Toss the tampons, embrace your moon-cup.

P-E-R-I-O-D-S

I have debated back and forth whether or not to write this post. For most of my friends, we have entered a real phase of acknowledging that our periods are real and not something we should be ashamed of. For the generation above us though (strictly excluding any beloved hippy relatives), it isn’t something you speak about.

img_2965My mother freaks OUT whenever I mention my period. I speak quite openly about it, not at dinner or with my Boss – but I sure as hell am comfortable talking to my Husband about it (a taboo act, if you ask Mum).

Even though I knew I could talk to my Mum about this ‘change’, I still wasn’t ready for my period to show up. One day I was playing freely in the backyard, the next I was panicking about having become a woman, while saying ‘You’re a woman now, time to grow up’ in the mirror repeatedly (look, I wish I had made that up for dramatic effect, but it really happened).

In fact, I decided to just ignore my first period, a week of excruciating pain and bleeding and I just ignored it. I wish I hadn’t of ignored it though, Mum was well prepared, with a bag stashed away in her cupboard, filled with all items available to you in 1998. In terms of open conversation, however, that was the start and end of it. Mum passed the bag along, gave me a pretty thorough drill-down on the situation, on hygiene and that was it.img_2961

You’re looking at about six months for a tampon to decompose, and even then the amount of water and natural/man-made resources to do so is massive. Also, I f*cking HATE paying for them. 10,000 tampons at an average of $5 for a box of 16 organic tampons and I am looking at around $3,000 for single-use cotton tampons, packed in individual plastic each, and that estimate is grossly under what it has actually cost.

Little did we know that by the time I was 14 I would have the sort of periods which would disable me to the point I couldn’t go to school (thanks, Endometriosis), or that I would be in a constant state of panic in my school skirts. I have not been blessed with a polite, feminine period – rather I have the type of monthly event where it is clear my uterus is throwing a freaking tantrum at having not gotten pregnant for another month.

img_2963When I turned 32 I decided I was sick of tampons and pads and all of the plastic and just the whole show of it all. After 20 years of periods and roughly 6-8 tampons a day, with a 5-7 day period every 28 days (like clockwork, actually) it works out to be approximately 10,000 tampons I have used in my lifetime. TEN THOUSAND TAMPONS. Sure, I use the organic cotton kind but they still come wrapped up in plastic. Not to mention they go into landfill or down the loo (you can flush tampons, I’ve checked with my Plumber Hubby).

Providing you pick the right cup you should not need to change it more often than every 12 hours. That said, if you do experience heavier periods, than you may like to wear a liner on your heavier days. Ideally, the best/cleanest/most hygienic way to change them is in the shower. I have been using mine for around a year now, and only in a few cases of emergency have I needed to use a tampon here and there.

There is no shortage of brands out there, and I have no alignment to any particular product. When you are doing your research though, some of the things you might like to consider are the material, firmness, capacity, size, cup shape, stem design, air holes and quality and safety.img_2968

They can be messy (which is why the shower is my go-to), the fitting changes from brand to brand, getting used to inserting the cup can take a bit of practice and trial and error! (this goes for the removal as well), and you do need to maintain your moon cup and ensure you sterilise it correctly.

They’re easy to use, they are convenient, they save costs, there are the environmental benefits, there is no odour, there are health benefits, you don’t need to replace them as often, they’re quite comfortable and they’re movement-friendly!

Biome sells the Diva Cup, which is one of the brands I have used – you can find the link here.

Thank you for reading my post! I am a Brisbane based creative and blogger. I live with my Husband, make hand-crafted household and personal eco-friendly items, and accessories.

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Courtney Gaye

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So, when are you having kids? Me: Just stop, thanks.

I am a 32 year-old, married woman, loving Aunty, kick-arse Step-Mum and a pretty good friend. I love my photography, love blogging, love travelling and just generally hanging out with the people I love. My friends and families love to ask about what the next trip is, how my photography is going, if I am still making jam (new hobby, loving it by the way) and how I am.

People who I do not know on a personal level, I work with or I am not close with want to know when I am going to have a baby. Do you know what my answer is soon going to become? That is none of your business, go away now.

Now this conversation or blog that I am writing does not extend to my inner circle, because at the end of the day I am comfortable to speak about this with you.

Is anybody else my age/gender/relationship status sick of being asked by strangers (or even nosy family members who are NOT as close to you as they think they are), asking you this question? When was the last time you were asked if and when you were going to get pregnant, or if you were trying or why you were waiting so long? Special mention goes to the guy at work who I did not know from a bar of soap who greeted me on my first day back from my Honeymoon with ‘You better not wait too long, or they might end up all munged up’. Charming.

I want to talk to my pre-baby peers, my fellow women out there who do not have children and are, quite frankly, sick of being asked about it. Nobody ever asks me about my period, or my flow, or my pre-menstrual pain. No-one seems particularly interested in my sex-life, my personal relationships, views on politics or religion, my diet or the type of car I drive. People don’t care about my career plans, stance on global warming or if I am an organ donor.

So – can someone please tell me, why my, why OUR wombs, ovaries, and our ability to reproduce or in their eyes, our biological responsibility to do so is up for conversation?

These things are private and I’m sure if I do have children one day, I’ll have a whole new post on what is or is not appropriate to ask a pregnant woman. For now though, that’s none of my business. I haven’t experienced that, it has not yet been part of my narrative or my journey.

I want you to think next time you go to ask someone if they are pregnant / are trying to get pregnant / or if you personally think they are risking the natural order of things in not having a child. Just stop, think for three seconds and if you are still sure (read: rude), continue with your question/comment/judgement.

Maybe we have been pregnant? Maybe we have had a baby and adopted it out. Maybe we can’t have children. Maybe we can and we don’t want them. Maybe our partners cannot have or do not want children. Maybe some of us have no genitals….

All I ask, that as I approach 33 and as we head towards 2019, that you please – just avoid asking us these questions. Be sensitive to those around you. The person you’re asking may be sick of defending why they aren’t having children. They may have had a radical hysterectomy. They may be infertile. Their partner may be infertile. They may have had or are having a miscarriage. They may have had a termination. They may be up to their fifth round of IVF. Or maybe it’s just none of your business and you could ask them literally anything else about their lives.

Maybe I am speaking on behalf of every other woman of my age who is sick of feeling uncomfortable, judged, or ridiculed. Maybe I’m not. All I ask is that you be sensitive, read the room, mind your business and be kind.

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I only ever talk about my own personal experiences and adventures, places and locations which I love and think you will too!

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