Welcome friends to the ‘Ask Dani Column’ a weekly advice column that answers questions from my social media followers, Patreons and people who simply ask me questions . I respond to the anonymous questioners from a peer perspective, leading you to other resources and of course lending a friendly ear about questions that revolve around body image, body positivity, self love and confounding ‘I don’t know what do’ situations that led you to seek advice. Let’s get started
*Content Warning, menstruation, pcos and periods*
Today’s question comes from an Instagram,
‘Dani, how do you deal with long periods in an ecological sustainable way?’ From Bleeding but Bloody worried about the EnvironmentInstagram DM, May 2019
Dear Bleeding but Bloody worried about the Environment,
As someone who has PCOS (Poly-Cystic-Ovarian-Syndrome) and in the past year has had 8 periods the shortest lasting for 35 days and the longest lasting for 85 days with spotting in between and a quest to get my uterus under fucking control – I FEEL THIS QUESTION DEEP IN MY WELL UTERUS. Here are a couple of reasons I am sure you have asked this question
- The environment is a concern to you and using single waste menstrual products are not the kindest way to take care of our world ecologically. (However I will note menstrual product access, financially as well as access to clean water, is not available to all whom have periods therefore they are still very much needed in the world).
- The cost of continually buying single use menstrual products is EXPENSIVE.
- Maybe like me you find single use menstrual products particularly irritating to your body.
So the world of re-useable menstrual products really opened up to me for two reasons. Firstly I started to have long ass periods which were financially and physically hurting me. Secondly like you I started to think about the environmental impact my menstrual waste products was doing to our planet. Therefore I have tried and tested quite a few brands and products that make re-useable menstrual products. So I am going to run you through one re-useable menstrual product that did not work for me but might work for you, As well as one re-useable menstrual product that I swear by!
Product that did not work for me but you might love!
- Menstrual Cups,About a year ago it was brought to my attention that you could buy a medical grade silicone cup which you insert inside yourself to collect your menstrual blood. The reviews I heard from followers on instagram consisted of hundreds of people were swearing by this mythical invention. I to date have tried two different brands of cups and it just didn’t work for me. However I have plenty of friends who LOVE this re-useable menstrual products and environmentally it is a HUGE win!
Pros Listed Below:
- 10/10 for the Environment, the cup can last up to 10 years depending on how well you take care of it and the brand you buy from. Therefore it is only one cost up front and using only one product for up to 10 years.
- You can wear them for up to 12 hours before having to empty it.
- Many people find them super comfortable
- Can re-use as many times as needed long as washing with boiling water and cleaning the cup regularly.
Cons For Me Personally:
- Uncomfortable to wear
- I had some leaking occur
- Don’t like the idea of having to insert something 24/7 for prolonged periods as it irritates my area.
Product I swear by!
2. Period Underwear,My absolute favorite thing to use for period collection!
Pros Listed Below:
- I think 8/10 for the environment, the underwear in my experience lasts just as long if not a bit longer than what you would replace other underwear you wear. I usually replace them a year to a year and half. Sometimes I replace them earlier if they become stretched out from wear as well.
- You can wear them all day long – depending on how heavy your flow is!
- Sounds very ‘pad-like’ but you basically free-bleed into them and through what I swear is Harry Potter Level magic the underwear soaks the blood up.
- Can throw in the wash to clean and re-wear as much as you want.
- For me they so comfortable and don’t leak or cause issues.
- If you don’t like the idea of free-bleeding
- On your heaviest period days may not be suitable (Though the heavy options may be)
- Do have to replace them and the cost is quite high for most brands
- Have to wash regularly
Some great brands which do straight and plus sized underwear include:
- Modi Bodi, Australian Based Brand. I have tried their products very good quality, worth the price! I personally love the Seam free Full Briefs (Heavy/Overnight) undies. I wear a Size 22, 4XL – I size down as I don’t have a large bottom compared to my waist. They have sizes from 8-26. Have sent me products to try/gifted product in past just so you are aware.
- Dear Kate , I have tried their products, there fit has been the best for my body. I personally love their free bleed active wear commando range. I live in the Go Commando Yoga Full-Length – Black pants. I wear a size 2XL. They have sizes XS to 3XL. Have sent me products to try/gifted product in past just so you are aware. (They also have swimwear and other amazing stuff for when you are on your period not just underwear)
I hope you find some amazing products to use that fit your need to want to be environmentally sustainable and comfortable for you!
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*Ask Dani Disclaimer: Please note I am not a doctor, professional mental health worker or anyone pertaining to give you actionable advice. Before making any health or other decisions be sure to note that my advice is coming from a peer based place and not all recommendations nor suggestions may be suitable for you. Please consult your primary health care providers or other professional advice regarding mental, health or professional advice. Any links or services mentioned in this column have not been a paid promotion unless otherwise specified in post. Please as always take this information as an entertainment based column and nothing more.