THE NEW PERIOD
Half the population on earth has periods for the majority of their lives.
Yet no major period innovations have happened in over 50 years.
Now consider the amount of waste created each month by disposable period products. Consider the chemicals they can contain, and that we put inside our bodies. Consider young girls who stay away from school because they are ashamed of their periods and simply many girls in the world don’t have access to buy period products every month because they cost simply half of their monthly income
How wonderful will it be to go on a journey to change the way periods affect our lives, our bodies, and our environment?
No one should be held back by their body. Period products should not contain harmful chemicals nor absorb natural bodily secretions, resulting in infections. Periods should not be the cause of major pollution. And they should never, ever be a source of shame.
Every change, every first time can be difficult also for using the Period Cup. Remember inserting a tampon for the first time?
It may take you a few days or a few periods to get the hang of it.
Together we can make a change.
THE PERIOD CUP
A period cup is made from surgical silicone, which is specially made for use inside your body and is very flexible.
They have different sizes ;
- Small for women who did not give birth yet
- Large for women who gives vaginal birth
- And for a short time now they have Extra small which is for the very young girls to start with.
You use a cup by folding it in a specific way to insert it inside your body where it will pop out.
You can leave the cup in for up to 12 hours, also during the night. Depending on your flow you may empty it a bit more often. The cup holds up to 3 big tampons worth up of blood
To remove the cup you pull the stem downwards and slightly move it to the left and right until you reach the base. Empty the cup into the toilet and rinse with water. When you don’t have access to water you may use a wet wipe or toilet paper to clean it and wash the cup when possible. Once empty and clean you can re-insert the cup. After the period, clean the cup and boil for 5 min in water to sterilize and store for the next period.
One cup can last for at least 10 years
Because of projects we do in the slums I came one day in a very open and serious talk with some girls about their period.
I was very surprised to hear how difficult it was for them to get through their period every month. Because of the expenses of the sanitary pads which cost them half of their monthly income they often don’t have the possibility to buy it. My question was “How do you get through your period when you don’t have anything”? The answers really made me think.
Some answers they give me;
- We use pieces of clothes
- We fill a sock with sand because it absorbs
- Parts of a mattress
- Wearing many clothes
The most shocking thing was they told me many girls don’t go to school during their period and miss a lot from school every month. During the talk I had my own period and for me I was already using a period cup for many years. That moment the idea came up to help the girls with a period cup.
For now we trained a team of trainers in Mathare who teach girls everything about the cups, from hygïene to how to use and all the questions girls have. The trainers are also available as a source of information if there are still questions afterwards.
We spread cups already in
Mathare at the Slin Library
Babadogo at Shadrack Juma Library
Two times in Kiambu – Kirigiti
Two times at Mysa Komarock
September 2019 I received the painful message that a 14 year old schoolgirl took her own life after a teacher embarrassed her for having her period in class. It was her first period. This happened in a school in Bomet County
To reach more and more girls in Kenya we are working on a Documentary about the difficulties from girls and their period and also the major pollution.The documentary will be finished at the end of this January. Hoping that we can get more and more support to help the girls in Kenya
Main objective is that girls can live a normal life during their period and if they have a cup they are safe their whole school period because you can use the cup for 10 years.
Together we can make a change of periods