Period poverty, plastic pollution and a Mooncup fire!
Period poverty is no laughing matter, but my story about my Mooncup going on fire will make you chuckle!
Period poverty is a real problem, with many females being unable to afford basic sanitary protection. This is simply a horrendous situation for these women and girls. It’s embarrassing, debilitating, and affects their ability to live their daily lives.
What can be done?
Thankfully this issue is being highlighted, and funding has been allocated in various places to help with this problem. However, many of the projects involve giving out tampons and disposable towels to women. While this is a solution; it is an expensive solution. And it is also one that is harming our environment.
Most single use sanitary products contain synthetic materials and plastics. The average woman using 11,000 tampons in her lifetime, each of these taking hundreds of years to degrade in landfill. Not only that, they are being found on our beaches, and harming our wildlife and marine life.
Although most projects for period poverty also offer women environmentally friendly products, there is a perception by many that these products are not for them. However, the options are now so varied that I truly believe there is something for everyone.
And I think that we need to talk about them more.
I have been using a Mooncup for the past 14 years, and absolutely love it, apart from my one Mooncup disaster. (the fire! I am coming to that!) A Mooncup is a reusable menstrual cup, which simply gets emptied, rinsed out and reinserted. The idea of it took a bit of getting used to, but after one period I was a total convert, and was excited about having my period so that I could use it again!
As I get older my periods are heavier, and now for the first couple of days of my period, I also wear a thin washable liner. These are just brilliant, are comfier to wear than disposables, and I know that I am not harming the environment by using them.
The best bit
For me the real magic of the Mooncup is in the last few days of my period. I pop it in in the morning and forget about it until I get home at night. It can be safely left for up to 8 hours, meaning that it only needs changed 3 times in 24 hours.
When changing it, you can simply rinse it with water, or it can be wiped out with toilet roll if there is no sink available. After each period it is important that you sterilise your Mooncup. This can be done using sterilising fluid, or by popping it in boiling water for 5 minutes. I have a special pot that I use to sterilise mine, because I didn’t think using the tattie pot would be ideal!
Onto the fire!
One day I had popped my Mooncup in the pot, then wandered off to do all the mum things that needed doing! But you know how it is……..you go to fold the washing, realise the washing basket is full AGAIN, put on another load, find that the cat hasn’t been fed, and so it goes on!
The next thing I heard was a scream from the kitchen “MUUUUUMMMMM, your Mooncup is on fire!” I ran to the kitchen to discover huge flames coming from the pot. The pot had boiled dry and my Mooncup was indeed on fire! After switching off the gas, and dousing the pot in cold water, the kids and I couldn’t stop laughing. It certainly brightened up our day.
A replacement Mooncup was ordered, and now I always make sure I set a timer when I am sterilising it!
Spread the word
Since I got my Mooncup all those years ago, I have managed to convert numerous friends, even some who were very squeamish about the thought of it to begin with. There are now so many reusable sanitary products, that I am confident everyone will be able to find something that suits them.
But why should you give it try?
For me the top 5 reasons are that:
- It’s better for your body
- You will save money (a huge amount over your lifetime)
- They are often comfier to use
- You are helping the environment
- Your period will seem like less of an inconvenience
Why not give the Mooncup a try? At around £20 for 10 years it is amazing value for money, and could save you hundreds of pounds over that time.
My other favourite products are:
Pelvic floor problems
And while we are on the subject of the problems afflicting women, did you know that you can now buy incontinence pants for women, that look and feel like normal pants? As we get older, rather than being self conscious and worrying about literally peeing yourself laughing, why not have a look at the range of pants that are available now?
How will this help period poverty?
I think that if more of us switch to environmentally friendly sanitary products, and are happy to talk about how much we love them, then we can help period poverty in the UK.
By removing the taboo from these products, increasing knowledge of them and normalising them. They are cheaper, far better for both us and the environment and could be a huge help in eradicating period poverty all over the world.
So who else loves their reusable sanitary products? Comment below, share this post and let’s start to spread the word!