I am just going to jump straight into what is going to be a pretty brief blog post. The punchline – stop using tampons or pads and start using a menstrual cup.
I have been using a menstrual cup for years. When I was living in England, I bought a MoonCup, and the first 3 cycles were slightly awkward whilst I got used to the inserting, removal, and generally just “being” with a silicone cup … there.
I will NEVER go back. Two examples of many I can give you where the menstrual cup has been invaluable. Because you naturally get your period when you go on holiday.
One weekend at our new small holding, without running water or flushing toilet and a serious ration of water because I forgot to pack enough. Menstrual cup – no problem.
Holiday at Mabibi with over 100 steps down to the beach from our campsite. Inserted cup in the morning, removed in the evening on our return. Up and down those steps every 3-4 hours with a tampon; no thanks.
There are a few rather odd, in my opinion, reviews from women who mention the words gross and blood bath. Seriously, we are grown woman, it is bodily fluid, get a grip and move on.
I would choose using and emptying a menstrual cup, which will last me many many years, over having a tampon, (which unless you buy organic) has been made with cotton sprayed with pesticides and has potential to cause TSS (not a myth – this actually happens), and then flushing these millions of tampons down a toilet, or putting them in a bin for them to sit festering in landfill or better yet … wait for it … the sea. Nice.
There are a gazillion different options out there, I personally have the Mooncup, probably because it was the most advertised one I saw all those years ago. Which was probably around 2009, and it is still perfect. For those in South Africa, there is the MyOwnCup which is produced locally.
UPDATE OCTOBER 2016: You can now buy the MyOwnCup directly from me here in South Africa! I love it because it is made locally and Cara does outreach workshops where underprivileged girls can learn more about their monthly cycle and how to use a menstrual cup.