Content Last Updated on April 9, 2021
Despite nearly 800 million of us menstruating daily across the globe, periods still remain a taboo across many sectors of our society – leaving them shrouded in myth and rumours. 2 in 5 young people (ages 13–17) have experienced being teased or shamed about periods, and 85% have tried to hide the fact they’re on their period from those around them*. Periods are a natural occurrence, essential to our existence – so why in the 21st Century is this still the case?
In a time where more and more people are struggling to get access to period care (as many as 1 in 5 in the UK have struggled to get period products during COVID-19), we’re passionate about putting a stop to these societal blushes and ensuring periods are spoken about as freely as they flow.
1. You can’t swim or exercise when on your period
1 in 3 of us avoid sports when we’re bleeding, but the endorphins released by exercise actually help to relieve cramps. They might not look it upon first meeting, but period cups are actually perfect for exercise and especially swimming – most can be kept in for up to 12 hours, and their flexible silicon structure easily moulds to the shape of your movements. Our period cup is made from medical-grade silicon and designed with a smooth circular stem that doesn’t need to be trimmed like other brands on the market, which makes it super comfortable to wear. We were thrilled when even some professional rock climbers told us how practical they find the Grace & Green cup!
2. You should avoid sex when on your period
We understand it’s not for everyone, but there’s nothing unhygienic about having sex while on your period. It’s worth knowing that there’s a slightly increased risk of contracting or spreading STIs when you’re bleeding – your pH levels will be more alkaline than usual, meaning less acidity to ward off pesky bacteria. Your usually closed cervix will also be slightly open, allowing the tissue and blood from your uterus lining to pass through, and meaning unwanted bacteria can pass up. Using a condom will reduce this risk, and is also a good way to keep things a little tidier… because when it comes to mess, we’ll put our hands up and admit that it can be unavoidable. Try laying down a towel or sticking to being on top to save your bedding, and remember that mess doesn’t mean unhygienic.
We love Emma Barnett’s book, Periods, for some hilarious and refreshingly relatable accounts of when period sex gets messy.
3. You can’t get pregnant when on your period
False! Sperm can live inside you for 5-7 days after you’ve had sex. Whilst it’s less likely, if you ovulate during this time you could absolutely get pregnant – so using your period as a reason to lapse on contraception is risky business.
4. A tampon is just a piece of cotton on a string
Conventional period products contain more than you think. Pads are estimated to contain up to a shocking 90% plastic. The rest is made from wood pulp, usually from the Eucalyptus tree. Traditionally grown in Australia, it’s now often sourced from Brazil where its intense production is heavily contributing to deforestation. Even conventional tampons contain rayon, a polluting fiber also made from wood pulp, and more often than not the string is made from plastic. Brands like Grace & Green are challenging the industry status quo – our tampons are 100% certified organic cotton, right down to the string, and all of our products are 100% plastic-free – you can take a further look here.
5. An itchy vagina is a cause for concern
We hear you, it’s a pain – but most vaginal itching is a result of irritation rather than a reason to rush to your GP. Think of all the potentially irritating substances you may have put near your vagina recently – soaps, perfumes, laundry detergents, toilet paper. Conventional tampons are packed full of irritants such as toxins, chemicals, dyes, synthetic fibres and fragrances – none of which need to be near your vagina, and one of the reasons why we’ve made ours as simple and natural as they can be.
With the amount of misleading information and advice on periods out there, perhaps it’s no wonder they remain a function so many of us feel the need to hide. At Grace & Green, our ethos is one of transparency and truth in all we do and stand for, and we’ve always sought to challenge the practices of an unregulated industry that’s damaging both our bodies and planet. It’s been so motivating to see alternative period care options like ours thrive, as more and more seek to open the conversation – if you’re interested in joining us and taking charge of your body and impact, we’d love to offer you 25% off with the discount code UPLIFT.