“Plastic free period?” I hear you ask, well for those who have no idea that that is or want to know the real deal about menstrual cups – keep on reading!
Did you know that period products count for 200,000 tonnes of waste per year? This statistic was a kick to the gut for me, which then ushered a huge life change in terms of how I wanted to treat this monthly visitor. I think it’s out of habit that we just go for whatever is easy, but I am happy that we becoming more conscious and are digging up dirt on harmful ingredients in the products we are using. Haven’t convinced you enough? well currently one in every 100 pieces of plastic, in our oceans is either a tampon applicator, sanitary pad or wipe? Wild right?
Lets put aside the fact that we can help the environment by making the switch, its so important that we understand that main stream sanitary products release harmful chemicals which can effect you physically and emotionally – yes, they can contribute to your PMS!! So thankfully there are a few options you can use which can help you be plastic free for your periods!
Plastic Free Options:
Out of all the plastic free options, I went for the most cost effective product to try – menstrual cups. I was blessed to be gifted two different menstrual cups…
1. Intimina ‘Lily Cup’:
About The Product:
The lily Cup is a compact has a medical grade silicone which is ultra-smooth and flexible for easy folding, insertion, and total comfort during wear. Collecting your menstrual flow rather than absorbing it, Lily Cup Compact allows for a period that is completely odour-free with zero irritation. This superior alternative to pads and tampons is good for your body and the the environment.
This product is size B which is recommended for women who have given birth vaginally (Whoops for me) or for those who have been diagnosed with a weaker pelvic floor.
This collapsible period cup folds flat into its carry-anywhere compact case, assuring your period never catches you off-guard. Comfortable and reusable, it offers up to 12 hours of hassle-free period protection, day and night.
How To Use it:
About The Product:
BeYou’s Menstrual Cup is an alternative to other period products worn inside the vagina, collecting up to three tampons worth of blood flow rather than absorbing it. Made without hazardous chemicals, the cup can be worn for up to 12 hours, so you can save money and reduce waste. Cheaper, healthier and better for the environment.
How To Use it:
Yikes, let’s jut say this really wasn’t how I was planning on starting. Heading out to an event, I was putting the last bits into my handbag when a voice popped into my head telling me to go toilet before I leave – so I followed it. Sods law meant that I was early for the third month in a row. My PCOS at this point is driving me over the bend. I promised you guys a review so I knew that I had to suck it up, plus I really wanted to give this plastic free period life a try.
I would be lying if I said jumping into this was easy. I stared at the Intimina pack in horror, eyeing the cup thinking “how the hell does that even…” – well you get the rest. After a sumo squat and a few yoga breathes, I successfully got it in place. It was much quicker and easier than I thought it would be. Menstrual Cup: 1 fears: 0
So here’s where it got tricky. I was wearing support knickers.. thong ones to be exact, which meant that the added pressure definitely made the ‘new addition’ apparent. As I speed walked to the station, for some reason I felt like everyone was staring at me. Like eeeeeveryone knew. Yes – I know i’m being extra, but this is chronicles of a single woman who suddenly felt like I was written into 50 shades of grey LOL!. However just like a tampon, I forgot it existed after a few hours. I went to a cinema screening for Charlie’s Angels, so I was seated for a good portion of the evening. But I made sure that I fitted in a toilet break & there was no leaks.. success! Menstrual cup: 2, Fears: 0.
So then I was faced with taking the menstrual cup out and the fact I was dosed up on Prosecco with a headache, plus doing my best to stand still. I panicked a little because this was the moment that I – correction – that we all fear the most right? Thank goodness I was able to remove it with ease. I was curious (of course) to take a look and shocked to say the least, it really works. Going bed I was a little intoxicated so I put on a cotton pantyliner and decided to call it a night.
After day 1, comparing sanitary towels/tampons and the menstrual cup – weirdly I preferred the cup at this point. I preferred the feel of not sitting on a pad, the smell.. everything. Menstrual cup: 3 Fears: 0.
So day two was shoot day and normally I would be wearing a tampon. (i.e. Plastic and chemicals I told myself). So, bounded with confidence because “I’ve done this before”, I put my intimina cup in and got dressed. Menstrual cup: 4 Fears:0.
After a few hours, I felt that dreaded feeling when you know you have leaked. I thought at this point what the hell am i going to do? No tampon, no pad, no spare knickers and i’m wearing a brand new piece of clothing and I’ve leaked all over it – nightmare.com.
