I have been sitting on this information for over a year now and I truly believe now it the time to share my thoughts! It is not common for Black women to speak of feminine care in a descriptive matter and I want to be the one to break the silence. Growing up, talking about feminine hygiene was taboo. Thankfully, with all the talk and research of reproductive issues and health issues, I can educate my daughters and little sisters about the importance of asking questions about what’s going on with their bodies because for me at their age, I didn’t have a clue! I want to be able to speak freely of the importance of what we use for that time of the month and ways we can improve our overall health and hygiene.
Since the age of 14, I’ve had all sorts of experiences and incidents revolving around my menstrual cycle: heavy flows, sporadic cycles, severe cramping and migraines and much more! When I got married at 19 and shortly after became pregnant, my periods were pretty much non-existent! Nursing and shortly after a year, I’m pregnant again and again and again and honestly, I enjoyed not having a period for nearly 7 years!! But in recent years, after my last nursing phase, my periods returned with migraines and even infections! Yes! You read correctly… INFECTIONS! Even an emergency room visit and a $300 bill when I thought I lost my tampon! 🙂
My periods last for a full week and wearing disposable pads were not good for my body. My skin would break out and sometimes, even worst, infection. I’ve had enough and decided to do some research. For a few years, before I decided to try reusable products, I was interested in trying. Even before then, I wanted to make my own products. Anyway, fast forward to mid-2017, I researched products that would benefit my lifestyle. I then purchased luna cups and reusable pads. Speaking of benefits, I would like to list some of the things I was looking forward to not dealing with when I decided on my reusable products…
If you were like me and dealt with severe cramping and rashes, your disposable pads were probably to blame. Disposable pads use plastics, which block airflow to your vagina, and not surprisingly, can encourage a painful rash. Disposables also use artificial fibers, which are super-absorbent but will also absorb all the moisture in your vagina, increasing your chances of severe pain and infections. These disposables pads are made with synthetic fibers, plastics and other harsh things harmful to your body and then is bleached to give you that appearance of purity and sanitation. Can you imagine putting bleach down there?! Well, if you wear disposable pads, that’s exactly what you’re doing! Add other synthetic chemicals and artificial fragrances to the mix, and you’ve got a recipe for side effects like allergic reactions, hormone disruption, reproductive and gynecological disorders. It’s almost crazy to believe that something so small can impact you in such a huge way! We always talk about what we put in our bodies but we also need to be mindful what we use on it especially during the time when your body is releasing toxins and waste out of you.
So I know many are thinking “How in the world is it cleaner than a disposable pad if you have to touch it?” Well, my answer would be to each their own. For me, I’ve gotten over the whole “ugh” phase because I’ve changed plenty of diapers and soiled babies over the years. Plus with all of the incidents, I’m used to cleaning up after myself! But cleaning the cloth pads and menstrual cups and even staying fresh with them on is easier than you think!
If you are a visual person like myself, check out this video on cleaning your cloth pads from one of my favorite YouTubers, Glamizini (start at 10:49):
Here’s a video on how to clean your menstrual cups (Start at 2:22):
These ladies don’t use the same brand I use, but the cleaning and maintenance is practically the same.
If you have the guts to try this out, let me know and share your thoughts! But please understand, this is only for educational purposes and in no way am I trying to convince you to go green. There are so many ways feminine hygiene has improved, so do your own research!
Back to our regularly schedule posts! Last week was my 30th birthday and I just had to share the 30 things I’ve learned…but this week I am back to the 40 day Love Dare Challenge!
This week, I will recap Days 13 through 20. Now I have to admit, my Crimson friend arrived and she had my emotions all over the place! My husband caught the backend to it and I have been apologizing to him since Saturday!! But, let’s see what we SHOULD have learned this past week!
Day 13: Love fights fair
The Dare: Talk with your spouse about establishing healthy rules of engagementâ€¦.resolve to abide by them when the next disagreement occurs.
Obviously, Day 13 was a complete fail this week! I am learning to deal rationally while my Crimson friend is in town. I’ve been doing better but there is always room for improvement.
Day 14: Love takes delight
The Dare: Purposely neglect an activity you would normally do so you can spend quality time with your spouse. Do something he or she would love to do or a project theyâ€™d really like to work on. Just be together.
This is actually funny to me because after our little spat, I’ve been trying to become more delightful and graceful to my husband. I blame Eve!!
Day 15: Love is honorable
The Dare: Choose a way to honor and respect your spouse that is above your normal routineâ€¦show your spouse that he or she is highly esteemed in your eyes.
A nice foot rub can put a smile on anyone’s face and doing so without your spouse asking is both surprising and honorable (especially after a fight!) Obviously, I’ve been rubbing feet all week!!
Day 16: Love intercedes
The Dare: Begin praying today for your spouseâ€™s heart.
I pray for my husband daily..even multiple times a day. Working outside of the home can be stressful for your spouse so go before God for them, it means more than you think!
Day 17: Love promotes intimacy
The Dare: Determine to guard your mateâ€™s secrets (unless they are dangerous to them or to you) and to pray for them. Talk with your spouse and resolve to demonstrate love in spite of these issues. Really listen to them when they share personal thoughts and struggles with you.Â Make them feel safe.
Intimacy is way more than sex. Intimacy is how you guard your husband’s heart and emotions. I’ve learned that even though my husband can be thick-skinned, he longs to be heard and feel wanted. Intimacy begins with a positive morning (for you non-morning people) and throughout the day!
Day 18: Love seeks to understand
The Dare: Prepare a special dinner at home, just for the two of you. The dinner can be as nice as you prefer.Â Focus this time on getting to know your spouse better, perhaps in areas youâ€™ve rarely talked about.Â Determine to make it an enjoyable evening for you and your mate.
Everyday I learn something new about my husband. Whether we want to admit it, we change quite often. Our standards indeed remain the same, but we may go about it a different way. communicating these differences and emotions matters in a marriage. I’m still learning to include my husband in my deepest thoughts even if its not that deep to him or vice versa!
Day 19: Love is impossible
The Dare: Look back over the dares from previous days. Were there some that seemed impossible to you? Have you realized your need for God to change your heart and to give you the ability to love? Ask him to show you where you stand with him, and ask for the strength and grace to settle your eternal destination.
Day 20: Love is Jesus Christ
The Dare: Dare to take God at his word. Dare to trust Jesus Christ for salvation. Dare to pray, â€œLord Jesus, I am a sinner. But you have shown your love for me by dying to forgive my sins, and you have proven your power to save me from death by your resurrection. Lord, change my heart, and save me by your grace.â€
Wow!! Day 20 gives us the opportunity to get it right…do our first works over. Learning the source and example of true intimacy and relationship gives us all a foundation in our marriage. Have you repented for your shortcomings? As Paul states, we must die daily!
Ok people!! 20 days remain in the challenge!! Let’s do this!!
NO MORE TWENTIES!!!
I think may cry!! God has been so good to me and I am ready to see what amazing things He’ll do in the 30s!! I’ve learned so many things the past 30 years and I would like to list…
30 things I’ve learned in 30 years in good humor! ENJOY!!!