THAT T.O.M.

That Time of the Month. Aunt Flow. Monsteration.
Unhinged Mental Week.

 

Whatever you call it- it sucks, and even more so on the road. Here’s the girls guide to having your period while traveling.

Brandy says: Fair warning, I can be rather blunt, and disgusting in these matters. If you’re easily offended by phrases like “The Crimson Wave” or by mocking the temporary psychosis that overtakes us, move along. If you’re a boy and you snuck on this page, you better turn around right now- I’m warning you- it’s not pretty.

 

 

Backpacking as a Woman

do not bring a chandelier’s worth of tampons
photo: shelley brunt

Let’s Tackle Tampons

Ladies, you do not need to pack 12 month’s worth of tampons when you are traveling abroad for a year. Unless you are brand specific, you will be able to find tampons in capital cities, and most major towns worldwide.A week before the crimson tide — right about the time you crave salty foods and want to stab people for no reason– pick up a box of tamps and maybe some kleenex in case it’s an emotional one.

Heads Up: Most tampons worldwide aren’t going to have applicators. Yes, you’re going to have to put your fingers in your lady business. Make sure you wash your hands (or use wet wipes) before and after going to the restroom.

Bonus: tampons are excellent in case of extreme nosebleeds.

 

 

Pads. Gross.

We all hate them. At home, I am absolutely opposed to using them for so many reasons. So why do I keep a host of them tucked throughout my backpack? Because they are life savers!

When your tampon fails you (because you went too long without a change, because you’re being turned inside out, because Mother Nature is playing a cruel joke on you) who has got your back? Pad. Pad has your back(side). Do you want to wake up in the morning and find your bed looks like a crime scene? No, you don’t. So strap one on, and feel relief. Pads are also handy for overnight journeys- strip that bad boy off and feel 18.2% fresher.

 

Having a period while traveling

Not a shot glass, a menstrual cup!

The Great Menstrual Cup Debate

The Moon Cup. The Diva Cup. The Keeper. The medical grade silicone cup that is inserted into your hoo-haa, serving as a plastic receptacle for.. well, blood. Ugh!  Below is a transcription of a real-life-verbal-battle between myself and long-time-traveler Tiffany covering all the pros and cons of the menstrual cup.

The background: Tiffany owns the Moon Cup, and loves it to pieces.  Brandy tried the Diva Cup in 2006, and wanted to die immediately after. There was perhaps some drinking going on, so don’t expect cohesive thought.

 

Click For Menstrual Cup Debate

Tiffany says: It revolutionized my life. I almost cried the other day because I thought I lost it. It is that valuable for me on the road.

Brandy says: It’s awful! It was uncomfortable and I got creeped out at the thought of knowing my blood was sitting up there…just hanging out. *full body shiver*

Tiffany says: How is that any different than a tampon?  Just like you can feel a tampon when you first start using it, you also feel the moon cup; it takes some getting used to. Plus, it’s Earth friendly. (Aah, she knows my weaknesses- well played, Tiffany)You can swim, you can move. You can use it with regular periods and you can use it all day. Heavy periods will always be contained. You don’t have to worry about it on overnight bus rides.

Brandy says: I felt like I had a water bottle inserted! Plus, I had to take it out, and it really hurt- I was going fishing up there. No, I hate it.

Tiffany says: How long did you leave it in?

Brandy says: um…about 45 minutes, then I threw it away.

Tiffany goes on to explain the mechanics of why 45 minutes is not long enough to get a fair view of the product. This included the words “suction, squeezing” and a few others that I don’t want to talk about.

Verdict: In theory, I am sold. In practicality, I hated all 2700 seconds it was inside me. I’ve since looked at this incredibly handy Menstrual Cup Sizing Chart and realize I might have chosen incorrectly. I am curious to try again, in the interest of convenience, eco-friendliness, and leakage prevention…Fellow females- have you tried the Menstrual Cup? Do you love it? Do you hate it? Does it creep you out beyond belief?

What’s your verdict?

 

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