12 Days of Blogmas! Day Four: A Very Festive Menstruation…

Greetings my little frostlings, welcome to Blogmas Day Four!

Today I am here to bring to you a little day-in-the-life with a festive theme. In true TMI spirit, because this time of year is for sharing, this post is about being on your period during Christmastime.

If you are a menstruating person, chances are at some point during December you will get your period. This is a time of year when emotions are heightened, you may already feel stressed and overworked and skint, and you may think this is the last thing you need. Have no fear though, for there are ways of making it slightly less…y’know, inconvenient. This notion does seem to clash with my general mantra of being positive and open about periods, and I still feel that they should be talked about and not hushhushed or stigmatized. They are however, a bodily function that generally involves controlling a heavy blood flow and battling with rushes of hormones, and it can be pretty jarring from time to time. My post today is therefore a little compilation of how I’m coping with my festive gift from Mother Nature. (God those Mother Nature adverts were awful weren’t they?)

So to get things going in classic TMI fashion, let’s start with my EQUIPMENT.

The Mooncup was sterilized at the end of last month’s bloody installment but I like to give it another quick clean before the next time, just for my own peace of mind. As I’ve only just started my period things are pretty light, so I’m just going to team it with a super thin liner, which I think was from The Blue Meadow on etsy, and completely blends in with my underwear. I feel 100% protected at all times when I team up a menstrual cup and reusable liner, and even if I misjudge the flow sometimes (it happens), there will always be two layers of protection going on. I’m even wearing WHITE underwear, yes that’s right folks. It’s also nice to know that I don’t need to do the shop for tampons and such, as everything I need is already waiting for me in my drawer. Saving some essential Christmas pennies there! Cha-ching.

Next, clothing! I am going out today, but I also want to be cosy AF with nothing tight or imposing on my WOMB AREA like a high-waisted skirt. So, I have simply chosen this very snuggly long line cream jumper (Primark) and some toasty leggings, with these fluffy festive socks. All with a soft low-impact sports bra underneath. On a pretty chilly day, this is perfection.

Onto pain relief! Right, so even though I am on the pill and the pain I experience has been significantly lessened in the past few years, I still get bouts of pretty harsh cramping and my boobs get so sore sometimes it feels like someone has dropped an anvil on them. I’m trying to avoid using painkillers such as ibuprofen when I’m at home as they make me feel very tired, and more susceptible to wanting to nap all the time. I’m going to turn to my trusty microwave-heaty-uppy thing which was gifted to me from my Dad, and is a malleable lifesaver whenever I have pulled a muscle or am experiencing vicious cramps. I just pop it in the microwave for a minute or so and wrap it around my stomach. It feels fantastic! One new option I’m giving a whirl is this raspberry leaf tea, which supposedly is good for menstrual pains. If it doesn’t make a difference, I’m going to look into magnesium supplements I think. 

Skincare! My skin is so bloody cliche and always noticably breaks out when I’m on my period, without fail. So I like to give it a thorough going over, with a light milky scrub (Angels on Bare Skin), a rose-based cleanser that doesn’t make my natural pinkness arise quite so aggressively, a brightening serum, a little sun cream as it’s pretty bright outside today, a Dead Sea Spa moisturiser, and a lovely rich lotion to massage around the boob and decolletage area. Treat yoself!

Onto cravings. Now as it stands in our home, we are very blessed to have quite a few festive treats lying around, and don’t get me wrong I have indulged. However! In an effort to get my wholegrains in as well, I have simply added a tablespoon of peanut butter to my porridge this morning. My boyfriend bought us these gorgeous flavoured ones and they are DIVINE. Gives me that sugar hit and a toasty meal too. I’m already on the tea, and today’s is in the most appropriate mug, which my sister gave me for my birthday…it is from a fantastic company called No More Taboo, and it’s all menstrual cuppy! So cute!

Taking care of the mind and body! Before i head out im going to give myself 15 minutes to dip into Happy by Fearne Cotton, just a few pages to remind myself to be compassionately minded today, instead of letting my hormones dictate. Then a few stretches, mainly leg based as I dont think my abs can take anyhing strenuous today. I feel like something feral is chewing lacklustrely on my insides.

All to the tune of one of my favourite and most gorgeous females of 2017, Elle King.

And now we come to a point where daytime TV is becoming just too alluring, so its time to head out and get on with my day. Does anybody else absolutely FEAST on trashy sex stories like this when they’re on their period? Just me then.

To conclude this post, I will share my general experience of periods through the medium of Ross Geller. Enjoy.

When you notice you’ve started bleeding and all the bitch-ass moods, sugar cravings and abdominal pains suddenly make sense.

When your friends notice that shit’s going down, but you try to put on a brave face despite your hormones raging away.

When you struggle to get your Mooncup in at the right angle, and the stem keeps poking you so you need to pee 24/7.

When you can’t get the bloody thing to pop open no matter how much you twist it, and you’ve got to leave the house in 5 minutes.

When you show up to work and realise you’ve got to pretend you’re not writhing in pain for 8 hours.

When you get home and nobody understands your emotional needs, not even the weather.

When you decide to treat yourself to a Greggs and someone just bought the last festive bake.

When you run out of chocolate and RED ROSS rears his ugly head because you just can’t cope without sugar at this time.

When you can’t even have sex to ease the cramps because you think your partner finds you bloated and repulsive, even though he blatantly doesn’t and just wants to help.

When he’s a total beacon of support and goes to the shop just to buy you something to help curb your sugar craving and numb the pain.

And when you just decide to get on with it, because it’s going to happen every bloody month for the considerable future, and you remember that you’ve totally got this.

Happy holidays everybody! Don’t let the bleeding get you down! Wear bright red jumpers and dance like a madman to festive tunes! It will help the crampage!

Until the next day of Blogmas!




Mini-Post: Darker Cloth Pads

Hello my lovelies!



Let us all rejoice in this most bizarre and eclectic of holidays, the one day of the year when you embrace the notion of someone telling you that you look horrible. What are your plans for tonight? Ours include a Stranger Things marathon, going out for some food and a spooky pint or two, and maybe a horror film or two.

This post is simply a few items from my wanted list of cloth pads. They are of a darker variety because a) it’s Halloween and I’ve let the darkness consume my soul with more gusto recently and b) with darker patterns, stains are less easy to notice, therefore you don’t have to bother with stain treatments and can just wash them as normal (perhaps with a teeny cold rinse beforehand). If you’re a tad squeamish about blood – not sure what you’re doing on this blog if so – but it’s obviously slightly less visible with darker patterns. You also cannot go wrong with just plain black. Enjoy!

