by Juliet Rogers
Coming on; AF / Aunt Flo; Shark Week; Having your garage painted; It’s flooding down south; Time of the month (I had fun googling this lot!) – all familiar names or terms we use to hide away the fact we’re having our menstrual cycle. It’s a bit sad, don’t you think, that what is a natural part of every female’s life is a dirty word?
I’m not going to beat about the bush (sorry!) so this article might get a bit graphic for some of you (although, we’ve all had babies so your squeamish tolerances must be reasonably high by now!).
So, what are your options for coping during this time of the month?
- Pads (with and without wings) in all manner of thicknesses; and
- Tampons (with applicators or those ones without that involve you giving yourself an undesired finger).
There is also another option, one which some of you may have heard of or perhaps even use?? The menstrual cup.
Did you know that the first menstrual cup was patented in 1932?
Look, I know what you’re going to say; you’re worried about it leaking, it’s a gross idea, how do you clean it and empty it etc. Now, let’s be honest, the whole ‘having a period’ thing is pretty gross in itself and tampons aren’t immune to leakage either but let’s see if I can dampen some of your fears with my review of the menstrual cup I use – the JuJu cup.
I probably had the same fears and concerns mentioned above before I bought my cup. I did feel, though, that I wanted to try something different to tampons and pads. Seriously, periods are just a pain in the vee-jay (sorry!) and such a stuffing inconvenience (despite the adverts saying otherwise, no I don’t want to go swimming, no I don’t want to go running in camel-foot inducing leggings and no I don’t want to go horse riding when I have my period – all I want to do is eat chocolate and drink wine….more so than usual anyway). I’d also regularly experienced rubbing and soreness from the ‘mouse’s tails’!
This, combined with my general desire to be environmentally friendly and an unwillingness to want to keep paying the ridiculous prices for my favourite tampon brand, strengthened my interest in giving the JuJu cup a go.
Did you know that the Australian Government currently taxes pads and tampons at 10% as they are deemed non-essentials?!!
When my cup arrived I was impressed by the packaging – recycled cardboard and the box doubles as an info sheet – and the small satin pouch you can store it in. The instructions are clear in how to use it as well as how to clean it daily during your cycle and at the end of your period.
I didn’t find learning how to insert it too problematic. It probably takes the same practice as using a tampon (except if you don’t get it quite right it doesn’t mean you have to throw it away and start again). I recommend trying it in the shower first, pop it in and then march on the spot to make sure it’s not uncomfortable. After a couple of tries I knew when it just didn’t feel ‘right’ and it pinched a bit if it wasn’t in the correct spot. Once I got the knack, I hardly knew it was there.
I initially was concerned about it leaking and often checked it. That really wasn’t necessary and I soon found I could keep it in far longer than I could ever with a tampon. Cleaning it is fine at home – emptying into the loo or by using toilet paper followed by washing in the sink. I’ve never had to empty it whilst out – but if I was in that situation, and unable to get to a sink, I’d empty it into the loo, clean it with toilet paper or a wipe and then it’s fine to put back it. At the end of my period I then sterilise it by popping it in a nifty case then zapping in the microwave before storing again in the pouch. I’ve recently bought a cleaning wash but haven’t tried it yet.
After nearly a year of using the cup I can honestly say my life during each of those 5-7 days a month is a whole lot better and easier! I don’t have to empty or clean the cup when I’m out, I can’t feel it at all and I can even play netball with it in (ok, I could still play netball with a tampon but you get the idea)!
I still wear thin pads, not because it’s ever leaked – I’m just a bit of a worry wart so it’s a personal security measure – but I did so with tampons too, so I’ve not been able to completely embrace being environmentally friendly. I’ve seen that JuJu has a line of reusable pads too so maybe that’s the next thing to try? Or I could make even some?!
Why not give it a go yourself?
Here are some more benefits of the JuJu cup:
- It can be worn for twice as long as you would normally wear a pad or tampon and can be worn for up to 12 hours.
- It can be worn before you start your period so you won’t be caught off-guard.
- It is easy to clean and disinfect.
- It has no strings, no wings and no leaks thus making it perfect for women with an active lifestyle who enjoy sports such as running, swimming and yoga.
- It does not contain any harmful substances such as chlorine (used for bleaching some tampons and pads) or fragrances.
- It is hypoallergenic – suitable for women with sensitive skin, dermatitis or allergies.
- It does not contain any absorption agents and hence will not cause vaginal dryness.
- It can be worn by women with a retroverted uterus and heavy menstrual flow.
Cost and Convenience Benefit
- With proper care a JuJu will last many years.
- No more running out of or having to stock up on tampons and pads.
- JuJu is great for women who travel as it is easy to pack and you don’t have to worry about availability or where you will dispose of the waste.
- By switching to JuJu a woman will save our waterways and landfills from the disposal of an estimated 10,000 feminine hygiene products over her lifetime.
Why choose JuJu?
The key points of difference between JuJu and other cups on the market are;
- Quality: JuJu is manufactured from a high quality medical-grade silicone. JuJu is hypoallergenic and free from additives such as dyes used for colouring. Many other cups on the market are made from TPE, latex or non-medical grade silicone. The silicone we use carries independent certificates of compliance for biocompatibility and toxicity and we manufacture in a ‘clean-room’ environment to strict International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standards so you can be sure you will be buying a quality product.
- Regulatory requirements: JuJu is registered with the Therapeutic Goods Administration of Australia (TGA), ensuring our cup meet quality standards set out by the Australian government.
- Australian made and owned: JuJu is the only Australian made menstrual cup. We have chosen to manufacture JuJu in Australia as opposed to cheaper off shore alternatives to ensure a high level of quality and to support Australian jobs.
- Environmentally friendly: JuJu cares about the environment. Our packaging is made from recycled, carbon neutral paper and we use low-impact silicone moulding methods.
- Ergonomic design: JuJu was designed in consultation with leading ergonomists and gynaecologists to ensure it is comfortable and easy to clean.
- Award winning product: 2013 Green Lifestyle Magazines Wellbeing Product of the Year, 2014 Telstra Business Awards Finalist, 2014 Eco Parents Australia Product of the year Award.
For further information check out www.juju.com.au including more FAQs relating to the cups and their use.
Our amazing friends at JuJu have given us 3 cups for a competition – how awesome is that??! If you’d like to win one simply tell us the funniest term or name you’ve heard used for having a period. Your answer will not be published. Get your entry in (1 per person) by midnight on Friday 25th November – we’ll then pick 3 lucky winners! Good luck!