Posts in Body

Goddess menstrual cup: does it work?

When I first heard about menstrual cups, I loved the concept.

“It’s a little pricey once-off buy that will save you so much money,” my friend said, holding the Mina cup in a Wellness Warehouse aisle. I was sold on the idea of using it, especially after meeting the Mina promoter standing at the end of the aisle, whom my friend knew personally.

This woman had left her fancy ad agency job, seeking a higher purpose, and found herself devoting as much time possible to spreading the word about the menstrual cup. She mentioned that it was the most sustainable option for women across the globe and that it was saving girls – who can’t afford pads – time, hassle, money and embarrassment of any kind.

I was sold.

I’d love to save some money. It’s going to be so convenient. No more toxic fragrant pads for me – I thought. 

Boy, was I wrong. Horribly wrong. I have never been this disappointed in a personal care product. Ever.

For all the reasons above, I really wanted this to work. I was going to vlog about it, and help everyone else I know also save money, time, and potentially an infection from using fragranced sanitary towels. But it didn’t happen that way.

Instead of buying the Mina Cup that day, I decided to learn more about menstrual cups, in general, to make sure that it was safe. As I searched online, an ad for the Goddess cup popped up and it was R50 less than the Mina cup. Excited was an understatement.

I’d ordered the Goddess cup for R255 via the Faithful to Nature website and they’d given me some sample snacks when the package arrived. I loved the personalised service and that they’d sent me a snack that I could actually eat – and I’ve actually been on the site to order something today.

So imagine how amped I was to start using the Goddess cup. I couldn’t wait for my next period – Goodbye Kotex, Always, Lillets.

goddess cup, menstrual cup south africa, mina cup, lunette, holistic beauty, be whole

What happened?

Spills

This is a little embarrassing but also not my fault so whatever right? Before ordering the cup, I chatted to a few ladies on Instagram and got amazing feedback from most – along the lines of; “life-changing; I’ll never go back, best decision”… I also discovered that one size doesn’t fit all; it gets awkward, especially when you’re out shopping and have to rinse the menstrual cup before reinserting it, but mostly that it is the healthier and most cost-effective option on the market.

I’d ordered the medium Goddess cup  – 46.6mm Diameter x 70mm Length x 25ml Volume – and during my first period, it began to spill – not like crazy – but it spilt drops. At first, I thought that it was because I was doing it wrong so I went on Youtube – as one does – to make sure that I was using it properly. At most, I was using it for 3hours and my cup was certainly not full, so why was it spilling?

Cramps

I kid you not. I thought that maybe I just needed to get the hang of using the Goddess cup so I decided to continue using it for months. The first and second cycles were conveniently painful.

My workout routine had changed during the time and the intensity level was not as great as it had been before using the cup so I figured that could be a possibility – I’ve always credited exercise as an easy cure for period cramps because it’s never failed me. But I decided to skip a month of using the Goddess cup and went back to using my sanitary towels, and magically the cramps vanished. The next month, using sanitary towels again: no cramps. To be sure, the following month, I used the menstrual cup again and what do you know: super painful period cramps.

 

Discomfort

Did I insert it correctly? Yes. I’d chosen the medium cup to avoid any spills, which clearly happened but according to this fun menstrual cup quiz, I should be using the small cup being that I haven’t given birth, and so on…(I’ll save you further personal insight about my flow). The exact feeling was bloating – as if the cup was pushing against my bladder. It was super uncomfy after an after the first rinse.

Difficult to remove

Hashtag: awkward. This is not an easy task when trying to carefully remove the cup after short periods of time. I was trying to avoid spills and my oh my was it difficult.

So will I use it again? Definitely not this brand. I’d be willing to try the small cup, although I have reservations due to the spills with the medium cup.

Are you using a menstrual cup and loving it? I’d love to hear from you. Drop me a comment below or mail me directly to robyn@bewhole.co.za

10 Feminine Hygiene Hacks Every Woman Should Know

I love how much the world is changing to promote body confidence for women of all shapes and sizes. More women are sharing information and starting conversations that can empower others but one topic that’s still rarely discussed is the matter of feminine hygiene and what vaginal health really means.

It’s awkward!

I know.

But it shouldn’t be. Vaginas are the canals responsible for the human race – this is one topic that should be a priority. Centuries of patriarchy and media framing has led us to believe that vaginas are down-right unclean and that vaginal concerns should be raised privately. But educating ourselves and other women on how to maintain vaginal health can help prevent a lot of unwanted infections.

Did you know that 30% of women have vaginal infections and they don’t even know it?

Our vaginas are naturally acidic, containing good bacteria that protects against bad bacteria. A healthy level of acidity should be a pH level of between 3.8 and 4.52 but when the acidity level of your vagina rises above or below those levels, your risk of developing a bacterial infection increases considerably. A common bacterial infection that women develop is bacterial vaginosis.

What is Bacterial Vaginosis (BV)?

