Girl Uninterrupted Blog

Aug
25

Environmental Impact of Tampons, Pads and Panty Liners

Posted by in Health, Menstrual Hygiene, Products

garbage

Tampons were introduced approximately seventy years ago, so it is a relatively new invention, but the environmental impact of tampons has been massive.  When you read a lot about the cotton processing and how long an applicator or a pad lasts in a land fill, it does make you think.  Then, when you read a historical fiction book like The Red Tent or The Other Boleyn Girl, and period management is either sitting on a pile of straw in a tent or reaching for a personal box of literal “rags,” you see why innovation was necessary.  But, in these modern times, have we swung the pendulum too far in the direction of disposable products?

Back to the tampon, the word tampon actually means “plug” in French.  Cotton requires huge amounts of pesticide to grow and then in production cotton is bleached with more chemicals to make it white.  A plug of cotton is mixed with rayon…blah, blah, blah…other scary sounding ingredients are added and then it’s plunged into the vagina without a second thought to manage period flows.

While the farming and production of cotton is troubling, a plastic applicator is actually the worst part of the tampon as it takes “virtually forever” to biodegrade.  Neither part of a tampon is supposed to be flushed down the toilet, but a lot of applicators and cotton parts end up in the flotsam of oceans.  And one statistic said that an average woman uses 10,000 tampons in her lifetime.

Pads and panty liners are made from materials that are pretty much indestructible and do not break down in landfills.  Plus, most brands individually wrap each tampon, pad and liner which adds to the trash in landfills.

For more reading on this topic, click here and here.  We wrote about reusable period management products here and wondered if American women were ready to embrace the “ick” factor of washing out menstrual cups and leak proof underwear. After learning a little bit about the environmental impact of disposable products, does that make you more interested to invest in a menstrual cup and a set of leak proof underwear to manage a cycle?

We’ll look at a cost/benefit analysis next!

Aug
20

Period Management Products

Posted by in Health, Menstruation, Products

menstrual cup

We are in the midst of an evolution, or maybe a revolution of period management products.  Menstrual cups, like Diva Cup, and leak proof underwear, like Thinx and Dear Kates, present women with a choice of reusable products to deal with a period.

Reusable products prompted two questions for our team. First of all, are women in the US embracing the “ick” factor of washing out a cup and dealing with blood in leak proof underwear in lieu of a panty liner?  Secondly, is it time we seriously understood the environmental impact of our disposable habits?

Founder of Girl Uninterrupted, Mayling Kajiya says she loves her menstrual cup.  “I love the freedom it gives me, 10-12 hours of protection and no carrying around tampons.”  Once you make the initial investment of the cup, the cost savings from not making monthly purchases of pads and tampons is significant.

As for washing out underwear, aren’t we doing it anyway? Nobody gets through a period without at least one episode of leaking…right?  Most of us have a set of grungy period underwear, probably consisting of underwear that has already sustained leaking damage! But maybe we need a set of cycle underwear that has great materials and technology to replace a panty liner? Just think of all the pajamas and pant inseams that would also be spared!

From the day of our first period until the day we are fully in menopause, period management is a monthly issue.  What do you think about embracing reusables?  Are you ready for it as a consumer?  Let us know at info@GirlU.com.  We’ll look at question #2 in our next post!

Aug
6

PMS #tbt

Posted by in Fitness, Health, Menstruation, PMS

pms tbt_finalToday is a #tbt of some of our favorite PMS Relief blog posts!  There are many ways to naturally alleviate some of the worst symptoms of PMS, but it is really, really difficult to stay the course using healthy alternatives when your body is in revolt and your willpower is flagging.   Fatigue and pain sometimes get the better of us, so give yourself a break if you just need a nap or a candy bar.

PMS Bloating: One of the best things to do is disguise it with good wardrobe choices since this is temporary water weight gain.

Period Cramps: Bring on the external heat and double up with a cup of tea to warm up from the inside as well.

Food Cravings: The number one tip is to employ a distraction long enough so that the temptation passes.  But, there is nothing like a healthy diet and we offered up these smoothie recipes to help with PMS symptoms.

