It was back in 1999 when, for the first time, I got my period.
I remember it was January or maybe February, and it was a Sunday. I also remember that I had to go to the jubilee organized by the ACR, it seems to me it was in the diocese of Padua, if I remember correctly.
I woke up early, and I know that I got up feeling wet, I go to the bathroom and I start crying so much that I wake up my parents too, who rushed to the bathroom to understand what was happening. I was agitated, I was shaking, I didn't understand what all that blood was, after all I was just eleven. Mom tried to calm me down and Dad ran to make me a cup of tea, it took me a while but then I regained control and clarity.
My mom, with her angelic kindness, began to explain to me what was happening to me and that I had become a "young lady", over and over again she told me that it was a very normal thing and that in a few days everything would be gone.
He stuffs my backpack with pads, explaining how I should put them on, he has prepared black pants and a sweater that covered my backside to try to make me feel more at ease. But the feeling was very strange !! I felt awkward, and every time I sat down it seemed to me that others felt that I had a tampon!
I spent a day immersed in anxiety, worried because I could not find a bathroom and I was too ashamed to ask my girlfriends to accompany me. The result? Obviously I had gone through everything !!
I have always experienced the period of menstruation badly, except between 16 and 22 when I took the pill and from 10 days of flow, of which 7 super abundant I had passed to 4 days, menstrual pain almost non-existent, in short, everything was wonderful !!
Then I discovered that I had a blood problem and consequently I had to stop the pill, from there the ordeal of very long, painful menstruation began again with a very abundant flow full of clots, which I often could not manage !!
I talked to several professionals and I received the same answer from all of them, my cycle is that and I had to learn to manage it and live with it ... but how nice !!
However, I shudder when I think about how many disposable pads I have used !! How much I have helped to pollute our beloved Planet !! When I think about it my heart cries !! If only I had documented myself earlier, if only I had asked myself some questions before ... but now the past is past, we live the present with an eye to the future!
Washable pads, menstrual cups, natural tampons, absorbent panties ... there is a vastness of choice that is much more sustainable than in the past.
I switched to washable pads about 4 years ago, they surprised me right away as the absorbency turned out to be crazy! Comparing a disposable night with a washable night the absorbency was double! For me it was a crazy achievement! It gave me a freedom that I had been missing for a long time, plus they gave me a dry and clean feeling that, I swear, I didn't think !!
A few months ago I started using the cup , but why didn't I do it before?!?!?!? !!?!?!?!
Comfortable, I don't even feel it, unlike tampons which also triggered an allergic reaction in me!
In moments of greater flow, to feel safer, I accompany the cup to a washable day pad. I do this to feel safer, but soon, I know, I will delete it because I have noticed that I can manage it well and I have no accidental leaks.
The first time I used the cup it was tragi-comic and I'll tell you about it.
I took it out of the box and sterilized it by boiling it in water. Then it was time to insert it and I said to myself "do I have to put all this stuff in?"
Ok let's try !
Deep breath eeee up! Gone immediately !! I had the pigtail that bothered me but that can be cut later. I spend the night and everything is ok. The time comes to take it off eeee ... PANIC !!!! I worked on it for about 30 minutes, shaking and getting nervous, and this led to a stiffening of the muscles and I also hurt myself .
And then I said to myself "I'll leave it alone, I'll wait a little longer".
In the meantime my husband comes home from work and I explain everything to him, his answer was "I'll take you to the hospital!"
"what !!! are you crazy?!? but it doesn't exist !!"
"So what are you going to do?"
"Not SOOO !!!"
"Listen, lock yourself in the bathroom, relax and you'll see that you can"
Discouraged I go to the bathroom, take deep breaths, sit on the bidet and, POP, go out!
"that's all!?!? I mean, I did everything I'm messed up for nothing? Was it really that simple?" And I started laughing alone !
After having emptied and rinsed it, I inserted it again, even if a little hesitant, but when it was emptied, everything went as smooth as oil, super simple!
Being switched to the cup was the best choice I could have made! Not feeling all that "coming down" every time I got up gave me infinite freedom! And then the cup has a duration of 10 years !! And spend less than € 16 every 10 years well ... that's a lot of stuff !!!
Unfortunately the menstrual cup is not suitable for everyone, but don't worry !! However, there are other more sustainable choices than the classic disposable pads!
Washable sanitary towels and briefs with absorbent incorporated which have a life cycle of 5 years, if used and washed in the correct way, it is always a great economic saving if seen over time !!
Personally with 2 panty liners , 6 day pads, 2 night pads, I have always managed to manage my cycle of 10 days, super abundant! So all this translates into less than € 65 for 5 years! Washable pads, like underpants, dry very quickly, and it's not to be underestimated! They are also great for post pregnancy!
Before moving on to this more sustainable choice, I used an entire pack of disposable night pads and a whole double pack of disposable day pads, in the long version, and half packs of the disposable day pads. Doing the math each month I spent about € 16 multiplied by 12 months = € 192 per year.
If we multiply it by the duration of a washable sanitary napkin in 5 years, we spend € 960 on sanitary pads !!! That is almost 1000 (one thousand) euros !! (these calculations were made based on my personal experience, and adapted to my cycle)
But rather I'm going to take a vacation !
So, enough, I hope I made you laugh with my misadventure.
If you feel like waiting for you in the comments, it would be nice to be able to have an exchange of ideas, emotions and feelings about living this topic that is still a bit too taboo.
A warm greeting