Menstruation Just Got Real #menstrualrealness
2017 is the year we as a society gets ‘real’ about menstruation. To me this means we stop seeing our cycles as ‘the curse’ or something we have to put up with and power through, shying away from the messages our body has for us, and instead embrace our cycles, working with our cyclic nature as women that our hormones afford us and start to get more comfortable with our blood and the fact that we bleed. Every month. Society has, from our time of puberty, or menarche to give it its medical term, shamed us because we bleed, from the rollerblading white jeans wearing adverts for the 90s and 00s, to the blue liquid used to denote our menstrual blood in adverts for sanitary products, and that fact that we always have to be ‘on our game’ in a traditional masculine way every single day of the month at work. Anything we experience as a consequence of our cycle is just an inconvenience.
Bah! None of this recognises the power in our cycles – that we flourish in certain types of activity at certain times of the month, or in our blood, which can create life. There are quite a few people talking about this in general now. Two of these ladies I’ve mentioned in my Wylde Stuff and Wylde News sections in the newsletter (sign up here if you want to receive it).
The one way I wanted to address this in January ’17 was to tell you all about the amazing wonder and beauty of reusable cloth menstrual pads. After reading Code Red by Lisa Lister, and listening to various podcasts I got turned on to re-usuable cloth menstrual pads. These are great because they:
- Are organic, natural and reusable.
- Reduce waste.
- Allows us to connect in with our menstrual blood – you have to wash them, and if you soak them before to help to remove excess blood, you can then use the water as plant food – its great for the plants and really allows you to connect to the earth and change our way of thinking of menstrual blood as something ‘icky’.
- Can reduce bleed time – I think this is attributed to their low chemical content.
- Can also reduce the amount of clots you get and pain you may experience during your bleed – I think this is also attributed to their low chemical content.
- They feel so soft to wear – they really do put the luxury into menstrual products!
I tried a few different brands and found that I loved the pads from Honour Your Flow the most - they are so well made, feel luxurious and look gorgeous.
Having thrush can feel a lot like having to deny yourself of things you’d like, just to try and normalise ‘down there’, so these pads are one way you can really feel like you are really treating yourself.
They come in a variety of materials including an organic cotton velour, and non-dyed organic cotton, and have a massive range to suit all flows - they even sell reusable make up remover pads! I caught up with their founder Vicky Sherrard and asked about her experience with her customers who suffer with thrush.
She said that it appears that while massive systemic overgrowth of Candida doesn't really go away with cloth pads, if it is an underlying problem that just gets raised to the surface through using disposable pads, then cloth can often help.
She found that buying dyed or un-dyed doesn't seem to make a difference for Thrush sufferers.
She also reported a lot of success with women who have multiple chemical sensitivities, who often find that using their un-dyed unbleached organic cotton flannel pads removes all irritation.
Her customers who suffer with recurrent thrush have said:
"I was having thrush at least 3 times a month. Since ditching disposables I have not had one bout!! (9 whole months!) So thank you so much, they have improved my life dramatically! "
"I wanted to let you know what a difference they have made. They are so soft and comfortable to wear, no more soreness or itchiness! "
"Regarding my original issue, the chronic thrush, unfortunately no improvement there to this day, though I've been getting much less itchy. However, I really have had no serious cramps since I switched to cloth!"
This is so amazingly positive that I had to share it with you. There are of course other brands of reusable menstrual pad (a quick search should reveal them), however, Vicky has kindly let me offer you her 10% discount - just use the code REDTENT if ordering.
I would love to hear your experiences or thoughts about reusable menstrual pads, and the whole trend towards ‘menstrual realness’. Is it something you want to engage with or you’re not too sure?
Getting in touch with this part of ourselves, our bleedtime, is all part of connecting in with that feminine part of ourselves and so important to do and reclaim when you suffer with thrush. What do you think? Please let me know in the comments section.