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Goodbye Pads & Tampons – Hello Menstrual Cup!

You’ll find this title picture very amusing after you read the entry… (or at least if you know what’s in the theme of the picture)

So yesterday I participated in a grand celebration of a one-year anniversary of Bepreparedperiod tweet chats! It was a fantastic party, again, reminding us that the menstrual cycle is a perfectly natural bodily process and we should not be ashamed to speak about it. It’s also important that both guys and girls have equal opportunity to be educated through books and dialogue. During the tweet chat, I mentioned the excitement of introducing a menstrual cup to one of my girls which @bpreparedperiod suggested I blog on. What a wonderful idea, it totally didn’t cross my mind to write about it! It only happened less than a week ago so it’s still fresh on to my mind on how it happened!

So pretty much the highlight of this entry is that I managed to convince one of my girls to try a menstrual cup, although it was definitely an interesting method… one I would not recommend you employing unless you really know the person is comfortable with it and can take a hardy joke. Last weekend, I was over at her house and recently, I had purchased a menstrual cup from a nearby “green” store. It was in the trunk so I thought, “Hey, why not try to persuade —- to give it a shot?” As with most of my girls, the idea of reusable menstrual products do not sit well, particularly when it comes to the question of, “How do I clean it?” Unfortunately the second I have to say “dump and wash it” or “throw it in the laundry” I get that exasperated look already. I may be a person who likes to poke and prod here and there to see if they’ll change their minds, but I never force… after all, menstrual products are all personal preference and I hate the idea that one is “superior” to another – each has its own merits.

My friend just got her period the day before, so it was a perfect opportunity for me to give her a prod to try out the product. I know she’s weary of it, but she’s also one of my girls who is the type to be persuaded with a wee bit of pressure. We were about to head out to shop, so she went into her room to change. I snuck upstairs to her bathroom and took the basket where she keeps her pads and tampons. I emptied out the pads/tampons into my laptop bag temporarily because that’d be the last place she would assume I’d hide them! I brought the basket back into her bathroom and in place of the 20 some-odd products she had in it initially, I replaced it with one item – a menstrual cup.

Heck, I could be an Olympian assassin being able to pull that off without her noticing my movements and within record time! I see all this running and exercising of mine is paying off 😆 I ran back downstairs and sat on the couch and waiting to hear her reaction from upstairs. I could hear her room door opening and she trotted toward the bathroom, likely to change herself before we left the house. I could hear her screaming my name and I burst out laughing. I’m sure some of my readers will consider this a cruel act, however, I know her well enough to not cause any hard feelings and in the event she really asked for pads or tampons back, I wouldn’t withhold them from her. I expected her to come rushing down and scrounging for her products back, but to my surprize, she didn’t. She called me upstairs and asked me to help her (through the door) to figure out how to use it. Now obviously I don’t have a vagina and have never inserted a menstrual cup in my life, but I guess conceptually I know it as well as I could. I talked her through it and she managed to get it in after about 15 minutes (or at least what FELT like 15) of fiddling with it and came out smiling.

She did ask for a pad to put on just-in-case the cup leaked since it is her first time using one, so I just gave everything back to her. I asked her if it felt anything like using a tampon and she said, “Not at all – feels even better and more reassuring.” I was really pleased that she took an opportunity to try it out and whether she continues using it, she at least gave herself the exposure to reusable menstrual products. A few hours into shopping, she was worried it would start to spill as it was day 2 for her and she doesn’t exactly flow on the light side either. She asked me to wait outside the “family” washroom for her just in case she ran into some major trouble. It took her some extra time (compared to when she uses conventional pads/tampons), but I heard the toilet flush so I assumed everything was ok. She emerged, smiled and told me everything was fine and that the cup wasn’t even close to full. She even happily touted that she doubted any pad/tampon she used could’ve withstood so many hours without leaking when she’s this heavy! She was so pleased with the cup that she even told me she ditched the pad because she felt secure enough.

She did mention that at first, when she had to rinse out the cup it was rather disturbing to see how much menstrual flow there was because she’s never seen the true amount of flow whenever it was absorbed into disposable pads or tampons. She also had to be quite careful upon removing the cup as to not spill the entire content all over the place. Understandably, there are all concerns that many of my other disposable-loving girls have. I always like to give opportunities for my girls try new products, disposables and reusables. I will never force the issue, though it can be quite fun and amusing (person-dependent) to pull something like this off and end up with a great reward. Now I have one more of my girls who has at least tried using a cup and that may perhaps create a path for her to try other reusable products like cloth pads.

While writing this entry, I exchanged a few text messages with her to see if she had any additional thoughts. She doubts that she will adopt the menstrual cup as a permanent replacement of her menstrual hygiene options, but definitely will be replacing her tampon-use overnight as it prevents the worry of TSS risk when sleeping beyond 8 hours. The cup will also be more convenient at home to use, though that doesn’t necessarily mean she won’t use it outside of the house either… however, using disposables can sometimes prove to be a convenience. On her VERY heavy days, pairing the cup with a pad backup would buy her a lot of time in between changing if needed or would give her a peace-of-mind to sleep in. Finally, she can immensely cut down purchases of pads/tampons since she has an extra option to rotate with and generate less trash every month.

I hope you found as much joy through this entry as I did with my little joke – which turned out great. I have to reiterate that this is not something everyone should try, unless you know your ‘target’ well. Though it sounded like I did this in the heat-of-the-moment, there was a lot of contemplation and consideration before pulling this off. Remember that you should never force menstrual hygiene options on someone, but encouraging and providing options through a friendly and helpful manner will bring you a better response. You can never understand another person’s needs, comfort level and feelings, so you should ensure not to press the matter beyond what is reasonable between the two of you! 🙂

Saving Money & Investing: The Menstrual Way!

