by Tara Kimbrough
Aunt Flow. Shark Week. Crimson Wave. Time of the Month. And the list goes on. All of these names are a representation of the period taboo, the shame surrounding menstruation. In honor of Valentine’s Day, a month that our stores bleed red along with our uteruses, I want to share with you how I have come to love my period!
What started period positivity for me was when I discovered period tracking apps and RUMPS. What are rumps, you say? ReUsable Menstrual ProductS. When my period became more than an inconvenience, and a chance to impact the world, I stopped dreading my “monthly visitor”. I’ve learned to expect accurately predict my period because of my trusty Period Tracker app. I highly recommend downloading an app to track your cycle. While they aren’t considered reliable for ovulation calculation, I use mine as a simple record of my period.
The first product I fell in love with was Thinx period panties. And no, they don’t feel like a diaper! If you’re a pad user, they can replace pads on light-medium days, and are a great supplement to tampons. While they are a bit pricey to begin with (about $30), consider how you’ll save on pads, not have to worry about running to the store when the cramps set in, and you’ll be positively impacting the environment! According to another period panty company(that I haven’t tried yet), Padkix, on average, an American women throw away 16,800 pads or tampons in her lifetime time. Let’s change that number!
My second reusable menstrual product discovery was Gladrags, a company producing reusable pads and pantiliners in the United States. My favorite thus full is the pantiliner plus, perfect to pair wih tampons, or my most recent discovery, sea sponges!
This might sound crazy to you, but wouldn’t it be great if we could reuse tampons? Sea sponges aren’t allowed to be marketed as a replacement for tampons but they certainly do work in much the same way, except sponges are eco-friendly. It took a few tries, and me sewing a string onto mine, to get comfortable with the sea sponge, but I am proud to say that this month I had my first waste-free period. I bought the Jade and Pearl medium set from Gladrags. I have yet to try the menstrual cup, but I’m working up the courage to try one. Comment below about your favorite period products, and how’ll you stand up against the menstrual taboo!
In addition to being period positive, I’m learning to be period proud. Just this month I’ve numerous open conversations about periods and menstrual products. I challenge you to start rethinking your period and give yourself a CHOICE as to how you view your period. Start up a conversation about periods and walk proudly to restroom with tampon in hand instead of pulling the old tampon-up-your-sleeve trick!