortable than the Mooncup, and they’re not contributing to the slick of plastic and chemicals surrounding the tampon shoals out in the ocean. A clear win all round for reusables in all their glorious varieties.
Juliet Kemp lives in London, UK, with her partners, baby Leon, and dog Sidney. She works from home as a freelance writer, and balances that with parenting, gardening, crafting, and a great many other things that catch her interest. She blogs at Twisting Vines about making things and growing things, and is passionate about sustainability, environmental issues, and respectful parenting.