So with how unstable the world economy is right now, I figured I’d touch on the topic of saving money and investing. Now of course, what does this have to do with menstruation? Well after all, I try to keep things on-topic so of course it has to do with menstruation! I regularly talk to men and women about menstruation, particularly relating to feminine hygiene products. Why though, do I touch on this topic so often? It’s because menstruation costs money, seriously! If you’re a disposable products user (or once was), you’ll know exactly how much your period is costing you every month, every year. Now I understand that the world runs off businesses and things cost money, so I’m not going to say that feminine hygiene companies and manufactures are evil, but what is evil, is that in countries like mine (Canada), feminine hygiene products not only cost money, but the government taxes you on basic hygienic needs. Suffice to say, it’s not realistic for feminine hygiene products to be free, but the government already gets a double-dipping just because your menstruate (or buy the product). Suffice to say, I often hear my girls talk about their lack of money and that they’ll cut back on this-and-that, but rarely do I hear them consider their spending on feminine hygiene needs.

As someone who menstruates or purchases feminine hygiene products, the Canadian government feels that you should be penalized – or – at the very least, that they deserve an additional cut on your feminine hygiene supplies. How does the government get a nice double-cut of your products? Simple. First, the company which sells you your products has their revenues taxed. Second, as a consumer of feminine hygiene products, we also pay an additional 5% which also goes to the government. It’s of course fair for the government to tax companies (and individuals) for income earned, because after all, that’s what keeps the country up and going… however, they also earn an additional 5% because you happen to menstruate or use such supplies. As of 2009, it is said that the federal government of Canada penalizes women by an estimated $69 million per year¹!

Ok, so enough about our government since we’re not the only country who has such taxes for feminine hygiene supplies, but rest-assured, menstruating costs you money! So in a year of doubtful economy recovery and rising costs-of-living, feminine hygiene products should be the least of one’s concerns! So how can we alleviate such concerns? Let’s consider individuals such as students who work off limited resources (unless your family happens to be very wealthy) or low-class households who have small budgets, cost of feminine hygiene supplies add up very quickly. I’ll use one of my friends as an example:

She is a student and her tuition is already paid for by her parents. The only thing her parents expect of her is to maintain enough money to: 1) Pay for her living expenses, 2) personal/entertainment spending, and, 3) basic needs. She works part time and every week she earns about $200 gross, so don’t forget about income tax and general deductions. Assuming she is lucky enough to have that same schedule throughout the month, her approximate income is $800 over 4 weeks. Without going into the details of “sales”, let’s assume every period you spend about $6 approximately 20 pads or tampons. Of course this varies per person based on flow and also let’s not discount that dollar amount only applies to “active” menstruating times… many women also use pantiliners throughout their cycle which may really bump those figures upward. In a year, that’s $72. Wow, that $6 sure doesn’t look like a large chunk of $800 right? $400 goes to rent and that’s very basic ($400 left). $100 goes to utilities not covered by the rent ($300 left). $150 goes to groceries ($150 left). $70 goes to transportation ($80 left). Let’s not even get into things like movies, bars, clothing, haircuts or whatnot, so she has approximate $80 left in a month of “other” spending. So in a month 7.5% of her “left over” money needs to be spent on her pads and tampons. I removed the taxation aspect of her pay since individuals who make under the exemption in Canada doesn’t need to pay any taxes. All of a sudden, her cost of disposable products is a considerable amount.

So what can one do to help alleviate the cost? Well certainly “free bleeding” is an option for those with extremely light periods but is probably not the case for most women. I’m sure quite a few of you know I’m leading up to the idea of reusable menstrual products. Cloth pads, menstrual cups, sea sponges and the likes all are a great form of cutting costs from where it hurts (no pun intended). I have lightly touched on the topics of reusable products in the past and there is a world full of amazing sites on these products that can be accessed via Google, so you’re welcome to reference it. No doubt, reusable products have an initial “high-cost” impact, as such products can range from $40 to $150 (for full ‘period’ set of products), which may account for a year or two of purchasing conventional disposable products. Nevertheless, most of these reusable products lasts 4-5 years, therefore it’s a “long-term” investment. What I should point out is that unlike menstrual cups which usually require some form of manufacturing, it’s possible to make your own cloth pads with some material and know-how. Menstrual cups tend to be quickest “recovery” of invested money with short of a year worth of feminine hygiene supplies.

I suppose the question may come up about the cost of extra water spent on the cleaning of these products. I haven’t had any experience with sea sponges, so let’s put that aside for now. However, in the case of menstrual cups and cloth pads, the “additional cost” (if any) is miniscule. For cloth pads, unless they’re heavily saturated, cloth pads can be thrown in with regularly laundry. Some people opt to pre-rince them or use stain remover, but that’s strictly a personal choice or “as needed” based on the degree of pad saturation. Menstrual cups are even easier to clean since it’s a matter of “dump and wash” – although to enhance the sterility of the cup, it is usually recommended to do a boiling-water submersion to prepare it for the next period. All this doesn’t equate to a lot of additional water used.

As I mentioned before, some women like to use pantiliners all-cycle round, which makes cloth pantiliners even more attractive! Buying a weeks worth of cloth liners (or if you decide to make them) will keep you protected and can go in the weekly laundry anyway. For the women who feel that they’d feel more comfortable using reusable products only at home, that is still a great idea! There probably are women out there who use reusables at home and disposables outside. Feminine hygiene options are a personal choice of course, so you do what you feel is best and most relaxing. If I menstruated, I think I’d also do the same, although I really really like the idea of cloth pads! I also give the thumbs up for cups since they’re to only product that can provide you with a “one unit, many uses” product such that, you can carry it in your purse and not have to carry 3-4 pads or tampons for just-in-case, but being able to use that cup over and over again during a day! Can you see how this is more than just a cost-effective option?

