Every month more than half the world’s population experiences the cycle of ovulation which is a natural reproductive process, yet practices and information surrounding this are not widely available and it is often frowned upon to speak about it.
Women on a mission to break the stigma tied to ovulation and impart their wisdom about maintaining a healthy moon cycle gathered together at 196 Victoria in Woodstock on Saturday July 15 to expose the many methods and remedies one could use during their menstrual period.
Organisers Rona Mirimi and Women’s health and pregnancy consultant Dr Gauri Lowe introduced woman to an array of “green” sanitary products available as alternatives to tampons and pads which are not environmentally friendly.
From the Iris and moon cup to sea sponges and re-usable pads, many options were on display for various menstrual needs. The Iris cup, which is a silicone cup, functions similar to the moon cup, which is twisted and used during menstruation and lasts up to 10 years. This saves a lot of money and reduces sanitary waste.
Some women, like Dr Lowe, who did not enjoy using the cup, preferred sponges which are actual cleaned sea sponges and can be used and rinsed a couple of times before being discarded. Washable material pads made out of organic material are also green options.
“This workshop is the first in South Africa about fertility awareness and I thought it would be great to spread knowledge about that. We are far behind compared to other countries, you can find menstrual cups in supermarkets in other countries. The pads and tampons contain chemicals and plastics which are not good for the body.
“On TV when they sell pads they always use a blue liquid, why not red when our blood is red? I learned about fertility awareness overseas, here some girls are not going to school because of how society treats women when they’re having their menstruation,” said Ms Mirimi.
She said that what one uses can create internal problems such as excessive bleeding or hormonal imbalance and this may simply be addressed by changing what you use.
“You see so many questions on Facebook about the menstrual cycle. Sometimes you go to your gynaecologist and she writes a prescription, but you’re not told much. It is so easy to check yourself and there is so much we don’t know,” said Ms Mirimi.
Products used during menstruation can be determined according to the height of one’s cervix which changes during menstruation. Other elements to keeping a healthy mooncycle includes exercise, which can be done using a yoni egg.
The egg shape precious stone is used to strengthen the pelvic floor and release tension in the pelvic area. The method of exercise has been around for more than 50 years and can be used to tone muscles after childbirth and to assist with prolapse.
Dr Lowe mentioned that changing the way menstruation is perceived starts with talking about what menstruation actually is, as many women refrain from talking about this process. She said that change starts with mothers, as education should be from mothers to daughters and sons.