Alright, dudes. I’m an equal opportunity blogger and you are more than welcome to stick around for this, but we will be talking about some lady business today. Personally, I think men should be okay with the fact that women – virtually all women – have periods. I mean, is not being OK with it really an option? It happens. Every month. Soooooo, let’s just get over the ick factor, yes?
That goes for us, too, ladies. It drives me nuts that our periods are this huge taboo we are supposed to hide and pretend isn’t happening. We buy these cutesy tampon cases and slim-fit pantyliners and go to work pretending that it doesn’t feel like an angry dwarf has taken up residence in our uteruses, making us feel bloated and angry and doubled up from the pain of cramping.
Sometime it seems the only time we ever talk about periods is when some buffoon uses it to justify their archaic notions about why women couldn’t possibly run a country (actual quote, “…the PMS and the mood swings…”)
Let’s change that! Here we are, ladies! We all bleed every month! In many pre-Kotex cultures, menstruating women were considered to be undergoing a sacred time, a time for rest, renewal and cleansing. Doesn’t that sound nice?
So, let’s figure out how to approach our Moon time, our Marthas, our Aunt Flows, with a little more care and consideration for Mother Nature.
What to Phase Out: This is where we can make the biggest impact – please, please, PLEASE ditch the plastic applicators. If you use tampons with plastic applicators please switch to cardboard applicators or even a brand like OB which skips them altogether (this is not as alarming as it might seem – more on this in a second). Over your lifetime it’s estimated you’ll use between 8,000 to 17,000 tampons. That is a shit ton of applicators cluttering up our landfills, never biodegrading. Ever! All for an applicator you used for literally three seconds. So please, switch. Please?
What to Bring In: So many options! Really cool options! I’ve used all of these! I don’t know why I’m so excited!
Menstrual Cups: The Diva Cup is my favourite, and it is exactly what it sounds like. A little silicone cup you fold up and insert into your vagina just like you would a tampon, except instead of absorbing your period into cotton it collects it in the cup. Every 4–8 hours you simply remove the cup, empty it, wash it, and reinsert. No waste! No leakage! It’s great! And YES, ok, you might have to see and come into contact with your period blood, but that’s what soap and water were invented for, and can we really be ashamed of our own bodies, and their natural processes? You are not gross, and neither is your period.
Applicator-Less Tampons: This is such a small shift, but an amazing one to make. It really isn’t that much different than using an applicator, and as an added bonus, they are TINY! You can fit like, 82 into your standard clutch. I mean, if you ever wanted to.
Cloth Pads: You know you have a great relationship with your mother-in-lawwhen she gives you a gift on your thirtieth birthday and you open it to find homemade cloth pads! That’s exactly what mine did – her quilting guild makes them to donate to third-world countries where girls often lack menstrual products and can not work or attend school during their periods. She knew that this sort of thing would be right up my hippie alley, and so she made me some, too! If you’re a pad girl and your mother-in-law isn’t this crafty or creative, there’s always Etsy!
Recipes/Extra Credit: Sorry to disappoint you but I won’t be teaching you to craft your own tampon out of recycled paper plates or something. Sorry. I’m combining two sections into one here, and you’ll see why soon enough.
This recipe speaks to another aspect of the Yoni care and maintenance. Just like ladies get periods, ladies also sometimes get yeast infections. I KNOW.
LET’S JUST GET THROUGH THIS, OKAY?
So anyway, unpleasant, yes, but it happens, and when you do get a yeast infection you can either truck down to the drugstore and buy a cure from the man, or you can deal with it the hippie way and break out the ACV.
Yes, friends, apple cider vinegar cures yeast infections. OF COURSE IT DOES. Why are you surprised.
So what do you do? Well, you can tackle this a few ways.
The first option is to start drinking 1-2 tsp of ACV in a glass of warm water morning and night. This will do wonders to restore the natural pH of your body. Alternately (or simultaneously) draw a warm bath and add 1-2 cups ACV to the water, along with 10 drops of tea tree essential oil. Have a nice soak and repeat the whole shebang until your situation is cleared up.
We did it! We got through it! Even if you got nothing else from this week, please take home the truth that there is absolutely nothing shameful or distasteful about a woman’s body, or the natural processes we undergo. Periods aren’t gross, and we don’t have to pay millions of dollars to personal care corporations to disguise, perfume, and otherwise hide it.
We are women, dammit! Self-cleaning, wonderful, sometimes a bit crazy, women. Own it, ladies. Roar.
(and STOP with the plastic applicators I swear)