A slew of en­vi­ron­men­tally-friendly fem­i­nine hy­giene prod­ucts have been mak­ing waves of late. But do they work? Emma Markezic takes some in­ter­est­ing op­tions for a prover­bial spin

Sunday Herald Sun - Body and Soul - - WELLBEING -

Most women have about 450 men­strual cy­cles in their life­time. And as far as their prac­ti­cal, bi­o­log­i­cal use goes, we might as well utilise maybe two or three of those. So what to do with those other 447-odd in­con­ve­nient em­a­na­tions?

Deal­ing with men­stru­a­tion in 2016 is a largely bi­nary de­ci­sion. The op­tions even look like a 0 and a 1. But it hasn’t al­ways been that way. Over the years, women have utilised wool, pa­per, grass, moss and even an­i­mal skin in or­der to ebb the flow. These days, of course, it’s all very easy. Your lo­cal su­per­mar­ket stocks neatly wrapped, op­tic white, com­pletely dis­pos­able pads and tam­pons for your pur­chas­ing ex­pe­di­ency.

What you might be sur­prised to learn is there’s more than the stan­dard one-two punch. A lot more. And lady folk the world over are preach­ing the praises of al­ter­na­tive san­i­tary prod­ucts. Why? Put sim­ply, they’re bet­ter for the hu­man body and bet­ter for the en­vi­ron­ment. Most con­ven­tional prod­ucts are a melange of cot­ton, rayon, plas­tic, bleach and a few other chem­i­cals thrown in. Bil­lions of these end up in land­fill ev­ery year. Bil­lions. Which I have to ad­mit was the only thing that re­ally piqued my at­ten­tion on this is­sue. Up un­til now I’ve al­ways been quite happy with my su­per­mar­ket spe­cial, thank you muchly. Even know­ing I’ll spend an av­er­age of $18K on them in my life­time.

That said, I’m not a fan of the fact this move­ment is called “green men­stru­a­tion”. I think we should abol­ish the colour as­so­ci­a­tions and just call it “try­ing to keep both my re­pro­duc­tive sys­tem and the planet healthy”. Not as catchy, I grant you, but who wants the word catchy as­so­ci­ated with their vagina any­way? While I tried each of the fol­low­ing with more trep­i­da­tion than a thirsty meerkat ap­proach­ing a wa­ter­ing hole, try them I did. And it wasn’t any­where near as detestable as I ex­pected.

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