Now that we’ve spent so much time on highlighting the cost savings of reusable products, let’s consider the investment part of this. What are you investing in when it comes to using reusable feminine hygiene products? Not only money, but in your health and the environment, something that you simply cannot attach a price tag too! In fact, wouldn’t almost everyone agree that your health is of utmost importance? Reusable feminine hygiene options are a beautiful way to keep trash out of the landfill and if only people took the time to think about how many pads and tampons are disposed of daily which is making a huge impact on pollution. Your ‘typical’ companies also manufacturer pads and tampons that will likely not degrade for ages. Think about what you want to leave the next generation, because 500 years from now, those who have inherited the earth from us will still be digging up your used pads and tampons … or well, at least walking and living on top of them!

I understand that it’s easier to spend $6 a bit at a time rather than a hundred dollars up front. I also understand some people are under financial constraints and putting that kind of money down initially may not be possible. However, if there’s anything next to survival needs that I’d invest in if I menstruated, it would be in either cloth pads or a menstrual cup! Over time, I’m saving myself tons of money and also investing in my own health, keeping chemically-treated and synthetic products away from my body. Also, there’s a reason why cotton panties are popular, because it’s comfortable, natural, allows your body to ‘breathe’ and as a result, healthy. Likewise, many cloth pads are made of cotton and other non-chemically treated absorbent materials. What are two important factors of any feminine hygiene product? Comfort and Absorbency! Cloth pads and menstrual cups have just that, at a fraction (over time) of the cost and is a great way to investing in future generations and that of your very own body! You may also find yourself surprizingly becoming more open about your body and menstruation when you open your mind and adopt reusable products. I have found that some of the most open-minded women I talk to about their bodies and periods tend to be ones who are use such products. Of course it may be because they were receptive enough to try these products in the first place, but you may find yourself suddenly becoming period-positive which is what I hope ALL men and women achieve!

The next time your “visitor” drops by, consider making the switch to a healthier, eco-friendly and more period-positive you!

Woh, What’s MiM Up To? Heads-Up: A Possible Menstrual Cup Review!

So a lot of you might we wondering why there’s a lack of updates lately, well, I gotta tell you with Christmas coming up soon, there’s a lot of work (at work) to be done! For those who didn’t know, I used to actually write most of my posts during (hehe) work. With people beginning to take time off here and there, I have to cover their position or role and thus, I haven’t had too much time to pull up MiM during work. However, another reason why (which is probably more important) is that I’ve been working closely with one of my readers trying to convince her to try a reusable product. A company has graciously offered a product to this reader and I’m hoping she will take up the offer and then I will be able to write a review with her on the product.  I noticed I have quite a few new subscribers as well, so welcome to MiM and this downtime for me will give them some time to catch up on my prior entries. I can’t believe it that as of the end of this year, my blog will actually be TWO YEARS OLD already! When I made my blog, I could not imagine the numbers of hits I’d get, I thought this would be a “personal blog” with some of my own “period thoughts” and really, I didn’t know menstruation was really such a popular topic on the internet. After all, I guess because so many people consider menstruation a “taboo” topic in person, that it’s much more comfortable to talk about it online. Suffice to say, I find this topic as fun to talk about online as I do offline!

So once again, I have not disappeared or have given up my hopes to continue encouraging everyone to be open about menstruation, for those who can answer and for those who wish to ask questions. I am working closely with a sponsor and with one of my girls in hopes that we will be able to coordinate efforts to make a review for a reusable product! Many of my girls are resistant to trying them out and thus, I have a hard time finding reviewers who are willing to write an original review. And yes, after this long, I finally feel I need to give more credit to reusable products like menstrual cups and cloth pads, as they really are the way of the future. With so many things we regularly dispose in the garbage as it is, I should be on the forefront with supporting reusable products so that our future generations may inherit this earth in a usable shape as well and for millenniums to come.

Lunette (Menstrual Cups) Interview with MiM & November 20% Discount

So a short while ago, I was honoured with having an email-interview with Lunette, makers of menstrual cups, washes, wipes and creams for the feminine hygiene market!

Here’s a copy of the interview which can also be found on their site:

Any guys reading this? If so you are in luck because today we’re bringing you a guest interview from the other side of the fence: Prexus Swyftwynd the man behind the blog Men in Menstruation. Prexus started the blog in late 2009 and has been blogging on everything from PMS to menstrual product reviews. In the answers below, Prexus talks about the reactions to his blog, his own and those of his friends (both male and female).

What have you learned since starting the Men in Menstruation blog? Anything unexpected?

I have to shamefully admit that I’ve learned that women can have periods outside of a 30-35 day cycle and still be normal and healthy. I always considered the 30-35 day range to be “normal” because none of my girls or (ex)girlfriends ever fell outside of that range. I always had this assumption in my head that being outside of that range indicated something was wrong and that’s not true. My ex’s period was like clockwork: from the day she ended, I would already know when her next period would be and have chocolates and flowers ready. My current girlfriend also helped me change this assumption; she has almost a 4x day cycle, and it took me a while to get my head around this. I know that in books cycles outside of “average days” can still be normal, but what is read in books sometimes doesn’t sink in until you see it in reality.

Prior to my blog, I also didn’t know there were syndromes such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which make periods (or even throughout the cycle) a living hell. PCOS also affects people of all ages, so it isn’t one of those “old people” problems. Women with PCOS tend to be very open about their periods, perhaps because they’ve spent a lot of time talking to their doctor, family or even friends about it. I’ve had some very in-depth (and I’m always very grateful) discussions with PCOS-women about their periods, with no shame involved in the conversation. While I would absolutely not say I’d want a woman to have PCOS just so she’s open about periods, I’ve definitely seen a trend of openness for those who have it.

