Period, Not Punctuation!
Okay, we are going to talk about periods and not the kind in your English class.
Yes, I mean menstruation, Aunt Flow, the rag…whatever else we call it…it’s still an important and necessary part of our lives as women. So why do we dread our periods?
Well, I don’t know about you, but here are reasons why I USED to hate my period and some cool info that I’ve learned in my search for better and safer period products.
-Expensive hygiene products: Disposable products are so insanely expensive and depending on the brand and features, can cost you double digits.
-Ingredients: Okay, so tampons and pads are just cotton right? Well, yes with other stuff added like plastic and bleached cotton and pesticides! Some disposable pads are made with plastics that don’t break down and when incinerated, produce toxic smoke.
-Safety: Safety kind of goes with what’s inside the products. So think of it this way…your skin is the body’s largest organ. It is our protection from all the bad stuff out there like pollution, cancer causing UV rays, airborne chemicals and the like, but the skin can still absorb some chemicals that are small enough to pass through the protective barrier. Think of a nicotine patch. It is applied on the surface of the skin to slowly release nicotine into the bloodstream to help blast those cravings that we might get when trying to quit. You probably see moisturizers and skin care products with all kinds of lovely ingredients said to improve skins tone or surface or elasticity. These ingredients wouldn’t work if they just sat on the skin so they need to be absorbed.
Okay that was a lot of information, but the point is that our bodies are capable of absorbing so many bad things out there and we aren’t even aware. So if you’re skin can absorb the good stuff in products, it can absorb the bad stuff too. If you are inserting a tampon, that has been produced with pesticides, bleach, and other chemicals, there is a probability it can be absorbed into to our bodies.
-Okay now that I can’t use period products, what do I do?: Ahh, don’t fret! There are so many options out there and I am going to showcase some of them for you and tell you my personal experience with them!
Almost every US state taxes period products. This means that, depending on where you live, you could be paying hundreds per year for your period products. That may not seem like a big deal, but when you think about the fact that period products are considered a “luxury” or “non necessity” type item, it’s pretty discouraging. Items like condoms aren’t taxed in some states because they are considered a necessity. But see here’s where I personally don’t agree. I don’t choose to have my period, but I do choose to practice safe sex. Why am I penalized for buying something that my body needs?
This is how many women around the world feel. The number of women who don’t have access to period products is outstanding. Period products are one of the most needed items for women in homeless shelters and they are the least donated item.
Another thing to think about is how would you react if someone just told you,”Your period is gross, go to the shed for the next 3-5 days and stay there until your period is over”, or maybe if they said,”I’m sorry, but you are menstruating and it’s considered unclean, You can’t come to church today.”
You would freak out, right? Well, these things are very real situations for women all around the world in certain countries and since some women don’t have access to period products, they can live those few days in isolation and suffer unhealthy consequences. This can cause any of us to feel depressed, ashamed and frustrated.
Fortunately, the invention of reusable period products as well as companies who give back, are making it much easier for women to get the items they need.
Take a look at the WHY I LOVE MY PERIOD page for some amazing products from awesome companies and maybe even discover a special gift just for you!
Washington Post, Huffington Post, Women’s Health, CDC.gov, OB tampons.