Natural Menstruation – no need for menstrual products? Is this really possible!?
by Stephanie Kraus
Talking about our menstrual flow, one might come to think about just what would we do without our menstrual products? Without pads, tampons, cups or otherwise? If you type ‘natural menstruation’, ‘free flow’, free bleeding’ etc. into your Internet search engine, you will get all kinds of results ranging from facts to myths to activism. Sadly, much of what is shared across social media, is in fact revealing a tragic disconnect between the idea of natural menstruation and its execution. While this battle has helped popularise these terms, now these names have been hijacked by feminists and anti-feminists alike. This has left this simple ancient practice of womanhood itself somewhat misunderstood. A few sites revealing this ongoing “battle scam and distortion” can be found here:
Let’s clarify this misunderstanding. What is natural menstruation, really? Maybe one can say that ‘natural menstruation’ and what has now been coined as ‘free bleeding / flowing’ are not the same. Natural menstruation is NOT about letting your period blood bleed into your pants, bed sheets or run down your legs in public for all to see. Natural menstruation is actually: learning to apply your pelvis muscles in a way that you can control the flow, not think about it and finally release it into the toilet basin when you are going for a pee anyhow, wear a thin pantyliner as a backup while most of it ends up directly in the toilet basin, thus saving the constant changing of menstrual products and that’s it!
Some women actually get it on their first try. Others train for two years, by first getting into the habit of going to the bathroom every 15 minutes every time they feel the gush of blood, until they become confident that it actually stays in, and then they can finally stretch it to 1.5 or 3 hours.
How do you think other mammals manage their periods? All female mammals that produce offspring with a placenta, build up a uterine lining (the endometrium) in the fertile phase of their cycle and dismantle it in the infertile phase. Some species have an ‘estrous cycle’, in which, if no conception takes place, the endometrium fluids are reabsorbed into the body (covert menstruation). Other species, like the human have a ‘menstrual cycle’, where the body expels the endometrium lining (overt menstruation). Primates, some bat species and elephants also experience overt menstruation. But, here’s an inspiring detail: Before menstruating, humans do in fact also reabsorb two-thirds of the liquid in the endometrium and we can improve this factor. Have a look at our blog Article Menstruation: How much do we bleed.
If you are using pads anyhow, you can simply give it a try: Sense that moment when your body expels blood from the cervix, hold it, go to the bathroom and release. Yes, you can actually learn to manage your flow. Enjoy the freedom and growing independence from menstrual management products!
Imagine this simple ancient practice of womanhood being taught to you at the age of 13. You wouldn’t question it, just as you learnt to hold your urine and feces when you were a toddler. And there are more plus sides to it: Becoming more aware of your pelvis, connects you more to your pelvis functions. When giving birth a woman needs to let go of her pelvis, not only push the baby out. Also, after giving birth, pelvic floor muscles that are trained in this way are neuro-physiologically well integrated, and functionally recover faster. This can help to prevent issues with incontinence and uterine prolapses at an advanced age.
Surfing the internet on this topic I found a quote that relates to deeply connecting with our woman’s body as well as resonating with our Eco Femme mission for environmentally friendly menstruation products. From Rachel Kauder Nalebuff, author and editor of My Little Red Book, an anthology of women’s stories about menstruation: “[…] a doctor pointed out a connection to me the other day that I love: given that periods are connected to nurturing life, how powerful it would be if sanitary supplies reflected the same relationship to our planet, as opposed to contributing to its destruction.”
Here is more touching inspiration to connect you to the value of the female endometrium.