Imse Vimse Set of 3 Black Regular Pads – £14.95

EarthWise Girls Vivi Pad Lite Halloween Specials – £8.50

Honour Your Flow Blue Maxi Pad – £8.25

LorraineMakes Nightmare Cloth Pad – £6.70

MuffDusters Dr Who Pad – £8.00

FannyPaddams Daisy pad £6.00

Silly Panda Skulls Pad – £6.00

Silly Panda Hogwarts Pad – £6.00


Until the next time!



TMI of the Month (Bonus Edition!) – Menstrual Cup Q&A

Hello my lovelies.

Your Period Warrior returns with another Q&A to tickle your time-of-the-month buds, this time focusing on Menstrual Cups. What would you like to know? Here are a few questions I thought might pop up on your journey cupwards. Let us begin!


Q: What the hell is a menstrual cup?

So this has been the #1 question I have been asked in my ventures into the Land of Sustainable Periods, with slight variances on phraseology. It is basically a little cup made of flexible medical-grade silicone, which is inserted into the vagina on your period. In order to make insertion comfortable, you fold it up to form a smaller point of entry. There are many, many folds available to try. Once inserted, the cup forms a seal with the vagina walls, and the blood/uterine lining is collected in the cup. After 4-12 hours, you reach into the vagina, pinch the base of the cup to break the seal, and slowly walk the cup out. Then you dispose of the blood down the toilet, rinse the cup with water, and possibly a low pH soap or a menstrual cup wash/wipes, dry it, and reinsert. Repeat this process, until the end of your period. Think you could give it a go?


Q: When were they invented?

*Google search* So apparently a version was patented in 1932, and it’s been through many reincarnations ever since, but popularised most recently in our eco-backlash against the rise of the disposables in the mid 20th century. I also read that apparently back in Medieval(ish) times some women used to just wear darker dresses to hide the bloodstains and general massacres that were taking place beneath. Brave!


Q: Are they easy to use?

After an initial learning curve, the basis of a few continual cycles of use, I now find it very easy. Bear in mind though, that they are not as simple as inserting a tampon. There is a bit of wriggling and a familiarity with your vagina that comes with using the cup.


Please don’t worry though! Being comfortable with what’s between your legs may be a taboo concept (even in 2017, bloody hell) but it is a very positive thing! Believe in yourself, you are doing something that is kind of amazing for your body! No more nasty fibres from tampons being left behind to cause all sorts of irritations, no more chemicals, just a simple, clean cup. It may take a little time to get used to, but it is worth it, I promise. My top tips for making the transition to menstrual cups a bit easier, are:

  • USE LUBE. After you have folded up the cup, apply a teeny bit to the rim, and the side opposite to your finger, to help it slide in a bit more comfortably. Now, if you are out & about in public, I don’t expect you to carry around a handy dandy pot of lube, though you can do, but making the cup wet in some respect, even if it’s just a dribble of water from a bottle, can really help with getting it in smoothly. With this, you can even practice insertion BEFORE your period – which is fantastic! I gave this a go as I wanted to be a pro at getting it in and out and shaking it all about, before it got a bit messy with the menstrualities.
  • RELAX. I have had the experience of reaching in and not being able to immediately locate the cup. Now the body’s natural reaction to this is to panic…but in reality, just imagine your vagina – it is not a bottomless pit, it is a small area and nothing can get lost inside you via this location – it may just have moved up ever so slightly. What you need to do is ‘bear down’ with your muscles, and you will feel the cup inch downwards. There are grip rings on the base of most cups, so even if you have trimmed the stem to a pretty short length, or gotten rid of it entirely, you have a little assistance with getting a hold of it. Once you pinch it and break the seal, it is very easy to pull it out.
  • CLEAN THE SUCTION HOLES PROPERLY. There are tiny little holes at the top of each cup that help with creating the suction. They can become blocked over time, which may lead to a tiny bit of leakage. What I would suggest is to give the cup a good old squeeze and rub under a cold tap, maybe turn it slightly inside-out (it’s very flexible), to ensure that the water pushes through the holes and clears them.
  • TRY IT IN THE SHOWER! Much less mess, and you can fumble and spill to your heart’s content. Should I go into spill stories in a separate post? Maybe…

Q: Do they hurt? What if it gets stuck?

No. The only time I felt as though it hurt slightly, was when I had a few consecutive goes at inserting/removing it, when I couldn’t get it to pop open. Now I have gotten a lot better at the whole popping open shebang, and my main tip is to use the walls of your vagina to (again) ‘bear down’ on the cup as you circle your finger around the base. This will help it to sort of ‘fill’ the room around it, if that makes sense? Rotating it slightly helps too. You will know it’s good to go when you feel around the base and you can’t feel any parts that are ‘dipped in’. The seal has then been formed. With regards to it getting stuck – don’t worry – try squatting, as this positions it into a helpful place to reach in your vagina. If you are really getting frustrated with it, leave it for half an hour, and then come back. The more tense you are, the more your vagina will tighten around it. Thus, the more likely it is that when you do finally reach it you will wrench it out and potentially spill blood all over your bathroom floor. Which I may have done. Oh, this blog.

Singing in the Rain_ Always dignity


Q: Why should I get one?

Because your body will not have wads of bacteria-ridden cotton shoved up against your cervix on a continuous basis throughout your period. Because the environment will benefit hugely from not having the 10,000 tampons you use in your lifetime strewed upon its beaches and landfill. Because essentially you only need one little cup, to get you through your entire period – you can wear it on light days, heavy days, overnight…even if you think you’re on your period, but your body’s just trolling you and you’re actually not! Because it encourages familiarity with your body. Because you can do it!


Q: Which brand is best for me?

There are many, many brands out there. The only one I have definitively tried, is the UK Mooncup. I use Size B, which is for menstruaters under 30 who have not given birth vaginally. (There is also a Size A). The Mooncup is pretty sturdy, and has a very long stem which can be trimmed to your liking – remember that the cup sits very low in your vagina, much lower than a tampon. I would personally recommend it, though having compared reviews online I would say that there are slightly softer cups out there that might be easier for those who are not already used to non-applicator tampons. These include the Ruby Cup, the Meluna, and the Femme Cup. There are cups in all shapes and sizes, colours, grip rings and stems, you name it. But they all do the same job. They collect the blood and  the blood gets flushed away. Own it. KABOOM.

