Friday, 3 October 2008

For non-squemish women and modern men

You have been warned!

This is a post about periods and avoiding disposable tampons and sanitary towels. Read on if you're interested.

The first thing to point out is that the alternatives have many benefits beside being fairly essential for those who are giving up plastic. Cheaper, greener, chemical-free, better for you etc.

First, as an alternative to tampons there are internally worn things which fall into two categories.

1) washable, reusable cups like the mooncup or the keeper.

2) washable natural sponges (which I know nothing about)

And as an alternative to sanitary towels, you can buy or make your own. This isn't as gross as it sounds (I was doing this well before giving up plastic). I liked lunapads - but there are many brands available. You have a base pad and then add liners according to need. Soak in water and wash in your normal load.

I also had a go at sewing my own, with moderate success. I used part of a broken umbrella for a waterproof layer, though that was mostly for amusement value. There are lots of patterns online, or you can try and copy something freehand... (this method not so recommended...).

I ought to point out that most of these contain nylon as a waterproof layer. So not strictly plastic free, though I don't think that is a concern of the majority of people.

So for a while, I though lunapads were great. Particularly the amazing variety of patterns and colours that they come in. Then I went away with only a mooncup and having no other option forced me to use it (I didn't like it much before). And now I think it is absolutely great!

It takes a little(!) getting used to - but worth persevering. It is comfortable (once you've cut enough of the stem off), cheap (£19 online, but cheaper at single step (£13?) as they sell at cost price), good for the environment - you're throwing nothing away. You don't have to remember to buy or carry tampons and it doesn't absorb like a tampon (which is not good for you).

There is lots of information on the website and I highly recommend you go and have a look!

There might be an information evening in Lancaster sometime soon. If you already have a mooncup and want to help out, let me know.

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