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March 1, 2013. The day I first got my period. I remember the date because it’s Justin Bieber’s birthday and for some reason, that’s engraved into my brain. Anyways, I go to the loo, and BAM, I shapeshift into a woman. I don’t freak out about it. I was actually excited because all my friends had started theirs and I was starting to get worried I didn’t have a uterus or something. I go and unpack my first pad and I spend the rest of the day walking around like a boss ass bitch. Either that or my pad was put on wrong and I was walking around like an inexperienced 12-year-old—most likely the latter.
This excitement very quickly faded into disdain for my own body. “WHY ME?” “THERE’S SO MUCH BLOOD!” “IT FEELS LIKE SATAN IS TRYING TO RIP HIS WAY OUT OF MY UTERUS!” and so on. I’m sure a lot of you can relate. As I got older, my period became regular and wasn’t too heavy. It was all going fairly well until camping in the New Forest, 2015. I wake up around 5 AM in my pink and yellow sleeping bag. I had started my period the night before and all was well and normal but this was different. My body had stepped up its game and my period had gotten a hell of a lot heavier, and my tiny lil-lets night pad just wasn’t cutting it! There was blood everywhere and we’ll leave it at that. I waddled my way across the field to the shower block and dreaded the nights to come.
After that, my periods never got lighter and I would sleep with a towel down just in case and most nights would wake up at least once to change my night pad.
There are many things that I’m sure a lot of us can relate to:
- Taking our bag to the loo during a lesson and some dumb fuck of a boy asking why we were taking our bag with us, full well knowing why. Every time I’d dream of saying “careful or I will lob this bag at your head and shove my pad down your throat.” Unfortunately, I never did.
- The drop. When you’ve been sitting down for a good while or once you’ve woken up and you stand up and the force of gravity just brings the Niagara Falls out of your vagina.
- Going to a loo somewhere and changing pads/tampons and turning around to not find a bin—honestly, what the fuck? I’d much rather not keep it in my bag to dispose of later but also don’t want to flush it away and cause the toilet to block up. It’s an internal battle I should not be having because there should be bins in every bathroom!
- The cramps.
- The breakouts.
In conclusion, periods really suck. I’m now 18, and I’ve probably had around 60 periods. Each one has been shit quite frankly and alongside blood coming out of me is the constant fear that I may have leaked onto my trousers, the constant idea that no one can know I’m on my period, the pain and hormones. It all sucks.
BUT two months ago I switched my period game up. I use a menstrual cup now. Sounds strange but hear me out—it’s a silicone cup that goes up your vag and just collects the blood rather than absorbing it like a pad or tampon. Stay with me, please. You will use roughly 11,000 disposable sanitary products in a lifetime which will end up in the ocean or a landfill. Help the environment and use a menstrual cup—one cup lasts for years. Available for around £20 depending on where you get it from, you’ll be saving money as you won’t be spending money each month on pads and tampons. Using the cup also allows you to get on with your day without having to worry about changing your pad or tampon. Your cup can be left for up to 12 hours. With my heavy flow for the first few days of my period, I’d be changing my pad about five times during school and another three once I got home. With the cup, I didn’t need to change it at all whilst I was at school. I do it once when I wake up, once when I get home, and once before bed, and that’s on the heavy days. You don’t need to worry about leaking with the cup and you can’t even feel it whilst it’s in.
Of course, every woman is different and it won’t work for everyone but some personal gains of the cup for me are:
- NO DROP! I can wake up in the morning and avoid doing the waddle to the bathroom.
- Fewer cramps. I don’t know how that works but I can definitely feel a decrease in how bad my cramps are since using the cup.
- No faffing around looking for a pad or tampon.
- Saving money!
- I don’t worry about leaking.
- I feel better knowing that I no longer contribute to pads being found in the ocean or landfill.
I have one con of the menstrual cup:
- It takes me ages to pee. I’m guessing this is because the cup is pressing on your urethra. It’s a tiny price to pay and not that big of a deal anyways. Cup for the win!
You may be wondering why you haven’t heard about the menstrual cup. Why would they advertise something that you only have to buy once every 10 years? We wouldn’t want to put the tampon and pad companies out of business, now would we?
Anyways, long story short, periods suck but they will suck a lot less with a menstrual cup. Pop on Amazon and treat yourself.