It was about 3 years ago I when I first made the decision to try a different period product when my time of the month arrived. I’d heard about period pants and mooncups for a while and was both curious and shocked at the same time! The more I looked into each of these types of period protections though, the more drawn to period pants I became. So it was with this in mind that I tried WUKA Wear for the first time.
I’ve written about my experiences with them previously so I’ll link both these posts and you can read them first if you like. My first post was about trying WUKA Wear for the first time, and my second post was about WUKA Wear one year on.
I thought an update was due – especially as I’m beginning to become more in touch with my flow, learning more about mindful menstruation and how by stepping away from the traditional forms of period protections, I’ve learnt to become more mindful about the cyclical changes happening in my body and how I’m in touch with what my mind (i.e. mental health) and body needs during these times. As well as being mindful of when I start my cycle and how it affects me differently through each of these ‘seasons’.
Understanding My Cycle
One of the biggest helpers I found in starting to understand my cycle was to finally make use of the in-built period tracker I had on my phone. My cycle had been all over the place for as long as I can remember, the only time it had any kind of regularity to it was when I briefly went on the pill when I was 16. I wasn’t on it for long but it changed my cycle and now it’s only ever 4 days long, quite light with only 1 or 2 heavy days, with barely any side effects or pain. (Apart from last month when I’m certain I felt ovulation pain! The worst!)
I feel very lucky that whenever my period arrives, I sometimes even barely notice it since making the switch to period pants. I’ve also noticed that I am also becoming more mindful of the energy and mood patterns I experience during the different stages of my cycle. I can also predict when I'm due on without needing to check my period tracker. (It’s usually right within 1-2 days)
We all know we need extra care, time and tenderness during menstruation. This varies from person to person, but I find that exercise, food and gin are all the comforts I gravitate towards during my period.
Without sounding too much like the hippies I instantly thought of when I first started reading about period pants and mooncups, these products actually benefit you when it comes to becoming more mindful towards your period. With period pants (for me anyway), there is nothing in the way in between the uterus shedding its lining and the outside world (as it were!). The blood can freely come out, with nothing interfering with it.
And I believe, because of this, that over time, my body has become used to not having something artificial with dangerous risks associated with it – Toxic Shock Syndrome anyone? - stuffed up inside of its most delicate region!
Practising Mindful Menstruation
To practise mindful menstruation, one first has to become more in tune with how their body feels during each particular ‘season’ or cyclical phase. For example during the ovulatory phase, one’s body may increase the production of estrogen and progesterone – which may lead to them having higher sex drives and be more social. Conversely, during the bleeding phase, the uterine lining sheds meaning their bodies may be craving rest and recovery.
I definitely feel this difference and switching to reusable period products has helped massively with this. Taking a more holistic approach to my period in general – seeing it as a resetting of sorts and not being icked out by it. With period pants and mooncups you’re getting more up close and personal with actual period blood which may seem at odds with all the blue gel we’ve grown up seeing in the adverts!
We should never forget how powerful we are – our periods allow us the chance to become more in tune with our bodies than ever before, which makes us powerful AF due to all the mis-information we’ve been given over the years from badly taught period chats at school, to those blue gel sanitary pad adverts.
Stepping away from all of that, leaving all the stigma and ickiness behind leaves us with power and knowledge. Allowing yourself to fully embrace mindful menstruation and get in touch with your flow, becoming more aware of how your body changes during each stage of your cycle (or season) allows you to make the necessary changes to your work and social schedule.
For example during the first stage you may want to plan social events and seeing friends as this is the time when your energy levels spike. Learning this new way of scheduling may even help you to take better care of your mental and physical health and also help you to avoid burnout.
My Thoughts On Mindful Menstruation
Prior to making the switch to period pants I hadn’t really heard of mindful menstruation or really understood my flow. But now I can quite confidentially say that I can predict when my period has or will arrive, have a relatively pleasant experience during the menstruation phase and also know, with certainty when it has finished.
It’s a freeing feeling to be able to be more mindful and understanding about my flow. Because of the fact my flow changed since being on the pill, my period almost comes and goes without me even really knowing about it! I can just put on a pair of my period pants and continue with my day.
I have noticed though, that the last two times I’ve had my period, I’ve been caught out by it coming 1 or 2 days earlier than is predicted! As annoying as this is, my first day is relatively light so can ‘get away’ with not using any protection until I get home. Although I’m now going to start carrying a pair of my period pants in my work bag now so at least I have something with me should I get caught out again!
The bodily changes which happen during ovulation and in between menstruation cycles are now more obvious to me because I’ve allowed my body to be free from artificial products which disrupt this most natural of bodily functions.
It may sound weird that I essentially ‘free-bleed’ into a pair of pants, but I honestly believe this is why I’m becoming more mindful about menstruation and my flow in general. I’m freer to listen to my body and understand the symptoms it’s giving me and taking action, depending on which stage I’m at in my cycle.
Because we menstruate every month, the longer I’ve been using period pants, the more and more opportunities I have to pick up on these subtle signals and the more time I’m given to properly prepare each month. I gain more knowledge about the certain type of activities I should be doing and that I should give myself more grace when I know I’ll be feeling a little more fragile than perhaps I would be at ovulation for example.
Using The Right Protection
Like I said, I’ve been using period pants for the last 3 years and have found they’ve made getting through my periods a breeze. I can pull on a pair in the morning and go about my day without having to worry.
They’ve made my ‘time of the month’ an absolute breeze and every time I wear them I always wish I’d made the switch earlier to be honest, but I guess we can only go forward from here and vow to encourage other people to also make the switch to alternative and more eco-friendly period products.
I genuinely believe though that by not using irritating pads or drying and possibly toxic tampons, my body is freer to menstruate more naturally and over time my cycle has found its natural rhythm. I’ve finally found my flow and am free to practise mindful menstruation – really understanding how my body works each month and working with it, instead of against it.
To sum up, I’d say that I absolutely love period pants as my form of period protection, they allow me to get on with my day without worrying about when I next need to change an irritating and drying tampon.
And because of this, my flow is freer and I am much more in tune with my body and menstruation than ever before. I’m happy to be able to have found and be practising mindful menstruation and to have finally found my flow.
I’m committed to making the change and becoming even more eco-friendly with my period as well as encouraging others to also try alternative forms of period protection.
Perhaps I’ve convinced you to give period pants a go?