Through the blog, I’ve connected with many men and women who are enthusiastic about menstruation. Unfortunately when men get involved in menstruation – from a female point of view – it can either be, “Wow, I’m so glad that guys want to be involved.” to, “Ew, what kind of guy would want to learn about periods? He’s a pervert!” As a single child, I’ve never had an opportunity to learn about periods from a sister, and even from what I learned from my mother, it was a very hush-hush and need-to-know basis type of education. It’s great to see men who are interested in periods. While I know there are men who range from the “just curious” to the fetishist, they should still be respected for their own interest. After all, even the most hardcore fetishist would have taken the time to learn about menstruation, unlike men who shy away from it either through disgust, ignorance or embarrassment. Connecting with women who are PASSIONATE about their period and wanting to change the taboo of menstruation really hits home for me and makes me smile. I admit due to the nature of my blog, many readers (of whom are probably women), don’t speak up, but even if they’re reading my blog and it helps tickle their mind a bit to push for change in this world, then we’re living in a better place!

What do the women in your life think about your blog? How do they react?

Well I only let women who I know REALLY well and who I’d believe to “accept” the blog know about it, so there aren’t many. I’d say there are only about four girls who know me “in person” who also know about the blog, and two of them are my ex’s. The women in my life tend to be very open about their periods with me, and thus, they know about the blog as a result. These girls not only assist me with understanding periods more, but they are also female testers for me. As luck would have it, I am male and thus, lack the physical body parts to test products for my review. With their assistance and my own testing methods, I am can get an accurate understanding of feminine hygiene products to write reviews on them. Often when other bloggers write reviews on products, their opinions usually consist of one individual, themselves. But my reviews reflect the opinions of my helpful women, who have given me feedback on these products, along with my own methods.

The women in my life who know and are involved in my blog love it. They feel as if they can connect to me through feeling a sense of “male security” and with my understanding as a “sister.” I’m not gay nor do I have transsexual tendencies by any means; I just love and appreciate menstruation and the female body. Thus, my girls can easily talk to me about things that most guys would not be able to relate to or even want to converse about. Knowing about my blog also helps them connect with me for topics outside of menstruation. They’re comfortable sharing intimate knowledge with me or doing things that they would feel uncomfortable doing with guys such as shopping for inner-wear. Even when the girls discuss things amongst themselves, they are inclusive of me and take an opportunity to educate me about female things.

I “introduce” my blog to my girls (or rather, the existence of it) through a very smooth method to avoid shock. I will often drop hints that I write articles about menstruation and that I’m essentially pro-period before I even get into the whole point about owning a blog on it. Since these girls are ones who are close to me, such as ex’s and best-friends, they know me well enough to probably deduce that I have some (or lots) of interest in menstruation. The blog is usually more of a, “Oh really?” than a, “OH MY GOD, REALLY?” I’m very careful about who I tell about my blog because it has both menstrual and personal information on it. For the women who do know, they think it’s fantastic and will offer help whenever I need it, whether that’s borrowing them for a week in a month to test products or to answer questions. I have yet to tell someone about my blog who I didn’t trust me deep down, so I’ve never gotten negative reactions from them.

Do many of your guy friends know you blog about menstruation? What’s their take on it?

Only two of my guy friends know about my blog, and both of them really like reading through it to learn about periods. I won’t call myself an “expert” on periods, only someone with perhaps “above average” knowledge on it. Sometimes they come to me with questions I don’t answer on my blog and that also gives me a topic to write about as an entry. They’re more of the “curious” type than the fetishists. As “weird” as they think my blog and interest in periods are, they do see the benefit of having such knowledge. It’s less intimidating for them to learn from a fellow male than if they were to have to speak to a female about it. It’s hard for me to introduce my blog or even any knowledge of menstruation to my guy friends because they’re quite repulsed towards the idea of a bleeding vagina. I always heckle them by asking how they can love vaginas so much, yet the thought of it a week per month can totally put them off from it. It’s like they want to pretend it doesn’t exist, but they only acknowledge it enough to stay away from the red a week every month.

Be sure to check back for the rest of the interview and check out Men in Menstruation on WordPress.

And then part 2 of the interview…

Welcome back to part two of Lunette’s interview with Prexus Swyftwynd, the blogger behind Men in Menstruation. In part one, Prexus talks about the reactions to his blog, his own and those of his friends (both male and female). In this next part, Prexus wraps up his interview with thoughts on menstruation and the market and a little about himself.

Where do you think menstrual products are going in terms of the future of the market? What do you see as the trends?

I certainly think that more and more women will adopt reusable products; however, we have a long way to go before that becomes a “majority” of women. As far as I can see, there will always be some form of “toss and go” conventional product because I don’t think every women is comfortable with emptying their flow at a later point. Perhaps this may be a cultural thing; many of my female Asian friends won’t even give me a chance to encourage them to try these products. It will take years of cultural conversion and education before certain cultures can let go of the taboo of their menstrual flow and menstruation as a whole. If major disposal pad/tampon makers can continue to haunt consumers with “discrete” and “fear” tactics, there will continue to be a demand for such products. Companies will continue to find better “technologies” to enhance pads/tampons. But I can’t imagine companies being able to enhance absorbency and comfort while maintaining a reasonable price-per-use as compared to products such as cups, sponges or cloth pads.

What’s really great about reusable products is that they really encourage women to love their bodies and be in touch with them! Women who use reusable products often are much more open to conversations about menstruation and the female body, over those who use disposable products. By encouraging our younger generations, we can help them adopt reusable products early and remind them that their bodies are a beautiful and worth respecting. Society as a whole still revolves around a lot of “disposable” items in our daily lives, so it’ll take many years before we realize the damage we’re doing to ourselves and the environment. In the next 100 years, disposable pads and tampons will probably still continue to survive, but my hope is that through education, younger women will pick the right product for all women instead of going with the type of product is best for just the individual.

