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Tag Archives endometriosis

Goodbye Pads & Tampons, Hello Menstrual Cup

Women seem to have been dealt the short end of the stick when it comes to bodily changes and functions. Not only do we go through puberty earlier than boys. We are also burdened with the task of growing and birthing a child, menopause and of course our periods. As we get older we all become accustomed to our monthlies. But just because getting your period comes with the territory. It doesn’t mean that we need to suffer every month while ruining our best loved trousers and pants. So I recently made the switch to the Mooncup® menstrual cup and finally said goodbye to the dreaded pads and tampons. Here’s why

It Helps The Environment & Your Pockets

The Mooncup® menstrual cup is made from soft medical-grade silicone which is claimed to last as long as 5 – 10 years when looked after properly. Compare that to regular pads and tampons that not only can be used once but are often covered in plastic materials that cannot be recycled. Imagine the amount of pad and tampon waste we must be producing in the world. There is going to come a point where the earth cannot hide it anymore! Yuck!

The environmental factors alone were enough to intrigue me however the savings I made was a deal breaker. A Mooncup costs approximately £20 for a cup that can last up to 5 years, even 10 with good maintenance according to some websites. As I have endometriosis and suffer from intensely heavy periods. I easily spent between £15 to £20 per month on menstrual products. According to the Huffington Post the average woman in the UK spends approximately £13 on pads and tampons each month. And that does not include the extra cost of new underwear or trousers due to spillages.

It’s Great For both Light & Heavy Flows

I always had the dilemma of having to change from tampons to pads when my period was approaching the end. Which was a bummer as the pads would cause chaffing and just feel very unpleasant. However with the Mooncup it doesn’t matter how heavy you are. It holds 3 times more than a regular tampon and can be left in for 4-8 hours. So on my heaviest days when i usually had a few leakages I feel safe for longer and I rarely have any accidents. And on my lightest days I could carry on with my day with no discomfort at all.

They are super comfortable

There are times when I forget that I am wearing one or that I am even on my period. Something that never happened when I was using tampons and pads. The medical grade silicone is very soft and flexible making it really easy to fit to your body and doesn’t smell at all. At first I will admit I found it hard to wrap my head around. I had to cut the stem a few times to adjust it to my body and had to practise inserting it multiple times. However by the second month I had it down pat and never looked back. The only downside is that it can get messy when you are emptying the cup especially if you are in a public toilet. My advice is to carry some wipes to wipe the cup clean before reinserting and wash your hands thoroughly.

Useful Info

The cup comes in two sizes which are determined by your child bearing history and your age both of which can affect your pelvic floor tone. The size has nothing to do with your menstrual flow. Before the first use and after you have used the Mooncup you must sterilize it by boiling it in hot water for 5-7 minutes or by using a sterilizing agent.

The Mooncup® menstrual cup has really made my life a lot easier and I have found that I have suffered from a lot less cramps since using it. I truly recommend it to anyone who wants to feel more themselves when on their period. You can buy the cup at Boots or by clicking the links below. Visit their website for more info www.mooncup.co.uk

Hopefully you will join me by ditching the tampons and embracing the Mooncup!

This post contains a Press Sample

 

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Life with Endometriosis: What you need to know

Endometriosis, a condition not well known, but a condition that affects 1 in 10 women, most of which are unaware of the chaos that is happening in their own bodies. After almost 15 years of pain, I can finally say that I am an Endo sister. I have finally been diagnosed. I sit here now with 4 holes in my stomach after having keyhole surgery to remove a cyst the size of a grapefruit and to clean up the endometriosis that left my insides mangled together and my fertility in question. And I feel a sense of relief! Sore, but relieved that I have been taken seriously and that I am finally getting treatment for something that I have struggled with for most of my life. Relieved that my future as a mummy is still in tact.

But what is Endometriosis? It is when the lining of your womb which makes up your period, grows elsewhere in the body. When it is time for your period, this lining sheds blood like it would do in the womb except the blood gets trapped in your body which can then turn into a sticky glue that sticks your organs etc together causing pain and reducing fertility.

For me heavy periods was a normal part of life. I had started my first period at 8 years old and from then on they were a constant pain every month. As I got older, the heavier and more painful they became, until one day when I was 15 years old the pain had gotten the better of me.

I woke in the morning with a horrible cramp in my stomach. “Great”, I had thought, I have my period. But as the morning progressed the pain didn’t subside and I found myself doubled over unable to walk. My parents, not sure what to do, tried everything to ease my pain. They thought I had just contracted a stomach bug, but when I threw up everything they tried to give me and then passed out from the pain, they knew something was up. A trip to the ER and I was sent home and told that I had a low pain tolerance, told to suck it up, period pain is a normal part of being a woman.

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From then on, I would fear the time of month. It was always a lucky dip. Was it going to be a normal period this month or was I going to suffer? I never knew when it would come and what was worse was that no one would take me seriously. Countless times to the nurse at school or to the ER and each time told it is a normal part of being a woman. I came to the point where I used to hide it, try and sit in the corner until it passed because I was scared that people would think I was a drama queen, that I was an attention seeker. Trying to hide it was difficult, when you are in so much pain that you are throwing up and passing out it is hard for people not to notice.

I was on my way to the cinema with my mum and I could feel it coming.  I found myself drifting in and out of consciousness. As I walked in to the cinema room trying hard to keep up appearances, my body finally had had enough and I fell to the floor. I saw the panic on my mums face as she tried to lift me up and call the paramedics. Surely they would believe me this time? I am not faking it! I was at the movies, I was having a good time! But to my disappointment the paramedics scoffed and told me the same thing all the others had. It wasn’t until the manager of the cinema took my mum aside and said this isn’t normal. Get her checked for endometriosis.

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Endometriosis? I had never heard of it before but to my dismay my doctors didn’t seem to know much about it either. Their approach was to put me on the pill and hope for the best, if that didn’t work well then I just had to learn to accept it. At times, it was just plain embarrassing. When you pass out and throw up while you were in the toilet in the middle of a work day and are escorted out with your knickers in full view it is hard not to be embarrassed!

But with each episode, I found a new person who was struggling with something very similar and came to understand that it was a condition that was slowly getting recognised and that was a lot more common than I was lead to believe. Heavy periods, ovarian cysts, excruciating pain each month, symptoms of IBS and problems falling pregnant are all symptoms of endometriosis and if you suspect that you may have it I am here to give you hope and encourage you to get the treatment you deserve. Do not let anyone tell you that it is part of being a woman or to just suck it up!  It is NOT normal to pass out from pain every month! It is NOT just part of being a woman and NO you do NOT just have a low pain threshold!

It’s estimated that Endometriosis affects more than 2 million women in the UK and there are still a lot of women out there who are unaware of this condition. I feel like I am lucky, even though I suffered for a long time I am by far the worst. A lot of my fellow Endosisters suffer daily, with their quality of life greatly diminished and their chances of becoming mothers taken away from them. My heart and my respects goes out to all of them and I think it is our responsibility to create awareness of this common yet virtually unknown disease. Awareness of endometriosis has come a long way in the last 10 years but it still has a long way to go, if you would like to help or wish to learn more then take a look at   http://www.endomarch.org. Any little bit helps.

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