After about 16 years of having periods, and a lot of experimenting, I’ve finally arrived at a place where I feel at my most natural and comfortable. It also isn’t a coincidence that I now have a very eco-friendly cycle. Here’s my brief story.
I tried numerous pills, condoms and eventually the copper coil, but none seemed to feel right. Either I was pumping hormones into my body or living with a foreign object in an incredibly sensitive area. Sanitary products weren’t a pleasure either – uncomfortable tampons left synthetic fibers behind, and the possibility that pads could have been whitened using chlorine bleach was horrible (1).
These days I am using Natural Cycles, an app which basically tells you which days you could get pregnant. It uses an algorithm to work out when you are fertile, and these show up as red days on the app (2). All I have to do is take my temperature, with a basal thermometer (to two decimal points), before I get out of bed every morning. I’ve been doing it for about 6 months now and it fits in really well with my routine.
In terms of sanitary products, I use a mooncup (3) and reusable, cloth sanitary pads – personally, I recommend the Noras (4). I have to admit, if you’d asked me to consider either option 10 years ago I’d have listened politely and made a swift exit. But I have to admit, that once you’re in the swing of things, they’re both very hygienic, easy to use and clean.
The BBC created a calculator to estimate how much a woman might spend in a lifetime on sanitary products and my figure came out as £1,433.33 (£68.25 of which is on VAT) (5). That shocking figure, along with the fact that “one woman can use up to 15,000 sanitary products (in her life) most of which end up in landfill…or on our beautiful shores” (4), makes my decision to ‘go green’ seem even more worth it.
I now not only feel better about helping the planet, but am saving money and have learnt a lot about my body and monthly cycles.
Written by Rebecca Hatfield on 22nd Jan 2018