Q: How do I use it in a public toilet?
The big question! I feel like a little bit of a fraud because as of yet, I have only had to change my cup in a public toilet once, and that was one which had a sink inside, so it was a bit easier for me. I still used the ‘outdoors’ method though, which was to bring a bottle of water with me to give it a little rinse out after I’d emptied it, and then put it back in as normal. This is totally safe, and will not cause harm to you. The silicone does not harbour bacteria, and is perfectly fine to reinsert with just a rinse of water. Otherwise, you could simply use loo roll, or there are specifically designed menstrual cup wipes out there which you could have just in case. I wish I were ballsy enough to waltz straight out of my cubicle, march up to the sink singing “Pirelli’s Miracle Elixir” and give it a good old bloody scrub with people next to me gaping, but I haven’t quite reached that level. It would invite rather a lot of questions, and a possible witchcraft trial.



Q: How do I clean it after my period?

You can either use sterilising tablets and water, such as Milton’s, or you can kick it old-school like myself, and simply boil the cup for 6-7 minutes in a designated pan. I sometimes pop in a tablespoon of bicarbonate of soda to help get rid of any staining, then give it an extra rinse afterwards. Then you simply leave it to dry, preferably on a sunny windowledge if you can (again this helps with staining), and once it is dry as a bone, you pop it back inside the little cotton drawstring bag it comes with. Don’t keep it in anything sealed, just a nice little breathable bag will do. Then it’s ready for the next round, huzzah!

Q: Are they expensive?

Mine was £21.99 from Boots as I recall (big up to the Boots advantage card points I gained there) – and they all sit around the sort of £20 mark I think. Yes that sounds expensive, but if you think about it, you only need to buy one, and that will help you through your periods for the next 10 years. It’s a long-term bargain.

Q: Are there any circumstances in which you would revert back to tampons?

I’m trying to think. Okay, if I were a refugee, or someone who did not have access to clean, potable water and handwash, then yes, I would probably use other methods of protection.

Q: Can you use it if you have long nails?

I don’t have long nails, so I can’t definitively give any advice except…be careful, I guess? Have you reached inside your vagina with said nails before? Hopefully! Just remember to be extra-super regimed with cleaning your hands and nails very thoroughly before and after usage. Use the NHS-recommended cleaning procedure if you wish, as things can get a bit messy sometimes.


Q: Can you do any of the following with your cup inside you: Go for a wee, poop, exercise, go on an airplane, have sex, be upside-down (e.g. on a rollercoaster)?

Yes to all except the having sex thing…well I suppose it depends on the kind of sex you’re having, but if it’s a classic Tesco-value putting something in the vagina kind of sex, then no, because your cup will be rather in the way. Simple solution: Talk to your partner about it, if they’re cool then take out the cup, put a towel down and go for it!

And on that note, I will close this post. I always like to leave you with delightful images to go about your day with. (Incidentally this post is dedicated to Mason, my most loyal and horrified reader.)

Here is a link to the Mooncup website’s much more sensible answers to menstrual cup FAQs. They also have a handy helpline in case you’re struggling!

Mooncup FAQs

Until next time,







TMI of the Month (Bonus Edition!) – Cloth Pad Q&A

Hello my lovelies.

Your resident Period Warrior is back with a bit more of an explanatory post on the ins-and-outs-and-upside-downs of reusable cloth pads. I’ve set this up as a phantom Q&A, these are just a set of questions that I personally asked myself when I was on the fence about converting to RUMPs. Hopefully this will give you a bit more of an idea of what you’re letting yourself in for, and answers to any scenarios or mentalities that might be putting you off making the change, or even trying them out. I will follow this up with a similar Q&A on menstrual cups, as I use a combination of the two per cycle. Here we go!

Q: What are cloth pads made of?

A: All sorts of materials, and they are usually composed of a top layer, an absorbent core, and a backing. The ones I own are mostly cotton-topped or bamboo-fleece topped, with a hemp or cotton flannel inner core, and a micro-fleece backing. Of course there is a vast pad-verse of combinations to choose from, but I generally opt for a cotton-top as the main factor of choice as I find them the most breathable, the thinnest materials, and most like my underwear, so practically unnoticeable when I’m wearing them. They come in all sorts of lengths and sizes, and I would recommend trying a mixture to see what suits best. The cotton ones also feature most of the adorable prints & designs you’ll see. I’ve seen a lot of BEAUTIES, including many-a-Disney print, Game of Thrones, Doctor Who, vampires, llamas, doughnuts…whatever you can think of, it’s probably out there.

Q: How are they different to reusable pads?

A: Obviously the main difference is that you look after them, clean them, and wear them again. You wear them pretty much like a disposable, only there is no adhesive to stick them to your underwear; instead, you fold them around your underwear as normal, and popper them around the back to keep them in place. The fleece backing stops them from sliding around, so they do stay put. One huge reason that I decided to convert was COMFORT – for me, disposable pads felt horrendous, so itchy and warm and plasticky. I found it pretty unbearable and swore an allegiance (now happily defunct) to tampons. The reusables in comparison, are incredible. They feel so soft. It’s such a treat for the most sensitive part of your body.

Q: How do you clean them?

A: I have tried a few different cleaning methods, but the one that I have taken a liken to recently is this: You take your pad off, fold it in half, or popper it up into a little discreet square if you like, and put it in a wet bag. You don’t soak it, or put anything on it, you just leave it in the wet bag until the end of your period. Then the night before I go to clean everything, I fill an ice bucket with cold water, add half a scoop of Vanish Oxy-Clean, and put all the pads face-down in the water. Leave to soak for a few hours, or overnight. When you’re ready to clean them properly, I put them in the washing machine – with my other clothes – add my usual detergent, and then in the drawer I add another half a scoop of the Vanish. This gets rid of any staining – even the white ones are kept pristine this way. The one thing I must stress is DO NOT USE FABRIC CONDITIONER – it affects the absorbency of the pads. Then you just pop them in the tumble dryer on a low heat, or if you’re lucky and have access to a sunny back garden, hang them on the washing line. If you want to avoid soaking the pads beforehand, that’s easy – just put the dry used pads in the washing machine (emptied out of your wet bag) and put them on a cold rinse before you go into the full cycle, preferably a long one, and just use a full scoop of Vanish. That’s worked for me before, so it can certainly work for you.