Sore Breasts: Breasts do get tender and swollen from hormonal changes, but check your bra size because squished boobs hurt even worse on PMS days.

Low Self Esteem:  Does it seem like everyone else is posting happy pics on social media? Take a screen break and take your workout outside.

PMS Acne: Don’t pick, just keep your hands off your face.  Have you seen those articles about all of the “yuck” on your smart phone? You do not want to transfer that to your pores.

PMS Nausea: Eat regular meals and good snacks so your blood sugar doesn’t plummet.

Mood Swings: To calm the drama, get a sweat going.

Period Headaches:  Good food choices and plenty of sleep can help keep these at bay.

Fight through the temptation and make smart food choices, get plenty of rest at night and get moving during the day!

Jul
30

#LiveTweetYourPeriod

Posted by in Menstruation, PMS

t-rex

Tweeting about period symptoms using #LiveTweetYourPeriod has caused quite a commotion and has a scatological approach that has some people a little confused, maybe even grossed out, but should it?  Half the population bleeds from a vagina each and every month!

One thing that these tweets have done is make any and all symptoms of a period seem so reassuringly normal.  You are not the only person whose menstrual flow can explode off the super-deluxo-maxi-pad-with-mega-wings!  Pancakes and broccoli for breakfast, sounds perfectly delicious.  There is the “day 2” rage monster and the “day 3” gal who eats anything salty, sweet, crunchy and fattening within sight.  And look at all the people who feel as if their uterus is being trampled upon, who are constipated, who want to lie in bed all day and whose face is covered with zits.  It’s a community of period sufferers!

All of these swirling emotions, cravings, hassles, eruptions, heavy or light flows are just so…in a word…normal.  Twitter appears to be the new place to freely bitch, whine and moan about the misery of a period.

In the right frame of mind, reading these posts can make you smile too.  There are some incredibly creative .gif files of T-Rex’s roaring to explain a current mood and a cat with a mouth full of cupcakes and “no regrets.”  One person went so far as commenting that #LiveTweetYourPeriod was the best to have happened to her period.

Giggle, commiserate, complain or even just read them to know that you are not alone in the world with your symptoms in a monthly cycle.

Jul
22

Journaling for Mental Wellness

Posted by in #GirlUBeWell, Health, Products, Tips

BWhat do Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx, Anne Frank, the young Jewish girl who hid with her family in an attic during World War II, and Susan Sontag, writer, filmmaker and political activist, all have in common?  Each of these women wrote in a journal, or kept a diary.  Journaling can mean different things to different people.  For some, a journal is more like a to-do list or a food diary.  Others keep a gratitude journal or work out deep thoughts, almost a written therapy of sorts.  And remember the Burn Book from the movie “Mean Girls?”  That was also a journal.

Journaling is the fourth installment of our #GirlUBeWell Blog series because keeping a journal is a great way to organize thoughts, work out problems, encourage personal growth and help sort through emotions, happy or sad.   Consider a journal a safe place for deepest, darkest personal issues or the place to park troubles at night in order to stop the brain from ruminating on problems and disrupting sleep.

On the flip side, a journal can be a place to write about experiences in order to document memories.  A journal can also be a place for ideas and creativity and organizing insights.  Some people have found that by writing down one note of gratitude per day one can refocus a general outlook on life to be positive in nature.

There are a variety of ways to keep a journal as well!  Some people prefer old fashion pen and paper, and the variety of artisan notebooks highlights the popularity of this medium.  There are also apps available to journal on your mobile device since most people have a phone close by 24/7! And there is also the trusty laptop or desktop if fingers fly across the keys more comfortably than holding a pen.

Let a journal be the place for a brain dump!  Once a thought is on paper, or in the journal app, have a conversation with the brain to let this issue go and to stop mulling it obsessively.  If something gets under the skin, complain loudly and use expletives in the journal!  Consider this journal a private place to scream, to face down your fears, to buck yourself up and to voice your dreams, desires and wishes.  A journal is a judgment free medium so it should feel liberating to keep a journal.  Be well!

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