As women, menstruation is a regular part of our lives and something that most of us will experience every month for 30+ years. I believe that learning how to make menstruation an enjoyable and even empowering experience is key! Do you want to hate this thing for the rest of your life or do you want to feel divinely connected in the process?
In our Sacred Goddess Retreats, we spend a couple hours discussing menstruation, the science of it and how we can flow through our cycles connected. Our menstrual time is a sacred time of honoring the body, resting, reflecting and being at ease. Naturally we tend to feel more introverted and low energy during this time and when we begin to honor our bodies calls, we see empowerment and connecting begin.
Most of us grew up learning that we had two options for menstruation: pads and tampons. These have been the two mainstream options for a long time. But there are some major setbacks with these products. Did you know that commercial pads and tampons (Tampax, Always, etc.) are bleached with mercury (yep, the most toxic substance known to man), laced with xenoestrogens (why? well, because xenoestrogens make you bleed more and thus... they sell more products. It's criminal) and one other disturbing thing? These pads and tampons are made with GMO cotton, a crop doused in DNA altering pesticides and herbicides. Read more about the dark side of sanitary products here.
What the heck right? But if you look on your box of tampons, it will never disclose this because pads and tampons are considered medical devices, therefore they are not legally required to list ingredients or production methods.
It's really sad to know that companies are making money on our health conditions that occur from these products. If you are angry right now, you are not alone.
But let's lift the mood now and talk about a product that transforms women's lives, connects them to their menstrual cycle AND does not harm them with toxic chemicals. Interested?
Let's talk about menstrual cups!
There are hundreds of menstrual cups on the market these days, a nice change from just 8 years ago when there were only a handful available. So here are our 11 favorite reasons the menstrual cup is changing women's lives!
- 11 Reasons to Switch to a Menstrual Cup -
1. They are made of medical grade silicon, not toxic cotton
Medical grade silicon poses no health risks because it is not absorbent and is not laced with chemicals. This little cup simply sits at your vaginal opening and the blood fills the cup. Keep in mind that our vagina is a mucus membrane, meaning it absorbs everything we put there. Some doctors say this part of our body absorbs more than our mouths. So would you eat a tampon?
2. There is no risk of TSS (toxic shock syndrome)
Remember the days of springing out of bed because your tampon has been in for 8 hours and 14 minutes? I definitely do. Because menstrual cups are not made with toxic chemicals, there is no risk of TSS. Of course, its still important to rinse out your cup but some cups say that you can leave them in for up to 12 hours - a blessing when you are somewhere where it is difficult to have access to a restroom.
3. They are incredibly comfortable
A question I am asked a lot in retreats or with my clients: how comfortable is it to have a cup in your vagina? Well, actually very! Just like with a tampon, you likely will not feel the cup at all! (I seriously forget I'm on my cycle when I use mine!)
4. There is no odor and it makes menstruating beautiful
When our menstrual blood soaks into a piece of cotton, things can get funky. I think one reason we as women get disconnected from our cycles is how unholy it is to pull out a bloody chunk of cotton. There are odors, there are concerns on where to throw it away, we hide it under a bunch of toilet paper in the trash can... it's just not an empowering experience typically. When you pull out your menstrual cup, there are zero odors because your blood is just sitting inside the silicon cup. This also allows you to truly see your blood - a lot can be told about your reproductive health by how your menstrual blood looks. What I hear over and over again from women who decide to try menstrual cups is that they actually find their menstrual blood beautiful. When we can actually enjoy this process, we shift from victim to empowered woman.
5. It reduces cramps in most women
One of my favorite parts about a menstrual cup? It often reduces cramping dramatically! For those of us who have experienced debilitating cramps, we know how hard it can be to appreciate a menstrual cycle when we are unable to complete the tasks needed. In myself as well as hundreds of women I have supported in making this transition, women often report 75% less cramping. In my own experience, I knew I had less cramping but did not originally connect that to using my menstrual cup. About 18 months ago however, I was somewhere without my menstrual cup with an early cycle and a friend of mine had an organic tampon. So, I decided to use that. I cannot begin to tell you how much pain I was in and the cramping I experienced. I ended up taking the tampon out after an hour because I was in so much pain. It was then that I realized how much my cup had been helping me. So, if you have a lot of cramping, you may love a menstrual cup!