What’s your sense of awareness and interest in menstrual cups in Canada?

I think there is quite a bit of awareness but just not widespread acceptance of the cup. I’ve brought up the “cup” in conversations before with various women, and although they were fully aware of what the product does, they were not very keen on it. I can’t speak on behalf of all women in Canada, but I’d wager there are more women who still use conventional products than have shifted to cups. Because cups are internal products, that poses a second “concern”; for women who don’t use tampons, the thought of adopting a menstrual cup only brings in more fear and sometimes repulsion. I live in a fairly large city, in which we’re quite “connected” with media and internet accessibility, so information on menstrual cups is available and read by my female friends. However, few of them have adopted or even tried such a product. One of my female friends told me outright that she wouldn’t even “begin to imagine using a product like that regularly.” Even my girls, who are regular tampon-users, have no interest in using menstrual cups, since they can withdraw their tampon and just drop it in the toilet – no “maintenance” required.

The cups are also being sold at “organic” retailers here, so with them hanging off display shelves, I think it’s at least creating somewhat of an “education” for the cups. I’ve seen women gathered around such displays before, taking in the information on menstrual cups or other similar products. Most women end up walking away afterwards, but who knows, maybe they just need time to consider switching to a menstrual cup later on! At least they know about cups and even if they don’t make the decision now, they still have the knowledge and may pass it on to others who are willing to make the change!

What are your other interests outside of blogging?

I’m an avid computer gamer, so for several hours a day (I know terrible), I’m either rescuing princesses from towers or blowing heads off zombies, lol! Outside of a computer environment, I absolutely adore spending time with my girlfriend. When I’m not spending time with her, I’m usually spending time with my girls, shopping, doing daily things or just sitting around talking over coffee. I affectionately call them “my girls” as they’re a group of close female friends with whom I have great non-romantic relationships. In this day-and-age, we should remember that males and females can just BE FRIENDS.

I also run my own business outside of my regular day job. In addition to money purposes, I also consider it an interest because I help connect those who are are afraid of computers with modern technology. I enjoy showing people the wonders, particularly seniors who have never been in touch with such widespread technology, to discover all the things they can do and the things available to them. I believe technology has really enhanced my life and hope it may for others too, no matter what age!

After work, I will usually spend 30-60 minutes working out to stay in shape. Like most people, I wish I were more fit but all of it starts with the first step. I’m a big fan of laughter; the thing that I like to do most within the day is talk by voice or text with my friends and share funny moments. Every day of our lives, something funny happens and many people go through their day in a blur, missing moments that should make them laugh or smile. If every day I can just bring a smile or laugh to one of my friends, it makes me feel great. I used to volunteer a lot when I was younger, and I miss it, especially knowing that one “insignificant” person in the world can make some difference. After starting my career just a few years ago, I continue polishing my time management skills, so I can accomplish more within a day without sacrificing sleep time to stay healthy!

Any last thoughts?

I just wanted to thank you for giving me an opportunity to answer these questions. Recently I had some crazy lady tell me that I am a guy that “hates women,” and that has left a poor taste in my mouth. I hope these answers will shed some light on who I am, what this blog represents (or wants to represent, despite sometimes encountering difficulties) and just being period positive. I can’t wait to feature brands like Lunette on my blog, and together we can continue our trek so that future generations can feel positive about their bodies and comfortable with menstruation as a “normal” topic to talk about!

Although I’ve had interviews in the past for private studies and educational research, this has been the first time where my answers have been publicly posted! I was so excited and thrilled to be taken note by a professional business.

Lunette cups are really darn cute because not only are they a great eco-friendly menstrual cup, but also because they come in various colours!

Lunette is also having a 20%-off sale from their Lunette online store. Check out the discount code on their site for it! You can redeem this promotional code on their November SPECIAL post.

Congratulations to Lunette on their BLOG LAUNCH!

Check out their YouTube channel.

Pet Names for the “Dirty Downstairs”

Has this been posted here already? I hope not! 😛

If you didn’t already know, “dirty downstairs” is a pet name coined by a sibling to refer to the vajayjay! lol

Here is an article I came across while Net-surfing, and since it’s related to menstruation – I re-posted it here! 🙂

Menstrual Brand Squeezes 25 Pet Names for Vagina Into New Song By Rebecca Cullers

  • June 22 2011

Who doesn’t love a good song about vaginas? Created by ad agency St. Luke’s for Mooncup (an insertable, reusable, silicon menstrual cup), this little ditty is intended to celebrate the various monikers of the mossy cottage, the little slit that somehow never seems to have as many glorious nicknames as its male counterpart. For posterity, Mooncup collected over 14,000 nicknames for the fluffy pink tutu, but only 25 made it into the song. It’s a fun way to encourage talk and pride surrounding what is, frankly, a slightly scary product. To put it bluntly, there’s a barrier to entry in this category of menstrual helpers. So, if you have a squish mitten that could do with a serenade, download the sheet music and show your pickle pouch some love.

Divacup Review by ameliajp

Ah ha! Finally found a girl who was brave enough to write a nice little review about her experience and evaluation of the Divacup for me! Thanks Amelia!! 😀

I started using a menstrual cup for the first time this past January.  I had read about it online but did not know anyone personally who had tried it.  I was hesitant at first because the thought of cleaning it made me nervous and I thought it was going to be very messy.  Once you get the hang of it though, it’s not.

I am not going to lie, the first couple of months I used the cup it was awkward and a bit messy.  I read the instructions over a few times to fully understand how to insert it properly to create a suction.  It takes a bit of practice to master it (best time to practice is when you’re not menstruating so you aren’t dealing with a messy situation).

