Everything you ever wanted to know about sustainable periods but were afraid to ask

When starting your journey towards being more friendly towards workers, the environment, and your own body- switching up your period supplies to something more eco-friendly is one of the most effective, yet simple methods to get you started on your "eco-journey"! However, when I started looking into more environmentally friendly options in 2015 I was faced with a bunch of questions, doubts, and misunderstandings. Now that I've had around three years of experience, it is safe to say I have found some products that work wonders for my "time of the month". 

There are of course various methods that I have not yet gotten around to try, however, I did not want this to stop me from making this article for you. Therefore if you out there are currently using or have used other eco-friendly products and you feel comfortable talking about your experience then we would love to work with you!

Before we get started, I quickly wanted to share four of the main reasons to swich to more eco-friendly menstural supplies. 

- You will for sure save hundres of dollars wihtin a few years.

- Your body will thank you for not letting harsh chemichals like bleach end up in your bloodstream.

- Saves you time shopping for period products...--- in other words, extra time to do what you want to do!

- You'll automatically use less plastic!

I would also like to note that my flow is normally light, but a bit heavier on the first two days. You might want to keep this information in mind when deciding which method will work best for you. Another important thing to mention is that I will only be speeking from my own personal experience, which means that you might end up not like a product I love and viece versa. Als note that I am in no way a professionals within this field, so take everything you read into consideration before making a final decision. If you have any medial conditions, I advice you to have a chat with your doctor before jumping into the unknown. 

 

Menstrual cups

Menstrual cups is a period product that collects the menstural fluids instead or absoarbing it. The cup itself is made out of 100% silicon, which means that there are no chemimcal used!

Nora: 

What brand should I use?

I personally use the brand Diva Cup, and I am very pleased and have no complaints so far with the brand. Some other brands are MeLuna, Lunette, Ruby Cups and Evacup. 

Are there different sizes? How do I know which one to choose?

With the Diva cup, there are two different sizes. Size one is for everyone who has not given birth, and number two is.... you guessed it, for all the mothers out there! 

How do you insert it and take it out?

Once you have gotten your cup, you'll probobly be a bit overwhelmed and confused with all the different ways to fold and inserst the cup. After trying just about ever method, I have for the past few years stuck with the method named Punched-down. Here are a few clips to show you the most common ways to fold. Remember to relax you body when intersting, this makes the process go a whole lot smoother.

Once inserted, take a hold of the bottop part of the cup and turn it one whole round. This helps the cup fully pop-up and secure itself. 

When removing the cup, you want to push a bit with you mucles and take a hold of the small string that is on the bottom. Slowly drag the cup out and dump the blood into the toilet. (note: the first few times you remove the cup, it might be a bit uncomfortable, this will most likley go away after a few go's.) If you have access to a sink you want to rinse it with warm water and sope (if on hand), dry and re-insert. No access to a sink? - no worries! You can use toilet paper and remove the blood that way, or bring along a water bottle.

Is there any smell? 

If the cup is inserted correctly, there should be abselutey no smell. 

Time to change?

They say on the box that it is possible to have them in for about 6 to 12 hours, all depending on if you have a heavy or lighter flow. There isn't a specific lenght that I usually keep the cup in, however, I would say that I aim to change the cup every 11 hours. One of the great things about the cup is that there isn't any nasty chemicals like in a tampon. This prevents the possiblity for your vagina to take in these chemicals and let them enter your bloodstream and or dry up your vaginal walls.

Cleaning process

Finally over with the week? To remove any bacteria, you want to boil it in water for ten minutes. Please be careful while doing this, and keep checking on the cup to be sure everything is as it should. Once you've done that, store it in its poch and it's ready to use for next month.

Can you be active while having it in?

Of course! You can swim, run, do yoga, dance and just about everyhing you normally do. There is no reason to let your period stop you from living your best life.

Can it get stuck up there?

No, no change at all. The cup itself is way to big to get lost in your vagina. So take a deep breah and relax.

Pros // cons

Pro: With good care and love it can last for 12 years

Con: Might be a bit weird to boil your period cup if you live with other peole. However just say "fuck it" and do it!

 xx

Period-proof underwear

Period- proof underwear is a great alternative for those who previously perfered pads over tampons. This method combines, as mentioned in the name, your regular underwear and a pad. 

What brand should I use?

My choice of brand has so far been Thinx. I love how they are both educating woman about their periods and creating beautiful underwear that makes women excited about their menstrual cycle. However, I've also heard a lot of great reviews on the Lunapanties

How long can you wear one pair of underear?

This all depends on what kind of underwear you use. Thongs for instance usually only absoarb half of the amount a light tampon would. While a regular pair of underwear could hold up one to two tampons. 

Time to change?

This is a very personal area about the panties. If I only use my cheeky from Thinx, I will for sure change them after around 3-5 hours, depending on what feels right that day. When I'm using my hiphugger from the same brand, I'll keep them on for around 5-7 hours. 

Cleaning process

To clean your underwear you want to only use cold water. If not, you might end up ruining the fabric layers inside. Rinse them first in cold water to remove majority of the fluids present. Either wash by hand with natural soap (I usually use my natural soap bar or a clothing wash from a Norwegian brand called Klar or wash in your washing machine with your other clothes. Hang dry. 

Is there any smell? 

No, not if you change them when you should, depending on your flow.

Can you be active while having it in?

Yes you can! Keep in mind, I would personally not use a thong for instance as it does not absoarb or cover your whole butt. You might want to opt for a leotard or sport panties from thinx. One important thing is that you cannot swim or do any water based activity when you are just using the underwear.

 Pros // cons

Pro: You will most likley not feel wet or moist while wearing them. They look so beautiful on!

Con: No possibility to do watersports. They take a while to airdry. You cannot wear a an additional pad if you want extra absorbency. Also, depending on your flow, you can’t always use this period product alone.

xx

Combine methods?

As with generic menstural supplies, you are also able to combine two menthods to ensure that there won't be any leaks. 

Menstural cup + Period-proof underwear

Sponge + Cloth pads

Sponge + Period-proof underwear

 Menstural cup + Cloth pads

As mentioned earlier in this article, if you are a woman with experience or thoughts regarding eco-friendly periods don’t be afraid to speak your mind and email us at contact.nuet@gmail.com

There will hopefully be up a part 2 everything you wanted to know about sustainable periods but were afraid to ask.

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Sustainability, self-empowerment, and positive attitude towards menstruation... all blended together to be the ingenious brand of Thinx period underwear.

An article written by Sarah Schnepf