Many people (females included!!) feel the need to comment on the fact that periods are "gross". Why? What makes something so normal so gross? It's estimated that around half of the world's population menstruates, and yet we are still taught to keep quiet about it, keep it hidden, keep it secret. Why?
I, personally, feel perfectly comfortable talking about periods, especially my own, and especially since I purchased and started using my menstrual cup, which by the way, really isn't as disgusting as tampons and pads. So ha.
What I fail to understand is why so many people are repulsed by something that is both completely normal, and completely natural. I know that sometimes, the concept of it is a little bit 'ew', because the lining of an internal organ falls out, and there's blood, cramps, etc. but this happens to your stomach; the cells of the internal walls of the stomach are constantly being shed and replaced. It's a normal process, which isn't seen as disgusting.
I was trying to convince my boyfriend the other day that period blood is perfectly normal, and that it's the same as other blood. This isn't something that should be convinced, because it is a very true fact. It's not repulsive, it doesn't smell gross, it's perfectly good blood... (can blood even be 'good'?!)
The period itself is not gross. It is not disgusting. It's not something that anyone should be repulsed by, least of all those who actually do menstruate!
I can tell you a few things that are disgusting about menstruation, though.
Firstly, in third world countries such as Uganda, girls would much rather miss approximately a week at school (when they're on their period), than go to school, due to not having the correct sanitary protection and understanding peers. This is not good, at all. I cannot even begin to stress just how important education is, and how damaging discrimination against those who menstruate is. Education should be a right, not a privilege.
Secondly, tampons are (or, were depending on laws and legislation passed) classed as a luxury item. This makes no sense. Again, tampons and other sanitary products are not a privilege, they are something that are necessary. We do not choose to bleed, yet we are forced to pay more for an item that is apparently a "luxury". That is disgusting.
And this leads me on to my final point, which is just how vile tampons can be. This is all from a medical/physical point of view, as I have never actually used a tampon in my life, but it's still all true and correct.
Tampons are absorbent, that's true. They are also incredibly great for periods BUT they are too absorbent: basically, there are fluids there are needed in the vagina (yup, I'm going there...), and when you use a tampon, it isn't just the blood that is absorbed, it's everything, which can cause all sorts of problems and irritations down there. They are also a pretty good breeding ground for the bacteria that causes toxic shock syndrome, or TSS. This bacteria already lives in the vagina, but wearing a tampon too long creates the correct environment for it to breed and can make you incredibly ill.
Think about how many pads and tampons are in landfill sites, or end up washed up on beaches or whatever. That's pretty disgusting, and sanitary protection is also incredibly expensive, especially in the long-term.
Also, there's just a tonne of blood that literally gets absorbed. I don't find that nice.
Instead, there are healthier options, such as menstrual cups, which are better for your body, your wallet, and your world. It's win-win-win.
I didn't write this post to scare anyone, so I am going to conclude by letting you know that tampons are still perfectly safe to use, as long as you change them every four to six hours (or when needed!), and you take breaks from using them when on your period.
I'd also like to invite you all to talk about periods, break the stigma, and if you'd like me to write a menstrual cup review, please let me know, because I actually really want to!
I hope this was interesting and informative.
Until next time,
- Dottie x