Cleaning it out is not as bad as it seems either.  Lucky for me I have a sink right beside my toilet so I can just take it out, swivel, clean it, swivel back, and put it in.

With the DivaCup you also do not have to worry about TSS (Toxic Shock Syndrome), and you can leave it in for 10 – 12 hours!  I empty mine once in the morning and once in the evening.  If your flow is extremely heavy you may need to empty it during the day.  The cup does hold 30ml and that is what an average woman bleeds during her entire cycle.  I know I bleed much more than that, but I can still get by on changing it two or three times a day.

So to sum it up…

Positives:  No TSS, holds more, less waste, saves money, no strings to tuck in, leak free, wear it in expectation of period starting

Negatives:  Costs a bit up front, practice to master the suction, cleaning it, a bit messy the first two months

You may wonder, what exactly IS a menstrual cup? Since the review above is for the Divacup brand, here’s the information provided on their site (source):

The DivaCup is a non-absorbent menstrual cup that simply collects menstrual flow. It is inserted in the vagina and sits at the lower base of the vaginal canal. It is worn internally, yet because it is soft and smooth, it cannot be felt nor will it leak when inserted properly.

The DivaCup is the most clean and convenient method of feminine hygiene protection. No need to touch the flow. It is worn low in the vagina, not near the cervix, so it is easy to remove. No mess!

The DivaCup ends hassles with unreliable disposables in endless absorbencies, shapes and styles. It is perfect for all activities – giving women true freedom without the worry, guessing and unreliability that disposable feminine hygiene products pose.

The DivaCup can be worn for up to 12 hours before emptying, washing and reinserting for use for another 12 hours. It can be used for light or moderate flows and is emptied more often to accommodate heavy flows.  Perfect for overnight use.

The DivaCup’s expert, proprietary, patent-pending features make it comfortable and assures ease of use and reliability. Perfect for traveling, running, biking, hiking, dancing, camping, swimming, diving, scuba, yoga, extreme sports and more…

  • Latex-free, BPA-free, plastic-free
  • No dyes, colors or additives
  • Comfortable, reliable
  • Clean, convenient, easy-to-use
  • Worn for up to 12 hours at a time

For those who have not seen a Divacup before:

Here’s what the Divacup packages look like – very snazzy! 😀

For those who are not familiar with menstrual cups, you may wonder why there are two versions. 1 version is for women who are under 30 or have not delivered birth vaginally or through c-section. The other version is for women who are over 30 or have delivered birth through either birthing methods. You can buy one from here as well!

I hope this demystifies my stance on reusable products! I am very for-reusable products but I find it difficult for me to give an accurate review based on my lack of female anatomy to try it out. However, I’m glad Amelia took the time to write one up for me and appreciate her efforts in spreading the word about more environmentally-friendly and health-conscience form of menstrual hygiene!

Buying Imported/Foreign Maxi Pads(Sanitary Napkins) and Tampons

Yay, another periodtastic post – it has certainly been a while since I’ve been writing an entry completely on topic. In the past, I’ve received some questions about where I get my hands on foreign pads/napkins and tampons.

(Sofy 蘇菲) Because what good sanitary napkin advertisement could do without a cute Asian girl? 😛

In general, if you’re living in Canada, you’re going to have some pretty rough time with getting access to pads outside of the domestic brands such as Always (Pads/Liners), Kotex (Pads/Liners/Tampons), Carefree (Liners), Stayfree (Pads), O.B. (Tampons), Playtex (Tampons), and Tampax (Tampons). Also, you will likely find an assortment of store-brand pads, tampons or liners such as Selection, Life, No Name, KDL, Femtex, Incognito, Julia and Equate brands. There are also some organic brands such as Natracare (Pads/Liners/Tampons), 7th Generation (Pads/Liners/Tampons) and Asana (Pads) which are slowly coming into a more prominent market. There are many online retailers too who sell feminine hygiene products that are beginning to sell Divacup (Menstrual Cups), Instead (Menstrual Cups), The Keeper (Menstrual Cups/Cloth Pads), Pleasure Puss Wash ‘n’ Wear (Cloth Pads), LunaPads (Cloth Pads) and other smaller brands/home-made alternatives.

Suffice to say, most of my experience with foreign pads would be when I’m on vacation, mainly in Hong Kong. Sometimes dollar stores will also be nice enough to stock some pads/tampons from other countries. My largest target I check for foreign pads/tampons are generally Asian supermarkets (well I’m Asian, so it only makes sense)! I often find an assortment of pads from Vietnam and India, world-wide brands such as Kotex and Always – however, much different than the ones we see here in Canada. Because these products are imported, the cost of them are generally higher so I try to limit my purchases with them. The other day when I was with my bebe, I did see some Elis pads on sale, but they were $8-$9 CAD for a mere 18!! I still plan on trying them, however, I have to find the opportunity when I can make this purchase. Other than stores, another easy method to acquire non-local products is of course, the internet. Distance is not even an issue when it comes to getting products, for instance, the Always Maxi Pads Overnight Extra Heavy Flow is sold in the US, just a mere 80km’s from my house, but not in Canada! Certainly, there are even a few products sold in the US that are not available here…. nor will big online retailers like Amazon actually ship it to Canada – weird. Perhaps the manufactures have some kind of agreement to restrict the pads from being sold outside a certain reason, although it doesn’t seem to make any sense since providing more products just means an extra opportunity to make money – but oh well.

(Kotex 高潔絲) GLEEMS!!! Kotex Whites from HK - woohooo 😀 I lurv these, thx.