To break this down into a very basic formula:


Q: Isn’t it weird to leave them lying around the house?

A: I am in a very lucky situation in which I live with my partner, who is incredibly open-minded and understanding about the whole procedure. I talk very openly about menstrual cups with him, and I leave my wet bag hanging on the bathroom door, or my Mooncup to dry on the windowsill, or next to the sink. I even asked him if he wouldn’t mind popping my pads in the dryer the other day, as I’d not left myself enough time to, and he was perfectly fine with this. They were clean, after all! I encourage this level of openness but I also understand that a lot of people will want to be discreet about their period. What I would say is this: Take responsibility for washing and drying them yourself, and keep your clean laundry in a drawer, as you would with your disposables. It is very possible to keep these products private, you just have to figure a way that works best for you. And if anybody finds a wet bag on the back of a bathroom door and starts digging around in it, then woe betide them if they operate on this level of snoopery in other areas of life.

Q: Do they smell?

A: No, they do not smell. I feel like this is a perfectly valid question because as I recall, disposable pads would tend to develop an odour after a little while. The reason for this is the chemicals that are used in the core for absorbency: they react with the blood and cause them to smell. Blood itself, does not smell. If anything, I think if mine smells of a slight something, it’s almost mildly sweet? Is that just me? If you left the pads for weeks on end in a zipped-up wet bag then yes, they would become mildewed and a bit gross as they’ve been starved of oxygen, but this is why it’s so important to look after them. I have tested the concept of them having an odour when they are looked after properly, and I can conclusively say that the wet bag with all its glorious folded-up contents, smells of nothing at all. If you are immensely paranoid about this, you could always pop a few drops of essential oil in the bag, or store it next to some Lush products?

Q: Aren’t they unhygienic?

A: Again, no. I feel as though a lifetime of disposables have trained us all to think of period blood as a disgusting, infectious substance. It is not. It is perfectly fine to touch it, to let a pad absorb it or a cup collect it, and then clean those items for another use. The process of menstruating may feel a bit gross, but it is essentially your body doing a spring clean of your womb – nothing scary, nothing that’s bad for you, nothing that’s going to cause an infection if you make contact with it. As long as you clean your reusables thoroughly, I don’t see what the difference is between cloth pads and underwear, or even sex toys. They’re all making contact with your genitals, they’re all being cleaned and used again. Think about somebody’s else’s genitals, hands, mouth? Do you viciously sanitise those before they take the plunge and then throw those away after use? [Insert various lifestyle choices here.]

Q: What about if I’m not at home?

I use a little blue pouch from EcoFemme to carry a couple of spare pads, and another to keep used pads in. Thereon I store the bags in the little zippered compartment in my bag, where I used to keep my tampons and such. Again, just keep something lightly perfumed in there if you’re still in the mindset that they have an odour – again, they don’t!

Q: Do they leak?

A: Based on their main usage (for me) as cup back-up, in case my menstrual cup overfills or leaks for some reason, I have never had a problem with leaking. On the odd occasion that I decide I don’t want to use my Mooncup and just rely on pads, I tend to turn to the ones with a little extra protection, just in case. Some of my regular and heavy ones have a layer of PUL (Polyurethane Laminate), which is waterproof, and very reassuring if you’re a tad wary of how heavy your flow is going to be. And no, they don’t feel like a raincoat.

Q: How many do I need?

A: This is a difficult one to answer, but I will say based on my own experience – that I can manage each period comfortably based on a combination of 10 pads and a menstrual cup. That’s a ‘stash’ that I have built up over time, as I was transitioning slowly and using a mixture of reusables and disposables until I felt I had enough to fly solo. Four of the pads are small thin pantyliners, about 6-7 inches in length; three of them are regular-flow pads which are slightly longer, and three of them are heavy-flow/overnight pads. If you are starting off on a few pads to see if you get along with them, I would recommend buying a pantyliner, a regular pad, a heavy pad, and an overnight pad. Mix them up with your usual period routine and see how they feel for you.

Q: Are they expensive?

A: Compared to disposable pads, yes. I think of them as an investment, as they are feasibly going to last for 5-10 years, and in that period I will not have to even consider buying tampons or pads, or those little plastic purple discretion bags I used to put them in post-usage. Try Precious Stars for a range of budget pads, and Etsy has a gigantic range of UK sellers providing cloth pads. (Extra points for supporting a local business!)

Q: Where can I find more information?

A: YouTube! This has been my main source of information. My top four channels are:

Precious Stars Pads

Rehana Jomeen

The First Door on the Left

Pad Thai

(They are all amazing ladies, but I have to say that Bryony of Precious Stars has been incredibly informative and candid about cloth pads, and started her own business when she was 15!)

All in all, menstruating people, I really hope that this has helped you to consider a trial of cloth pads. Whether like me, you use them in conjunction with internal protection like a menstrual cup or a tampon, or you just want to mix them up with your disposables to see how you get on with them, I wish you the best of luck. Give yourself a huge eco-friendly pat on the back for looking after the environment and your body with such aplomb!


Until next time,



(Image from Lady Days Cloth Pads)

TMI of the Month (Halloween Special) – PERIODS & BLOOD & GORE

Hello my little deathlings.

Welcome to the gynaecological equivalent of a Simpsons Halloween Special. Ye be warned, this particular post is read at your own peril. Seriously, there will be many an English pound put in the Vagina Jar here. (May numerous tributes be made to the imminent extinction of said English pound, whenever Spandau Ballet’s Gold is drunkenly bellowed at a karaoke. You’re indestructible.) Back to the horror story though…


Though in all Hallows honesty, for a modern culture prone to fetishizing blood in cinema, games, Autumnal décor and I daresay lipsticks, you would think that a completely natural and healthy procedure of monthly bloodloss would be a perfectly acceptable topic of discussion. To be thrown around a dinner table as casually as a debate over the merits of Tim Burton’s Sweeney Todd. (Particularly if the main course is pie, haha cannibalism.)

