WINNERS have been drawn for this competition, please check your email!
If you’re curious to try a menstrual cup then this is the perfect opportunity to take the leap into reusable menstrual products: we have four Australian-made JuJu cups to give away!
Reading this amazing article about how menstrual cups are changing lives for women in east Africa reminded me a) how privileged I am to have choices and b) how happy I am using a menstrual cup after making the switch to a JuJu a year ago. It also made me wonder why more women aren’t embracing reusable menstrual cups. After hitting up friends and family, I learned that most people love the idea in principle but haven’t tried them because they’ve never heard of them, haven’t found them in the “feminine hygiene” aisle, are worried they won’t work or simply can’t get their head around the concept of catching their menstrual blood and then tipping it down the toilet.
I’ll be completely honest with you, using a menstrual cup has not changed my life. Periods have never been a more than a hassle for me. Personally, I love my JuJu cup because it eliminates a significant volume of toxic chemicals from a very permeable part of my body and cuts out a small mountain of plastic packaging, pesticide-intense cotton, bleached rayon and other plastics from my personal waste stream.
But other people simply rave about switching to a menstrual cup. And I mean rave. Some say it improves their period pain, others find it gives them the freedom to get out and live life, others lament that they didn’t know about them during puberty.
What the heck is a menstrual cup?
Okay, so what we’re talking about here is a soft silicone cup (think tall wine glass without a stem) that you insert low into your vagina (yep I just said vagina) to collect, rather than absorb menstrual blood. You fold it to get it in there, then it pops open, forming a seal. When properly inserted there should be no leaks and you shouldn’t feel it at all. To remove, you pinch and pull, using the short stem and bearing down a little.
For many women who’ve had babies, the whole downstairs department is no longer mysterious and sexual, it’s just another hard-working part of the female anatomy. But I recognise that for many women, with or without the pregnancy/birth experience, poking around one’s vagina is not their idea of a good time. Let me assure you: once you’ve got the hang of a menstrual cup it is no more finicky than using a tampon. If you’re weirded out by the whole cup of blood aspect (it’s a very small amount even at its heaviest), fair enough. But you just tip it in the loo and it’s gone out of your life minus the wad of cotton and attached chemicals destined for landfill or the waterways. If you’re out or at work and need to change it, you can wipe it clean with loo paper and reinsert, otherwise you give it a quick rinse with water in the sink.
Five reasons to try a JuJu cup
- Conventional pads and tampons can contain small amounts of dangerous chemicals, including phthalates and dioxins, which are a by-product from bleaching. The mucous membrane of the vagina is far more absorbent than the mouth, studies have suggested 40 to 80 times more depending on the substance.
- Cotton is one of the most pesticide-intense crops, with five of the typical chemicals used listed as carcinogenic (cancer-causing).
- Used tampons (even the organic, non-bleached kind) encased in a plastic bag will not break down in landfill, they will just sit there for decades. And you think menstrual cups are gross…
- You can wear a menstrual cup overnight and for up to 12 hours. (During the first days of your period, you will want to empty your cup more frequently, say, every six hours but after that it can stay in for up to 12 hours. This means you can usually change it in your own home or at least predict where you’ll be when you need to change.)
- You’ll save a load of money. A 32-pack of tampons costs around $7 and the JuJu cup costs only $55 and lasts up to ten years.
Still not convinced? Read Bekka Joy’s blow-by-blow review of a JuJu cup here. Or this article on Healthy Child Healthy World. Or the FAQs section on the JuJu website. Better still, win a JuJu cup and try it for yourself!
JuJu Menstrual Cup Giveaway
The lovely girls at Freedom Products are giving four Down To Earth Mother readers the opportunity to try a JuJu on for size. This is an Australian owned company with sustainable ethics and business practices. JuJu cups come in two sizes: the small is for those who are younger, have not given birth vaginally or have wicked pelvic floor muscles; the larger version is for us old hags who’ve had a couple of sprogs (you know I love you, right?).
To enter the competition, tell us what difference a JuJu cup would make to your life.
* Feel free to use a pseudonym! ** Sponsored giveaway *** Competition closes January 31 2015, chance plays no part in determining the winner.
It’s not a requirement of the competition that you join the Down To Earth Mother mailing list or follow on Facebook but I’d love it if you did (winks in cheesy fashion).