So anyways… to answer those who have asked me some of my “sources” of feminine hygiene products, here you go. Please note that your local store may or may not carry these products so this is strictly for reference only. Just for fun :P, I’ve highlighted the ones I still want to/have to try and will also mark a (F) besides ones that not domestic version of the brand:

Store Resources

Fortinos/Real Canadian Superstore

  • Always
  • Tampax
  • Playtex
  • O.B.
  • Stayfree
  • Carefree
  • Selection
  • Kotex
  • Natracare

Shoppers Drug Mart

  • Always
  • Tampax
  • Playtex
  • O.B.
  • Stayfree
  • Carefree
  • Life
  • Kotex

Rexall/Pharma Plus

  • Always
  • Tampax
  • Playtex
  • O.B.
  • Stayfree
  • Carefree
  • Rexall
  • Kotex

Metro

  • Always
  • Tampax
  • Playtex
  • O.B.
  • Stayfree
  • Carefree
  • Selection
  • Kotex

Price Chopper

  • Always
  • Tampax
  • Playtex
  • O.B.
  • Stayfree
  • Carefree
  • Selection
  • Kotex

No Frills

  • Always
  • Tampax
  • Playtex
  • O.B.
  • Stayfree
  • Carefree
  • Selection
  • Kotex

Costco

  • Always
  • Tampax
  • Playtex
  • O.B.
  • Stayfree
  • Kotex

Food Basics

  • Always
  • Tampax
  • Playtex
  • O.B.
  • Stayfree
  • Carefree
  • Value
  • Kotex

Giant Tiger

  • Always
  • Tampax
  • Playtex
  • KDL
  • Femtex
  • Incognito

T&T Supermarket (Central Parkway, Mississauga | Milliken, Scarborough | Promenade, Thornhill | Warden, Markham)

  • Always
  • Tampax
  • SaraSara Center-In (F)
  • Elis (F)
  • Laurier (F)
  • Sofy (F)
  • Whisper (F – Not available at Mississauga location)

Yuan Ming Supermarket

  • Always (F – Classic version as well)
  • Kotex (F)
  • Stayfree (F – Secure version as well)

H&H Oriental Foods and Hardware

  • Always (F)
  • Kotex (F)
  • KDL
  • No Name (F)

(Laurier 蕾妮亞) .. Gosh, 40cm... Does it have SUPERGUARD? If it does, I'm going to run around in a circle 😀

Online Resources

eBay and iOffer.com and eCrater.com

Search terms I use… Also, in many countries, the terms “maxi pad” isn’t used, so if you’re targeting non-domestic products, use the latter terms:

  • “Maxi Pad”
  • “Tampon”
  • “Sanitary Pad”
  • “Sanitary Napkin”
  • “Sanitary Towel”
  • “Feminine Pad”
  • “Feminine Napkin”
  • “Feminine Towel”
  • “Feminine Hygiene”

Well.ca

  • Always
  • Asana
  • Carefree
  • Kotex
  • Natracare
  • Stayfree
  • Playtex
  • Tampax
  • O.B.
  • Divacup

YumClick

Please pay attention to shipping charges. Although they offer international shipping, shipments are made from Singapore, so unless you live near there or are willing to pay the shipping charges, please be aware.

  • Carefree (F)
  • Laurier (F)
  • Kotex (F)
  • Whisper (F)

Sasa.com

  • FuwaFuwa Center-In (F)
  • Carefree (F)

Webichi.com

  • Elis (F)
  • Natura (F)
  • Laurier (F)
  • Sarasarty (F)
  • SaraSara Center-In (F)
  • Sofy (F)

FairPrice.com.sg

  • Kotex (F)
  • Laurier (F)
  • O.B. (F)
  • Poise (F)
  • Sofy (F)
  • Stayfree (F)
  • Whisper (F)

Cosmelandusa.com

Seriously… if these guys had better Canadian shipping rates, I’d buy them out.. look at all the great stock they have!! ZOMG, my fav brands 😛

  • Elis (F)
  • Laurier (F)
  • Unicharm Center-In (F)
  • Sofy (F)
  • Charm (F)
  • Sarasarty (F)

I think that’s it for now 😀

(Stayfree 蝶安護 w/ 鍾嘉欣 Linda Chung) She looks kind of weird in this picture, although normally Linda is very hot XD

Menstrual Cups… Gross? Educate Yourself!

No big update today, sorry… talking to a lot of people on MSN right now, lol.

But… I was completely outraged today after seeing an author make a horrible statement against menstrual-cups. Go figure, it was a male author (judging by the name). I found it only because I also happened to be reading a post made by another author, expressing her own positive experience with menstrual cups.

Likewise, I’d be happy to make a note about the way cups and alternative menstrual protection are slowly changing the way women deal with menstruation. The offending author writes that menstrual cups are… “possibly the grossest feminine hygiene product ever created.” Yes, that is right, I want to kick him in the face for making such a statement while being oblivious to the items. Too bad this guy is putting males to shame with such a statement. Wish he took some time to do a bit of research about all the benefits before putting his fingers on the keyboard.

Feel free to read more about her views of menstrual cups and its benefits on her site!

Reusable Feminine Hygiene Choices

Preamble

As I was stumbling around in my “Readomattic” of interested tags, I ran into a great article concerning the use of reusable products. I am quite guilty myself about the lack of coverage I have on my site. I have through recommendation of several readers, to post information pertaining to reusable feminine hygiene products. However, I lack much of the expertise when it comes to that because I have yet to date a girl who actually uses them. Furthermore, out of all my girls, only 1 uses them actively and 1 tried and defaulted to using disposable pads. Due to my lack of a vagina, it makes it extremely hard for me to test the items mentioned below – lol. On my blog, I try to bring “awareness” to subjects, not necessarily promote. As with pads, tampons and now alternative menstrual protection, I would like to stay away from saying which form of protection is better – that’s up to every individual to decide on their own. However, I will never object to providing information to help someone make an informed choice.