So what in blazes am I talking about? Basically, consider this TMI of the Month a declaration of independence: I, Rosie, have given up tampons. BYE BITCHES. As a follow up to my previous post (a review of the UK ‘Mooncup’) it is with the lightest of hearts and the heaviest of flows that I relinquish my need to subscribe to a product that is, in my opinion, a very woman-unfriendly product. That might be an ugly phrase but I honestly don’t know how else to put it…tampons are just, not nice. The fact that they absorb everything in their path, not just blood but your own natural fluids. The vagina has an incredible self-maintaining eco system that does not in any way benefit from shoving inside something highly absorbent and laden with bleach and chemicals. Said chemicals which don’t have to be explicitly stated by the likes of Procter & Gamble, as we’re dealing with a ‘medical’ product here, so don’t worry guys. Except about the TSS thing. Let’s get real menstruating people, Toxic Shock Syndrome continues to be this spectre of horror that governs the frequency of our tampon changes. Incidentally, removing a BASICALLY DRY tampon happens to be one of the most appalling moments in an average female day…it’s like you’re dragging a stiff pillowcase out of there, just no. ‘Luxury’ items should feel like silk. To me, this feels like abuse. Which I have tolerated for the majority of my menstruating life. So why not wear a pad? For me, remarkably, disposable pads feel worse, just immensely uncomfortable. It’s the idea as well that everything is so virginally white and labelled as sanitary as if it has been completely cleansed of bacteria (it hasn’t), or merely propagated in a supermarket aisle as feminine wear as if it were a collection of dusky pashminas nestled in a dwindling orchard. The constant euphemisms, the avoidance of discussing what is actually happening to our bodies, the extract-of-Smurf liquid that is delicately poured onto towels in Bodyform adverts…it does not sit right with me. It does not a jot. So I made the transition…to MENSTRUAL CUPS!


The Mooncup was a very logical solution to this discomfort, and I am so incredibly happy that I persevered with it, and have now settled into a routine that is infinitely better for my body and my current level of cynicism. I can say with confidence that I will not go back to tampons, unless perhaps under very rare circumstances I am in a situation where cleanliness is compromised. Even then, there are ways around it. What I hope to achieve from this declaration of independence, is discussion. WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT PERIODS. They need to be talked about, not hushhushed into submission so that the stigma of shame and uncleanliness continues to be circulated worldwide. Periods are here to stay, and they may not be particularly enjoyable, lawd knows the pain can be unbearable at times, but they are a completely normal, safe, clean procedure. If you can handle Episode 9 of the third season of Game of Thrones, you can cope with this discussion. So here you go, if this in any way interests you – and I think if you’ve read this far you must be at least morbidly curious – this is my updated period routine, in all its bloody glory.

*Vincent Price laughter fades into the ominous slam of a creaking door*


Here we have it, the contents of my Period Drawer. Utterly terrifying, isn’t it? How can you look at those penguins with their scarves and not feel like you’re looking into the face of the bubonic plague of 1356? In all honesty, this feels like I am merely sharing a photo of quite adorable underwear, which in reality, is what it is. This is my reusable stash, everything I need for the next 5-10 years of periods. (I should state at this moment that because I am on the combined pill, currently I do not have periods in the technical sense, but rather ‘withdrawal bleeds’. But because of the consistent change of hormones in my break week, the physical effects are nigh-on identical. So for the purposes of this post, I will refer to them as periods.)

I imagine that if you are not experienced with reusable menstrual products, you probably have some questions. You may think this idea strange and unusual.


Realistically I feel it would be impossible for me to condense everything about this transition to RUMPs (reusable menstrual products) into one neat post – therefore I invite you all to ask me anything, anything at all, I promise I will answer honestly. I want to promote this concept as much as possible, mainly because I simply was not aware of this idea at all, until a couple of years ago. That it is possible to have a sustainable period. That it’s possible to save yourself from drastically buying tampons each month, and constantly worrying that there might not be a bin in a bathroom when you have to chain-shove onto the next one. That I can look after my body and be in control of what comes into contact with my vagina. I still have the option to protect myself internally (menstrual cups) and externally (cloth menstrual pads)…the only difference is that I clean these products, and then use them again the next month. They are not being hastily shipped off to landfill in frilly perfumed plastic bags to rot for the next hundred years. They are mine to look after, and I can take them anywhere I go. Still sounds scary?



Well folks, meet my Mooncup.


Yes this has been in my vagina. But then again, so have a lot of things, so let’s not discriminate on that basis. (Joke.) As an object, yes it looks a little odd, but it has completely changed the experience of my periods. Everything feels so much cleaner, more natural, more manageable. It’s made of medical-grade silicone, therefore resistant to the growth of bacteria. You don’t have to change it anywhere near as often as a tampon – you can even wear it for up to 12 hours! You just insert it (I would recommend using lube but it’s by no means essential), go about your day as normal, then take it out, rinse it out, use a scent-free natural soap or a specifically designed menstrual cup wash to give it a more thorough cleanse if you so wish, then you pop it back in and you’re good to go. At the end of your period, boil it in a designated pan for 6 minutes, leave it to dry, preferably on a sunny windowsill if possible to reduce staining, and that’s it. There is, as previously stated, a learning curve with this procedure. But on reflection, there was definitely a learning curve with using tampons and pads…this is just a more worthwhile cause, in my humble opinion. If anything, you become so much more familiar with your body. Until I used a Mooncup, I had no idea how high my cervix was, I had never checked. I mean it’s not a measurement I necessarily want tattooed on my wrist, but it’s nonetheless interesting to learn new things about a body you’ve lived with your entire existence. Definitely give this a go.

Everything else you see, is merely to accessorise for extra comfort. For several periods I managed perfectly well with just my Mooncup, literally just that. Lubeless and linerless in most instances, it was an almost Instagrammably minimalist period experience. The initial investment was around £21.99 – you can buy Mooncups in Boots, but there is a veritable rainbow of product variations out there, I will link some below and hopefully you can find one that suits you. With minimal comparison but much research I would say that the Mooncup has a rather prominent rim, and is maybe not the easiest option for someone who does not want to get down & dirty with the inner workings of their vagina. I still managed it though, and now I absolutely love it.


