Stephanie Mitelman, MA
Certified Sex Educator

Women frequently shoulder the expectation of carrying on with every day responsibilities and are often expected to “do it all.” Having our periods is no different. It poses a challenge for some on how to effectively control the flow of menstrual bleeding — especially for those who travel, may want to swim or do other sports, are caring for a family, or who have very long days at the office with little to no breaks!

For most women, we do not need to be reminded that there is the distinct possibility of leaking through our clothing. Additionally, increasing numbers of women have environmental concerns about throwing away traditional options like tampons and pads.

How your period affects the environment

Many of the menstrual issues voiced by women today actually have more to do with the environmental waste of disposable tampons and pads. While women become increasingly knowledgeable about their bodies and learn more about the green movement, many are troubled by the constant waste that having their periods creates with the most widespread options available. As a result, many women are turning to reusable alternatives like menstrual cups, which help women control their flow more efficiently, and are better for the environment as well.

Menstrual cups are made of healthcare-grade silicone, cost about $40, and can be used for up to a year, making them ideal for women’s bodies, our wallets, and the environment. Cups are folded, inserted, and placed near the bottom of the vaginal canal, where they collect flow for up to 12 hours without leaking.

Changing the conversation

Unfortunately, one of the most natural female functions has been shamed, as often girls are taught when growing up that menstrual flow is dirty. The issue here is about re-teaching girls that menstrual flow is not dirty.  As a result, girls and women may need to challenge what they may have been taught about their periods. 

There are more options than what we were initially taught! It’s important to explore the options and find what’s best for you.

 Stephanie Mitelman