Sanitary Items to suit you | Mildura Intimate Photography
With well over 60% of Australia (and the Worlds) population, sanitary items are a big ticket item that impacts women socially, financially, mentally and physically EVERY month!
Up until last year, Australian women were taxed on these products as a Luxury Tax!!! Can you believe that!? We were charged extra on buying necessary items, because it was deemed a luxury by the Government!!!!
Mass marketing will tell us that the only options available to women to use each month for their menstrual cycle are Sanitary Pads or Tampons, BUT did you know that there is a whole new world out there of options?
Let's explore some options......A girl has to have options! Am I right???
Traditional Sanitary Products - Pads & Tampons
My journey into "womanhood" began through scrolling through my friend's older sisters copies of Dolly, where we would cut out and fill in all of the free product samples, and send them off. We sent off to all the brands of pads and tampons. To say we were well stocked up when we did eventually begin menstruating is an understatement!
Back in those days, we only had the options given us of pads and tampons - so really, we needed to decide what we preferred, which brand, with an applicator or not, and what suited our lifestyle at the time.
Sanitary Pads come in all shapes and forms - wings, no wings, ultra thin, maxi, maternity, overnight - the list goes on!
Many women don't like the feeling of "leaking", or the impact of not being able to go swimming, or the general bulkiness (well not so much any more - trust me, they were pretty bulky back when I was a teenager!) But much has changed nowadays, but obviously the swimming is still an issue!
Many pads now shape to your body (so you no longer feel like you are walking with a baguette between your legs), have odour neutralisers (whatever that is!), are ultra thin but have maximum absorbancy, and stick to your underwear (with the wraparound wings) to hold it in place. My how times have changed! Pads obviously need to be changed regularly, and the size or absorbancy level of the pad will depend on your cycle flow and the corresponding day (ie: Day 1 is obviously usually the heaviest, with Day 4-5 being the lightest)
Tampons are obviously worn internally within the vaginal cavity, and absorbs the blood whilst the vaginal muscles hold the tampon in place. The tampon expands as it absorbs, and must be changed throughout the day. Different sized tampons are available, dependent on your flow, with a heavier flow perhaps requiring a larger sized tampon for your earlier days, and then changing down to a smaller sized tampon for your lighter days.
Keep in mind that tampons will also absorb the vagina's natural lubrication and bacteria, which can change the normal pH, increasing the risk of infections from the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus), which can lead to toxic shock syndrome (TSS). TSS is a rare, but life-threatening infection that requires immediate medical attention.
Tampon design varies between companies and across product lines in order to offer a variety of applicators, materials and absorbencies. There are two main categories of tampons based on the way of insertion - digital tampons inserted by finger, and applicator tampons. Tampon applicators may be made of plastic or cardboard, and are similar in design to a syringe. The applicator consists of two tubes, an "outer", or barrel, and "inner", or plunger. The outer tube has a smooth surface to aid insertion and sometimes comes with a rounded end that is petalled.
Differences exist in the way tampons expand when in use: applicator tampons generally expand axially (increase in length), while digital tampons will expand radially (increase in diameter). Most tampons have a cord or string for removal. The majority of tampons sold are made of rayon, or a blend of rayon and cotton. Organic cotton tampons are made from only 100% cotton. Tampons may also come in scented or unscented varieties.
A menstrual cup is a feminine hygiene device which is inserted into the vagina during menstruation. They come in many shapes and sizes, so obviously, it can be difficult to find the right fit (clearly, there is a no-returns policy or a "Try before you buy" option).
Its purpose is to collect menstrual fluid and prevent its leaking onto clothes. Menstrual cups are usually made of flexible medical grade silicone, latex, or a thermoplastic isomer. They are shaped like a bell with a stem. The stem is used for insertion and removal. The bell-shaped cup seals against the vaginal wall just below the cervix. Every 4–12 hours, the cup is removed, emptied, rinsed, and reinserted.
Some people love these scientific feats of ingenuity, but others just can't get used to them. Speaking from my experience, I was very keen to try a cup. The prospect of limiting that waste of tampons or pads each month was big in my books, as was the fact that I was spending so much money each month on tampons - it seemed very excessive. So, I happily paid $45 for a cup, not knowing what shape or size my cervix was, but having a bit of a guess. I knew that a menstrual cup, once inserted correctly, would not be felt, would stay in place and allow me to continue living my life as per any normal day (because I was doing that anyway????). I must admit, the first few months were a breeze, but then I had a few months where the cup was just uncomfortable and awkward, and I found insertion and removal difficult and a bit of a battle. I admitted defeat, and my cup has sat alone and solitary in its lovely little satin bag in my bathroom cupboard since.
Thankfully, there is so much information available now for menstrual cups, and how to find the best fit and cup for you, which will definitely make it easier to work out your cervix shape and size and purchase the best cup for you.
Head on over to https://www.menstrualcupsaustraliaonline.com.au/menstrual-cups-australia/ for advice on finding the best cup for your needs.
Prior to first use, and after each period, the cup requires cleaning - usually by placing in gently boiling water for 5-7 minutes.
Period Underwear - can we all come up with a better name than this? I know, I get it - it's basically telling us exactly what it is, but Geeesh!
Aside from the name, this is my jam! Great for the environment, resusable, no requirement for any other products to be used with them, underwear ranging in styles, sizes, lacey numbers, patterned knickers or plain or bright colours!
This underwear is seriously comfortable and oh so easy to use!
There are many brands available, but my favorite is definitely Modibodi - 100% Australian owned and designed, I first tried a pair not long after they first launched. Periods, Incontinence, Sweat, Pregnancy - Period proof, Leak proof, comfortable, and sustainable. I love these knickers! They are 3mm thick and have a top, middle and bottom layer.
The top layer is a soft bamboo that wicks away moisture, fights bacteria and stops smells. The middle layer is made of Merino Wool, that absorbs fluid and locks it away, and the bottom layer gives waterproof protection, ensuring any moisture and liquid is securely staying where it is.
They offer options of moisture wicking only (exercise friendly - for sweat) through to heavy/overnight or maximum protection for 24 hours. Size 4 to 20, Maternity, Curvy, Vegan, Swimwear and Activewear are all available.
But how do they work?
Well, let me tell you how simple they are! You've got your period - you put on your underwear (I don my heavy pair & then get dressed in my clothes). I do all the stuff that I normally do - whether I am menstruating or not! - at the end of the day, I remove my knickers & then I rinse them thoroughly in the laundry sink. (You can rinse them in the shower if you prefer!) I place them in a wash bag to wash in my next load of washing. I then put on a fresh pair of my heavy/overnight knickers ready for bed! And repeat....only interchanging with a moderate/heavy and then a light/moderate pair for the last few days of my cycle.
Modibodi sell packs and offer discounts too when purchasing 5, 7 or 10 pairs at once. They also offer a 10% discount off your first purchase if you use the code EMPOWER at checkout. You can find them at: www.modibodi.com/?msclkid=21a45162d39f1e7aa1980ee857e53e3f&gclid=CLqLt-H1uuwCFV0vjgodf1sDXQ&gclsrc=ds
Of course, there are plenty of other brands out there now, but I like keeping my money in Australia.
So I hope this has helped a few of you in possibly changing things up to a more environmentally and cost efficient way of menstruating.
Here you will find my featured babes, #wearepurebeauty , as well as some tips for your boudoir shoot- from lingerie shopping to hair and makeup
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Mildura resident and Photographer, Lauren Southwell launched Pure Beauty in late June, 2018 & is committed to helping woman feel beautiful, sexy and empowered through the art of Boudoir Photography.