(Well not that much.) There are softer cups out there, along with different lengths, shapes, stems, colours etc. The extras that I own are merely for ‘back-up’, as I used to wear a tampon with a pantyliner in days of yore in case of leakage – damn that grim length of string that collected blood on an otherwise dry tampon – nowadays I will opt for a menstrual cup, with a light cloth liner just in case. During the night I will either wear my Mooncup alone, or just wear a night cloth pad, as they all come in different lengths and core absorbencies. (Did I mention they just clip around your underwear with little poppers? The fleece backing stops them from sliding around. And when you want to store them for cleaning, you can fold them up into tiny discreet squares. Piece of cake. Red Velvet Cake?) I cannot express at this point, just how comfortable these things are. Just the softest material, and they feel no different to my underwear. Period underwear is also an option, I would be very intrigued to try sometime in the future – I do have something along these lines, which is the green checked shorts you see above – they have a thin absorbent backing which stops any potential leakages in their tracks, and they honestly just feel like pyjama shorts. The level of period comfort may have peaked here. As well as the sheer damned satisfaction of feeling in utter control of the bloodflow.


Other additions to my collection, which have built up comfortably over the past few months, include delicate little ‘cup spots’, which are simply little rounds of cloth to keep your menstrual cup on by the sink post-cleaning, perhaps while leaving it overnight. The blue pouch is from EcoFemme, a wonderful company that specialises in organic materials and a ‘Pad for Pad’ ethic, involving supplying a pad for a person in need whenever one is purchased. The pouch is simply for transporting clean pads around if I think I will need to change one in public, which is extremely rare. I also keep a couple of wet bags for storage of used pads until I go to clean them (I will go into cleaning procedures in a separate post, though that’s not to suggest they are in any way difficult or unmanageable!) The lube was an additional purchase, but I mean it’s never a bad thing to have lying around the house is it? Lube it up, baby. I would recommend to be sparing with it, however, as it can be a slippery procedure and a tad messy sometimes.


In essence, all of my cutesy accessories can be boiled down into one very eco-friendly product, which is the menstrual cup. The beautiful simplicity of merely collecting your blood in a tiny cup and flushing it away, could not be more appealing to me. In no way do I find it disgusting, or unsanitary. On the contrary, this awakening has opened my eyes to the grimness of disposable products. I remember reading a statistic that between 10,000-15,000 tampons/pads are used in the average woman’s menstruating lifetime. Where are they now? In our oceans, on our beaches, in our landfill. This can’t go on. You must be thinking that I have been possessed by some hippy spirit. All I can say is that, sometimes we should listen to the hippies, because they care about the Earth, and their bodies. I don’t believe I can start a revolution, but I really hope that if you have read this then you will at least consider trying it out. Please ask me any questions you may have. The grimmer, the better! Doesn’t everyone love a bit of gore, deep down? The art of the menstrual cup may be one that takes a few cycles to adapt to, but once it’s mastered it is definitely worth it. Don’t be perturbed when you have the inevitable scare of not being able to reach the stem upon removal and considering all manner of tools to attempt to retrieve it manually.


I expect a reasonable amount of backlash to my declarations here, but I welcome them. I also welcome the idea of battling taboos, and rethinking our own social stigmas in an effort to reach for the greater good. To those who may think that reusable products are disgusting or unsanitary, I will simply say this. Look at your underwear. Surely I cannot be the only person who has had to hastily shove them back on post-sex? So what do I do with said underwear, covered in all manner of joyful substances? I wash them, and I wear them again. If you get a little blood on your underwear in an underestimated-flow scenario, and heaven forbid a stain, what do you do? You wash them, and wear them again. Sex toys, you cannot tell me you only use them once and then dispose of them? Obviously there are exceptions to this theme (before anyone mentions condoms) but the fact is, there are all of these wonderful products out there that are designed to be reused, over and over, for up to 10 years. They do involve an initial investment, but think about how much your body and the environment will benefit from it. Can you not even deem it possible to give this idea ago?


Now this blog has become much longer than I ever intended, and I haven’t even scratched the surface…but I will close here, and I hope it has at least made you think about your options. If discretion is your utmost priority, there are ways of going about it that still involve reusable products. Don’t doubt yourself, you can do it! As a final farewell to my disposables, I will leave my trusty box of tampons in the bathroom at work – as I said before, I still don’t think they are a very friendly product, but nevertheless I don’t wish to just throw them away, and hopefully someone in need will be able to use them. Goodbye my lover, goodbye my friend.


If you’ve made it this far, I congratulate you for your interest. I will leave a few links below to more information on the subject, and sites to buy products from if you want to give them a go. And if you do decide to give them a go, tell people about it!! Think of it as one of the amazing hurdles you will conquer in 2017. (Incidentally if you are my boyfriend and have read this in its entirety, I salute you.)

How to use the Mooncup

Precious Stars Reusable Menstrual Products

No More Taboo

Eco Dreams

Honour Your Flow

Telegraph Article: Fluffy Vagina Blankets


Until the next divulgence of intimate details!







TMI of the Month! (Mooncup Review)

WARNING: Graphic vagina-based content. I would only read this if you’re interested in getting a Mooncup. Or are curious and not averse to period chatter.


On a daily basis I struggle to communicate everyday normalities to people. In a combative effort to force myself into sharing information, once a month(ish) I bring forth what I call my TMI of the Month. It branches into oversharing, but is always based on the things I believe should be talked about more often, in theory. So this month’s offering is a hearty review of a well-known brand of menstrual cup: the Mooncup.



Quite a long time ago I purchased one of these odd little wonders from Boots, for I think £21.99 or thereabouts. I’d noticed a poster for one on the back of a toilet door, and the idea quite appealed to me. In a terrifying and medically invasive sort of way. The whole process just sounded so much healthier for my body, and significantly less wasteful than a disposable period kit. Unboxing revealed a larger-than-anticipated silicone cup, and I immediately questioned how this would ever sit comfortably inside my body. Post-sanitisation I attempted to pop it in, using the ‘push-down’ fold. Remarkably (for my level of general dexterity), it felt absolutely fine. Getting it to pop open, I found very difficult. Removal was a tad more unnerving, as unfortunately, as you’re pulling it out all the bloody thing wants to do is pop open, which created quite a sharp pain at the point of exit. I was perturbed, and thought surely tampons/pads are just the easier option. I tried it a few more times on and off, but I never really felt 100% confident with this new-fangled system.


This weekend just passed, I decided to give it another whirl. My Mooncup and I were going to have to bond, like a full-on Ed Sheeran drunken weekend of intimacy bond. I am so sick of tampons, and the grating feeling of somehow having to shove this dry cylindrical clump of cotton into yourself upon changing. So with a tampon and pad-less weekend in store, I boiled the cup once more and gave it a solid go. The results? I am 99% sure that I am now converted.