Having received the explicit permission of the author, I am reposting her entry. Unfortunately because of the way WordPress handles copy & pasting, the alignment of text/pictures are not correct, however, the entire article is still readable. Furthermore, you are encouraged to visit the author’s site for other “environmentally sound ideas”!

I will not be making any additional entries this evening as I got word from my close-friend letting me know that her grandmother has passed away. Fortunately (if that’s really a good way to describe it), her family was well-prepared for it and all affairs are already in order. Her grandmother was well over one hundred years (100, that’s right, COUNT IT!) old and although at any age, death is never fair and easy – in the Chinese culture, we consider this a “happy departure” given the age and non-tragic circumstances. I will be spending tonight helping her out with what I can (as little as that may be).

Just for fun, I added my “favourite brands” to the widget bar… I removed a couple of widgets that don’t seem to get much attention anyways. Hrm.. didn’t I just say something about not promoting things I like? Damn… lol. I knew if I didn’t add O.B. and Stayfree there, two of my girls will eat me alive, so I made sure those brands were there… hahahaha.

———————————————————————————————————————

Get over it, my dear! February 10, 2010 by pickupamerica

By Kelly Klein

Hello, ladies! (Yes, you.) I’m here to talk to you about a great way that you can be more sustainable and create less waste every month! I know it’s a touchy subject… not everyone likes to talk about their menstruation experiences, but I encourage you to read on with an open mind as this information is good for your body, the environment, and women everywhere. Contrary to what a good friend believed as a kid, you don’t just get your period once and are done with it. Nope. It happens quite regularly and frequently over the course of a woman’s lifetime. This means that women will spend a great deal of time, energy and money suppressing menstruation every month. Current mainstream sanitary methods are not cutting it, and if they continue to be the norm, our landfills, waterways and bodies will hold the waste for years to come.

Tampons and pads are just plain wasteful. According to Susan Kim, the average U.S. woman will use 10,000 tampons in her life, throwing away a total of approximately 250 to 300 pounds of pads, plugs and applicators. A tampon takes about 6 months to biodegrade while any plastic (applicator, pad lining, and/or packaging) will never biodegrade.

The main ingredient in most tampons is cotton, which happens to be one of the least “green” crops out there. According to the Organic Consumers Association, “just 2.4% of the world’s arable land is planted with cotton yet it accounts for 24% of the world’s insecticide market and 11% of sale of global pesticides, making it the most pesticide-intensive crop grown on the planet.” AND almost half of the chemicals used on cotton crops around the world are classified as hazardous by the World Health Organization. Not only is this bad news for the plants and animals and farmers who come into contact with these substances, but pesticides don’t exactly go away. After all, cotton is used in tampons because of its absorbency. Pesticide residues stick around in tampons in the form of dioxins and other potentially harmful chemicals. Our vaginal walls are made of the most absorbent tissues in the body. Ladies, do the math.

What about tampon disposal? If you flush a used tampon, it enters our waterways and is absorbed by marine life or ends up on coast lines, which is — of course — a problem. If you throw it away, you wrap it in some toilet paper and it ends up in a landfill somewhere. At throwawayz.com, (a site that sells small biodegradable plastic pouches to throw tampons away in), it is estimated that the average U.S. female uses about 450 rolls of toilet paper in their lifetime just on tampon disposal, about 9.5 trees per female.

So, lets recap:

  1. Growing cotton to make tampons is bad for the environment.
  2. Using tampons exposes your body to harmful substances.
  3. Disposing of tampons creates a vast amount of waste that contributes to the pile up of pollution in our landfills and waterways.

Both 1 and 2 are addressed by using organic tampons, but not number 3. To address all of these issues, we have the fabulous menstrual cup. This is a reusable, flexible cup that is inserted into the vagina and rests around the cervix (like a diaphragm) to catch menstrual fluid. There are several brands; Divacup, Mooncup, Instead, Lunette, Miacup, Lady Cup, The Keeper, to name a few.

In my experience, you do need to give yourself some time to adjust and figure out exactly how to insert/remove/use a cup, but it is well worth it. You usually only have to clean it once a day, you don’t have to carry around tampons all the time, it doesn’t dry you out unnecessarily, it doesn’t get all full of water if you swim or take a bath… it’s pretty great. At the end of your cycle, you simply boil it for a few minutes so that it’s sterilized. There is a great blog that will give you all sorts of tips about using menstrual cups and answer all of your questions, so I won’t get into that here.

But I will say this… Most women I talk to dismiss menstrual cups with one simple comment: It’s gross! All I have to say is: Get over it, my dear. It is your body and your body’s process, so what’s there to be afraid of? Yes, while using a menstrual cup you will become very familiar with your vagina (and you might even find your cervix!). In order to use it correctly, you will need to do some trial and error. So what? It’s time that we accept menstruation (and our vaginas, for that matter) as a regular part of our lives and become comfortable asking questions and talking with one another. Susan Kim’s article is all about the taboo of menstruation. It’s an embarrassing subject for most women and it’s mentioned in the media in “pitches and jokes that basically use our poor ol’, much-maligned bodily process to get an easy laugh and/or earn a buck.” We got a lot of work to do to break down this taboo and it all starts with confronting our personal feelings toward ourselves and our bodies. Who’s with me?

P.S. If insertion techniques aren’t your thing, why not try a reusable pad? Yea, you have to clean it, but you can easily keep a large jar or bowl of water in the bathroom to soak them overnight and you’ll probably need about 7-12 per cycle. You can make your own from old diapers, flannel sheets, or terry towels. A number of manufactured pads are on the market in both organic and commercial cotton.

P.P.S. Props to any males out there who read this whole thing. Knowledge is power!



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