The Benefits of Mastering Your Monthly Cycle

Navigating your period doesn’t have to be a mystery. Understanding your flow and choosing the right products can make a world of difference in your hormonal health. Unfortunately, many Kiwi women stick to a one-size-fits-all approach with their tampons, risking infections and discomfort. Enter the new campaign: Know Your Flow.

The Importance of Knowing Your Flow

Research indicates that the average person who menstruates will use around 11,400 pads or tampons in their lifetime. Yet, a staggering 14% of women use the same absorbency tampon throughout their cycle, according to a recent consultation. This habit can lead to a host of problems, from discomfort and dryness to more severe issues like vaginal infections and thrush.

Most of us know from first-hand experience that if we use a tampon that’s not absorbent enough, we risk leaking—but what many women don’t realise is that using a tampon that’s too absorbent for your flow can be detrimental to your health. It can dry out your vaginal environment, disrupting your natural moisture balance and making you more susceptible to infections.

The Cost and Accessibility of Period Products

Period products can also be a significant financial burden. In 2024, the cost of menstruation varies wildly across the globe. In some countries, menstrual products are taxed as luxury items. For instance, Sweden and Denmark tax menstrual products at 25%, while Hungary has a tax rate of 27%. Conversely, countries like the UK and Australia have abolished the so-called “tampon tax,” recognizing these products as essential.

In New Zealand, initiatives to make period products more accessible have been gaining traction. The New Zealand Government has committed to providing free menstrual products in schools, a move that has been praised for its role in reducing period poverty and ensuring that all young people have access to the products they need.

The Right Product for Your Flow

The safest way to use tampons is to opt for the lowest absorbency necessary to manage your flow. This means switching up your products as your cycle progresses. Heavy flow on day one? Opt for a super absorbent tampon. Lighter days? Switch to regular. It’s that simple.

Menstrual cups are also gaining popularity, offering up to eight hours of protection and a more eco-friendly option. They can be a fantastic choice for those looking to save money and reduce waste. However, tampons and pads remain essential for their convenience, especially on days when you’re out and about and might not be able to clean a menstrual cup.

Taking Charge of Your Menstrual Health

Clare Goodwin, the founder of Ovie, an app dedicated to helping those with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), emphasizes the importance of making informed choices. “When I am using a tampon in my body, I want to ensure that there are no nasties or harmful chemicals,” she says. Choosing products made from certified organic cotton can help alleviate worries about exposure to harmful substances.

To aid in this effort, New Zealand period care company Organic Initiative (Oi) has launched the “Know Your Flow” campaign in partnership with Ovie. Their goal is to help women understand which period products to use and when, promoting the importance of using the right tampon size for different stages of the menstrual cycle. Oi offers a range of tampons, from organic applicator tampons to bio-compact and digital tampons, available in regular and super absorbencies.

The Bottom Line

Taking control of your menstrual health means understanding your flow and choosing the right products for each phase of your cycle. By being mindful of your body’s needs and the products you use, you can reduce discomfort, avoid infections, and make your period a less disruptive part of your life.

Let’s embrace the knowledge and resources available to us and take charge of our cycles. After all, it’s not just about managing your period—it’s about enhancing your overall well-being.

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