FRIDAY (Little Elvis Day One) – Okay so the popping open thing. What I was waiting for was a quite satisfyingly timed POP once I had delicately placed the cup in its appropriate nesting area (which is quite low in the vagina, much lower than a tampon). What I got was silence, and as I felt around the base of the cup I realised that one side was still dipped inwards. Balls. I tried to wiggle it around a bit with my finger and thumb, twisting the night away in my bathroom, but it wasn’t having it.  This went on for a while, and soreness dictated my next move as I was feeling the effects of a five finger death punch. With a weakened sigh I decided to leave it in for half an hour and then try again. Whilst doing some stretches I felt what can only be described as a THUNK in my vagina. What the fuck. Initially forgetting that the cup was present, it suddenly dawned on me that this was the magical pop I had been waiting for, and I hurriedly checked to confirm this. Hurrah! All subsequent insertions have therefore been sealed with deadly vagina magic, using my muscles to kind of ‘clench’ it in place, if that makes sense. It may sound bizarre but you do what you gotta do, I’ve taken to touching my toes once I’ve popped it back in and this seems to help a lot. Signed, sealed, delivered. Let’s begin my Mooncup adventures. Some time later, as I’m walking around the house I keep feeling a little pinch. It’s pretty irritating. Back for another bathroom consultation (oh the horrors you have witnessed, bathroom walls) I discover the source of the problem – the stem is poking me. I had read about this, and learned that you are encouraged to cut the stem to fit your body. Not wanting to dispose of my lifeline before I’ve mastered the process, I cut off two rings, and found that fitted much better. Still in reachable distance, and no poking to speak of. No feeling whatsoever, really. It’s so strange, you look at it and think that it will be cumbersome and stocky, which surely can’t be pleasant in such a small area. Little confession, I looked at myself in the mirror and thought “Jeez you would not expect a whole cup to be in there.” Like it’s a Sports Direct mug.

SATURDAY (Little Elvis Day Two) – I had to be up early for work, and last night I bravely made the decision to overnight this business, and we slept together for the first time. Not a stranger to researching horror stories, I had unfortunately read many an account of menstrual cups going for a little wander into town as you sleep and becoming nigh-on impossible to remove in the morning. Obviously it can’t go missing entirely, but apparently they have a tendency to wriggle up a little further than you’re used to comfortably reaching. Safe to say I was quite anxious, and all any medical professional tells you when they’re reaching inside you is to not be anxious, as that will not help. Thankfully, when I reached up expecting a vast cavern of nothingness (well, not vast), I felt the reassuring stem in its usual place, and tugged it out. I find the best way to do this is to use the stem to get a good grip on the base of the cup, squeeze it, then sort of walk it out, a little bit at a time. I still get the slight pain as it comes out entirely but I’m getting used to it now, it’s much milder than I’d originally gauged. There is also, a bit of a squelch upon breaking the seal, which I am not a huge fan of, but I’m sure we’ve all had these moments and chosen to nervously laugh it off. What overshadows this moment is the downright fascination of your period itself. I think it’s kind of wonderful that you can actively measure how much blood you lose while you’re menstruating. It can’t be just me? I had to resist the urge to hold the cup up and offer a toast to the human body. Cheers!

Anyway, so once I had given it a good clean, it was time to go back in for a bit of a test: A 7 hour shift at work. One of the most appealing prospects of the Mooncup is that you can leave it in for these longer stints, which is so much longer than a tampon (more like 3-4 hours). As it sits so low and is simply held in place by your muscles, there’s nothing pushing bacteria up against the cervix. It’s much more organic, and doesn’t absorb any of your natural fluids. No Toxic Shock Syndrome up in this house, let me tell you. I prepared myself accordingly, for a potential change, and potential shifting. I wore a thin reusable liner as a backup just in case of any issues, and I did have the tiniest bit of leakage, like a couple of miniscule spots. So perhaps that’s something I need to work on, but it didn’t bother me at all. With regards to emptying the cup, I was faced with what is definitely one of the downsides: public toilets. The only sink I would feel comfortable washing my cup in is my own, and as such I’d taken it upon myself to bring a little ‘kit’ with me – a small bottle of water, to rinse the cup ever so slightly from where I sit, and some natural handwash to give my hands a more thorough clean and scrub afterwards. It was a bit fiddly, but the change was pretty unnecessary for me, as the cup was nowhere near full. Tampon habits just keep creeping back in. I had worn it overnight and yielded a small capacity too, so the changing frequency I find has lessened dramatically. Medical-graded silicone is thankfully a material that does not harbour bacteria, so it is perfectly fine to let it work its magic for longer than tampons or pads. Marvellous! And to those who may consider the public changing gross, admittedly it is a tad awkward, but the procedure is no more invasive than using a non-applicator tampon. You also collect five hippy points for every correct removal/insertion.

SUNDAY (Little Elvis Day Three) – Getting used to this now, almost arrogantly so. I was also a tad hungover, the kind where you are still drunkenly dizzy so my manual skills were also compromised. The temptation is to move around quite a bit to put it to the ultimate test. I don’t go swimming so I can’t offer advice on how one would fare underwater, but I did do a fair bit of stretching and pilates. Expecting issues when I bent over or squatted to pick something up, but thankfully everything stayed in place. I say everything like its a full orchestra, but I have to keep reminding myself of the simplicity of the situation. I bleed, the cup collects it all, and I flush it down the toilet. It’s not being soaked up by cotton, or sitting outside of your body on a pad for hours, its just blood being collected inside your body. How can I not approve? One of the odd feelings I did not expect was slight disappointment upon removal, when the cup is generally 1/8th full.


On reflection I think it’s because you feel like you lose so much more, the pain and ibuprofen-induced weakness seems to exacerbate the pitiful amount I actually lose each month. But as I say, with little markers on the side of the cup it is remarkably interesting to measure how much blood you lose in a whole period. I’m aware of how graphic I’m being, but if there are any gentlemen here under the impression that we bleed a blue Kool-Aid substance as is depicted on sanitary pad adverts, then I am sorry to say we do not, but wouldn’t that be canny.

MONDAY (Little Elvis Day Four) – It seems this has been the shortest period of all time, as I’m down to drops at the moment, so it is time to retire my Mooncup until its next appearance. All you do to complete the process is boil it for approximately 6 minutes (in a designated pan!) – then leave it to dry, and store it in the cute little cotton bag it comes with. It might be time to reassess the contents of my period drawer, as there are all sorts of tampon paraphernalia in there that I will probably rarely use. I do want to keep some in case a) I want something super quick and I’m not in the most sanitary environment, such as a festival, or b) if a person with a vagina is visiting my house and is in need. But overall, I hope to commit to the cup for each subsequent period. They last for years and years, so no further sanitary-wear purchases are necessary. In summary: How nice!

