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This post is going to contain a lot of information about my menstrual flow, maybe in what some would consider graphic detail. I don't really find anything about my menstrual flow to be graphic, but I realize that I'm relatively alone in this feeling. So, you are warned, and only proceed if you have a desire to! I should add that the topic of the post is using environmentally friendly menstrual products, so if you're not scared off by my warning and are interested in the topic, step inside the cut.

Those of you who have been friends with me for awhile will know that I've been using a DivaCup for the past two years. I decided to start using a menstrual cup for several reasons. One is that pads and tampons are expensive and once I got to college and I was the one buying them instead of my mother I realized this. The more important reason, though, is that regular commercial pads and tampons generate a LOT of non-biodegradable waste. Pads are all plastic-y and a good deal of tampons have plastic applicators. Even biodegradable waste isn't exactly great if there are ways to avoid producing any waste at all. So, I looked into reusable products. I settled on the DivaCup because I hated pads. It was difficult to get a hold of at first. The cup is bigger than most things you insert into your vagina, and you have to get it in just right so that the suction forms properly and it doesn't leak. But once you get a hang of it, it's a miracle! I could leave the cup in for 12 hours, so I only had to change it once in the morning and once at night. I hardly ever even noticed I was on my period, because I don't really get cramps.

So, yay, success story! But, boo, further developments. I've had a lot of problems with external yeast on my vulva. I would always wash my hands thoroughly before fiddling around with the cup, so I didn't think it was the cup that caused the yeast, but I was disturbed because the external yeast was usually worst after my period and would subside and then get worse again after my next period. So a few months ago I decided to stop using the DivaCup. Lo and behold, the external yeast disappeared. I was deeply saddened by this, because I loved the cup. I would still recommend it to anyone else, because basically no one in the world is as susceptible to fungal infections as I am, and I've never heard of this being a problem for anyone else.

For the past two months I've been using disposable menstrual products, but I just kept feeling awful about the waste, so I decided to try LunaPads. I was wary at first. The pads and liners seemed to be very thin and I just didn't see how they'd last for more than, like, an hour even though my flow is not very heavy. I tried it for the first time today, though, and it was miraculous! The fabric, though thin, was very absorbent, and about FIVE MILLION times more comfortable than the disposable pads which feel like wet diapers. The pad+liner I had on lasted me 8 hours, much more than a disposable pad ever has, though admittedly I change those more than necessary because they feel like fucking wet diapers. Anyway, I'm really excited about this and have just ordered a 3-pack of pads and liners from LunaPads so that I won't have to do laundry too often. I wanted to share because this is EXCITING.

I know some people are grossed out because you have to wash them and don't just get to throw them away and not look at your blood and bits of uterine lining ever again. I would have to say that I think that's a bit lame. Okay, maybe I'm getting a little hippie-mother-earth-etc here, but I really think it's beneficial to actually deal with what comes out of you. It's made me feel a lot more in touch with my body. And it's not like you have to rub the stuff all over yourself or anything. All you have to do is put the pad or liner in a bowl of cold water to soak until you can wash it. Plus it helps the environment! So, you should just suck it up and get over your societally-created need to hide or automatically get rid of everything that's ever been touched by your menstrual fluid. THE END.

That was a lovely and stirring parable, wasn't it, children?

My cough from the cold I had last week is lingering. I probably managed to contract tuberculosis. Or pneumonia. I really need to write up my philosophical treatise on hypochondria someday.

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