6. Using a menstrual cup means supporting the Earth
As we begin to connect to the Divine Feminine and honor the feminine within each of us, we also need to remember Mother Earth. Pads, tampons and diapers are among a few things that will still be in the landfill when we die. A menstrual cup is reusable and so after each use, you simply pour your blood into the toilet, rinse with water and the reinsert. There is zero waste and that feels good!
7. It's the most economical option out there
When most of us learn about the toxicity of pads and tampons, we tend to want to switch to organic pads and tampons that they sell at health food stores. I went this route too for a few years, but I was spending about $40 a month in these products. One of my favorite things about menstrual cups is - they cost $25 - $35 and they last 5 to 10 years. If you want to save money, this is your option!!
8. It allows you to connect to your body
From every woman I have ever worked with, I hear them say "This totally revolutionized my period and my connection to it." As I said earlier, it's hard to feel sacred using pads and tampons. When we use a menstrual cup, it's easy to see the magic that occurs when we menstruate. Menstrual blood is beautiful and when we have the opportunity to pour it out whether in the restroom or outside, we are reconnecting to something powerful.
9. The world will be changed when we remember
There is a quote I read at a beautiful Goddess Temple that read "the world will be healed when women offer their blood to the earth". I don't think that necessarily means you have to go and pour your menstrual blood outside, but what I think that means is when the majority of the women of the world understand the sacredness of menstruation and when we fully understand all that it means to be woman, the world will be a very different place. Gandhi said "the women of the west will change the world."
10. If it aligns with you, offer your blood
With a menstrual cup, you have this beautiful little chalice of blood that you can pour where you like. Menstrual blood is full of stem cells and very high in minerals like calcium - remember this is what could have built a baby and so if you choose to pour your blood on a plant or outside, you are offering your most sacred part of yourself back to the earth. In the tradition of the Red Tent, women would retreat for 5 days a month and sit amongst women only as they shared wisdom, sang, rested and menstruated into the earth. If you have some house plants and you want to see them grow rampantly, pour your menstrual blood into a quart mason jar, fill the rest with water, shake and pour onto your plants. They will be exploding in growth! If this doesn't resonate, no worries! But we do not even have this option with a pad or tampon.
11. It connects you to a huge blessing
While many of us grew up feeling annoyed by our cycles, keep in mind that many women are not able to experience this beautiful time because of illnesses, surgeries and genetic differences. I often meet women who would do anything to be able to have a menstrual cycle and be healthy enough to flow through a cycle but are not able to. We are all blessed to be healthy enough to menstruate each month!! And if you are not, there are options.
Do you feel a bit more excited for your next menstrual cycle? Now, what kind of menstrual cup should you use?
In almost every survey of the best menstrual cup for most women, the Lena Cup comes in first place! For a long time it was thought that women with low cervixes or irregular shaped openings could not use menstrual cups, but we live in an amazing time of options! The Lena Cup works well for the vast majority of women and it's personally what I recommend.
You can purchase the Lena Cup above via Amazon for just $25! Do note that there are two different sizes: small and large. Small works for most women who have not given vaginal birth and large is for women post birth.
If you find that using a menstrual cup does not align with your body, there are other options. We've shared 5 alternatives to regular pads and tampons here.
You have the power to transform your menstrual cycle! If you need any support transitioning or if you have any health related questions, see our private services page to work with Cassandra, a Naturopathic Doctor.
If you want to learn more about menstrual cups, listen to our podcast here about menstrual cups and why they're changing lives!
Many blessings and feel free to reach out with questions!
Lots of love,