I would definitely recommend this product. As you saw in my adventures, there is a bonding process. I never thought I would take to it after my first go, but I persevered and now I actually feel a fondness for this new system. Initially yes, it’s quite expensive, but it is an investment. Also a cheeky way of evading the tampon tax. For my last couple of menstruating days, when there’s just a minimal amount of blood, I will probably use my trusty washable liners, or perhaps invest in the Thinx underwear. But I think the cup will be my main port of call. A couple of people have spoken to me about it after I mentioned it on a previous blog, claiming it was weird and disgusting. I understand that it’s different, and an odd idea to get used to, but I don’t really see how tampons or pads are any less intimate? You’re gonna see some blood any which way you go about it. Yes, you do have to get a little more acquainted with your vagina, but anyone who has one or has been in the vicinity of one, should be at least a bit familiar with it? If you’re not I encourage you to go out for a drink together, they are pretty cool things. With regards to cleaning, I imagine its something I will get used to and find mundane a few periods along the line. So if you’ve made it through this lengthy review, I urge you to give it a go. There are all sorts of brands, some softer cups, some in various adorable colours, some with rounded stems for minimal pokage. All you need is one, and that one will be your little mascot as your womb does its thing. How to naturally counteract the feeling of dragon claws churning up your insides however, is something I’m still working on.


Until the next TMI of the Month!



TMI of the Month! (March Edition) – P&P, or Periods and the Pill

Hello my lovelies!

It’s time for another healthy dose of Too Much Information. Today I just wanted to have a little chat about my experience on the combined oral contraceptive pill, which I’ve been taking for four years now. When I first spoke to my doctor about going on the pill, I was popping in for antibiotics to deal with a rogue water infection. He was a tad condescending and asked about my job, my hobbies, if I had a partner, how much spare income I’d say I had – and then followed up with “So how would you feel RIGHT NOW if you found out you were pregnant? Right now.” “I would feel…not great?” “Exactly.”

So after some discussion of my options, and a healthy discussion on the risk of blood clots, he put me on the combined pill known as Microgynon 30. Containing ethinylestradiol and levonorgestrel (synthetic versions of the natural sex hormones oestrogen and progesterone), this has been the basis of my pill-consuming life for a good three years.


Largely, it’s been a good experience. To break it down:


I’m not going to beat about the bush, my periods have been infinitely more manageable. They used to be routinely heavy, very painful, and a bit of a battle for a good 6 days each round, with a final lighter day to finish it off. I would struggle to keep on top of tampon changes and live in fear of “The Leak”. Thank you to all of my friends who have been there for me to check the back of my skirt for unfortunate mishaps. There’s nothing more terrifying than the strong suspicion that your period armour has failed, and the boundaries have been breached. (Once at a wedding party, Christ.) Since the pill, my first period was much lighter, still pretty painful, but noticeably different. All subsequent periods (I should start referring to these as breakthrough bleeds) settled out into a very easy-going light flow, painful every few months but generally wonderful. Hypersensitivity in pre-menstrual stages however, remains just as horrific.


I was informed that some side-effects such as weight gain may follow. I probably have gained weight in that time but I think it’s mainly down to my love of cheese, more than anything. My skin has stayed the same (always a magical combination of dry/oily/blemished), but what has definitely changed is boob size. A definite cup-up and the need to buy a whole new hoard of bras. It’s not a problem for me other than having to form a makeshift hoist with my forearms when I run up the stairs sometimes.


These have been my nemeses. I’ve always been a very anxious person, awkward and guilt-ridden. And about a year prior to starting the pill, I started having irregular panic attacks. I do not know where they came from or why they would be triggered, but they incited a vicious circle of fear, which probably encouraged them. A few months after taking the pill, I had an immense bout of them, and all I could conclude is that when I felt out of my comfort zone or was unaccustomed with my physical environment, they would come on, or even the pre-feeling of breathlessness which I sometimes found worse, as it could last for so long (or what felt like so long). Thankfully I have very understanding friends and family, and a most understanding partner. At the time he would talk me through these moments and ask me to focus on something, when my mind was concocting all sorts of worst-case scenarios. I also started to have horrendous mood swings, more than I’d ever had before. I would feel so bitter, terrified and uncooperative. I still have ‘down’ moments these days but to nowhere near the same extent – it was an incredibly poisonous feeling, as though I wanted to sabotage everything I had worked for. To this day I do not know whether to chalk my moodswings down to coincidence, or the reshuffling of my hormones.


One day I called my doctor to request another batch of pills, and I was informed that they would be switching over to “Rigevidon”, supposedly the same pill (well, containing the same ingredients), just under a different name.


The only difference I feel after levelling out on Rigevidon, is that the days of the week are printed on the back instead of the front, where you pop the pill from. How silly!


I’m not recommending the pill by any means, when it all comes down to it this is a process of filling your body with synthetic hormones and overriding your menstrual cycle. It is a most unnatural experience and there are of course, side effects. I’ve considered other options however, and decided that this is the route I want to take at this time in my life, when I don’t particularly want any children in the next few years and I hope to stay with my partner. I try to take my pill at the same time every day, and if I’ve ever ventured beyond the 12-hour window then I’ve either been immensely careful, let my partner know, or used other forms of contraception. This is not something I wish to trifle with. In essence, I’m currently happy with my contraception, but I am still very aware that this is against the natural flow of my body. But then again, the natural flow of my body may want me to produce children on a regular basis and that is simply not my cup of tea. For now I take the synthetic route. I am very grateful to live in an age where contraception is a viable and free option for me, though having debuted in 1960, it is still a project in its infancy. Do the increased risks of cervical/breast cancer, migraines, higher blood pressure, infertility, blood clotting and strokes scare me? They certainly do. The quick blood pressure test and height/weight analysis every 6 months does little to calm my nerves on that front, but its a start. I honestly don’t know where I go from here. Should I have listened to my body as it threw increased panic my way and simply reverted to condoms? What will be will be? Also a scary prospect.

So how do you address contraception, and your body’s needs? I’m interested to hear stories of other methods, and the way the body responds to them. Until next time.