There are so many cups on the market; one for sports, one for mothers, one for sexually active women etc. So make sure you find the cups that suit your lifestyle. When I got home and removed my cup it was empty, so I knew that moving about had forced it to empty. Fairly noted. I also noticed that when I sat down to have a pee it felt ‘different’ and I wondered if the cup was leaning on my urethra, turns out I didn’t fully insert it, so that is something you also should be aware of, positioning is a everything, Menstrual cup: 4 Fears:1
This time I decided that I was going to sleep with the cup in, to really see how it works when laying down. I would say that my periods are most painful on my second day and I really needed some help with that, so I opted for some natural relief with my BeYou soothing patch and decided to call it a night. There was no leaking when I woke up so I was really happy about that! Menstrual cup: 5 Fears:1
I decided to give my Beyou cup a try for day 3 of my period, I felt more experienced at this point. I also wanted to be able to try both cups and see if there was a difference, other than in their appearances. Inserting this cup was a little easier and I could ‘feel’ it a little less. So looks really can be deceiving as this cup appears bigger than the other cup. Menstrual cup 6 Fears:1.
After an hour or so I completely forgot about it, in fact it I went the entire day with ease and without a leak which I was really happy about. I was running a few errands and then creating some fashion content, so my day was a little active.
I also wanted to sleep in my Beyou menstrual cup, just to see how well it worked. So I removed it, cleaned it with my Beyou Cleansing foam and then put it back in. I have to mention that removing this cup is a little more trickier as it has a tail instead of a hoop (like the intima cup).
I woke up there and there was no leaking, my period usually lasts 3 days but I wanted to be sure, so I wore my Beyou Cup again. The day flew by as I was working from home and mainly seated. No fuss, no leaking, I knew exactly how to insert it and everything – I was a pro at this point. By the time I removed it in the evening it was evident that my period was finished and let me just say.. these four days were life-altering… Menstrual Cup: 7 Fears: 1.
Let’s cut to the chase because I know that you are asking if I recommend the menatrual cup, well my answer is YES!
The concept of plastic free periods is genuinely yucky, right until the point you try it. As women we really need to get more acquainted with our bodies not only on the outside, but also the inside! There is a stigma around how periods are unclean and yucky, but I think the whole concept of a what our body does is magnificent.
The worst part about periods for me is the smell and the pain, I was able to tackle this in both a eco-friendly & natural way which really made me feel good about myself. Pulling out the cup isn’t as bad as you think, the fact that the cup collects the blood means that the Macbeth vision you have of your hands is all a myth. When you put the cup in far enough, and you will know by how ‘apparent’ it feels, the cup does it’s job keeping you dry.
So…Collapsible Cup Or Regular Cup?..
As I know you are also asking which cup I prefer, here are some key things I considered for the perfect plastic free period cup.
The best way to compare the application of these cups is by simply saying; different methods but same ease. You may have a preference with the methods either one of the cups used, but I really didn’t.
I think because I haven’t given birth and I’m not sexually active, I felt the intima cup more than my BeYou. It has a bit of texture to it because it is collapsible, whereas the other is quite smooth. In genral I ‘forgot’ about my BeYou cup a lot quicker than my intimina. But then again no vagina is the same and comfort is an individual thing. Neither was uncomfortable, but I personally preferred less stimulation.
For me, this was a clear win. The Intimina cup offers a hoop on the tail so locating the cup and removing it was easier. The tail on my BeYou cup was hard to grip at times and became a little bit more hands on.
Again, the intimina cup wins this one when we talking about handbag discretion. It collapses down to a small disc, comes in a flat carry case (which is easy to hold in the palm of your hand) and in general takes up less space. Whereas the BeYou cup is bigger, doesn’t collapse down, but it does come in a very pretty protective drawstring bag. Again, this is an individual thing. Does discretion and taking up less handbag space rank high for you in terms of feminine products?
I am drawn to the BeYou cup more, but I will be carrying my intimina cup around with me when I know I am due. My period is as unpredictable as British weather, so I would prefer to carry it around with me for the start of my period from now on.
I am 100% convinced and converted. Knowing that I had a happier, cleaner and more sustainable period made me feel amazing. I hope you read this and decide to try it for yourself and make the switch. Even if you don’t jump in with the cup, please take a step and opt for one of my other suggestions which is much more Greener for our planet.
Don’t forget that hygiene is also very important. I love the BeYou cleansing foam which contains natural products and is also handbag friendly!
Will you be making the switch? Let me know!