Radical Feminine Hygiene
(Page 2 of 2)
Both campaigns advocate reusable menstrual supplies such as
menstrual cups, sea sponges, and washable cotton pads. But
disposability is not an easy habit to break. As Jeanne M. Lambert
wrote in Natural Life magazine in 1995, 'To make the
switch from disposables to reusable products requires an attitude
change from being able to 'throw away the 'mess'' of our menses . .
. to accepting the reality of this natural part of our bodies.'
In contrast to the sleek torpedo design of the conventional
tampon, the menstrual cup resembles a miniature toilet plunger. It
is made of soft latex rubber and collects rather than absorbs
menstrual flow, thus protecting wearers from the vaginal dryness in
which TSS bacteria can thrive. New cup wearers have to adjust to
rinsing the device rather than throwing it away. But among other
benefits, the product is economical. DivaCup, MoonCup, and The
Keeper each cost about $35 and are said to last 10 years.
The menstrual cup is not the only tampon alternative on the
market. Some women swear by sea sponges, porous creatures harvested
right from the ocean floor. Sea sponges contain no processed
materials like rayon but are nonetheless absorbent enough to be
used for menstrual protection. Sponges have been praised as an
environmentally friendly product based on their ability to
regenerate if they are carefully harvested. Other women praise the
comfort and simplicity of Glad Rags and LunaPads, reusable cotton
pads that hark back to the time-tested method of washing and
reusing cloth strips.
Whatever alternative you might choose, it's bound to take some
adjustment. But why not give it a try? Closing the last pink,
crinkly gap in your ecoconsciousness may end up being as easy and
as good for you as it is good for the world.
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