It’s an infection that causes white discharge and a ‘fishy’ odour to come from your vagina, due to the imbalance of good and bad bacteria. Studies show that 20% of women who have BV think that it’s actually a yeast infection – herein lies the problem. The more you get to know your body and understand the symptoms of a condition, the faster you will be able to treat it.

Sometimes we overdo ‘good’ habits in order to stay healthy and relaxed but this does more harm to our bodies. A simple example could be regularly unwinding in a hot bubble bath that smells of lavender and honey. While this may seem like a great way to unwind, the fragrance ingredients in bubble bath can increase the risk of developing a vaginal infection. Here are some other things to look out for:

Feminine Hygiene Hacks

  1. Wear breathable clothing

Tight leather pants and skinny jeans are the craze but your vagina won’t be happy. Breathable clothing helps reduce body sweat down there and keep your vag healthy.

  1. Avoid using perfumed soaps

This is a difficult one since fragranced soaps and bubble bath add to the fresh, clean, shower feeling. Unfortunately, perfumed soaps aren’t good for you.

 

feminine hygiene

  1. Wipe from front to back when using the toilet

Reduce the level of bad bacteria that enters your vagina by rubbing from front to back with toilet paper after using the toilet. Wiping in the opposite direction could cause fecal bacteria to enter your vagina.

  1. Don’t douche

This is when you spray water up your vagina to keep it clean. The spraying action could actually be too harsh and cause the good bacteria to disappear as well. It’s a no to douching.

  1. Always change into fresh clothing after exercise

I’m sure that you already do this but just in case – try not to leave sweaty clothing on your body for too long because it can lead to infection. The best way to do this is to shower immediately after training and change into clean clothes.

feminine hygiene

  1. Take a shower after intercourse

After having sex, even when you’ve used a condom, bacteria may develop near your vagina so it’s best to take a shower.

  1. Change sanitary products frequently during menstruation

There may be extreme cases when you’re stuck in traffic for hours or trekking in the middle of nowhere without a bin in sight, forgive yourself in those cases but you should always change your tampon, pad or menstrual cup every 3 to 4 hours regardless of how heavy or light your flow is.

  1. Eat healthily

If you’re already healthy, your body will be able to work harder and faster at beating an intruding infection. Eat your veggies, girl.

  1. Stay hydrated

Just as water keeps our bodies clean externally, drinking 1- 2 litres of water a day will help you flush out bad toxins and fight infections faster.

    10. Opt for cotton underwear

If you’re a lady who loves thongs and wearing tights under your clothing, be mindful that tight underwear can cause irritation of your nether region and increase your risk of infection.

feminine hygiene

Test your vaginal health with a quick symptoms assessment, here.

If you think that you may have Bacterial Vaginosis, speak to a healthcare professional or go to www.myvaginalgel.co.za to find out more about this treatable condition.

Best full body massage in Cape Town

[Singing] I’m a different person, yeah! Turn my world around (world around).

If you’re looking for a way to feel just a little lighter, more relaxed, and gain a little more spring in your step, I suggest you go for a full body massage at MyMassage, a new massage studio that recently opened in Greenpoint, Cape Town.

Maybe it’s because it was a Friday afternoon – I’d had a really long week of deadlines and emails; I was really looking forward to unwinding. But I have to say that I was impressed with the overall experience from my first interaction with My Massage when I’d made the appointment;

arrived at the venue (I did not have to wait at all – you’ll have to fill in a consent form detailing your areas of concern and tick some boxes that helps the therapist get to know you better);

and then walking into the room, where I had a place to neatly hang my clothes (a lovely add-on that a lot of spas don’t offer).

What the massage was like

Heavenly, friend. The masseuse had enquired about the intensity of massage I was interested in having and remained consistent throughout from my temples to toes.

What I loved about the place

The studio is quite small but the atmosphere was serene. When I arrived, I thought that I was the only client in the building just based on how quiet it was. The Receptionist (therapist) immediately knew who I was based on my scheduled booking, and only after my appointment, did I notice another woman, who had also had a massage (full of smiles), in the reception area.

What are the prices like?

The Rand values on the website are placed at the end of the service prices which I thought was quite funny. This is probably a development issue – don’t let that discourage you.

The prices are on par with most massage rates in Cape Town. The bonus is that they regularly offer discounts. The full cost of a full body massage is currently R 500 but as a first-time client, you will get 50% off. I’m not sure about whether this is a permanent promotion, so remember to check the promotions section of their website if you’re interested in booking.

 Would you like to read more reviews like these? Let me know which Cape Town Beauty spot you’d like me to review by emailing robyn@bewhole.co.za  🙂

 

my massage, cape town, robyn ruth thomas, be whole
 

 

 

 

WATCH: 5 holistic habits for the new year to gain healthy hair and skin

Hello! Hello!

Do you believe in making New Year’s resolutions?

I’ve been reading a book by Charles Duhigg, called the Power of Habit, which gives a clear-cut method on how to adopt new habits and abandon bad ones.

Did you know that if you developed short-term memory loss, you’d still be able to lead a normal life just by creating habits? Weird but cool right?

How do habits work?

It’s simple. Every habit has a cue – the signal or reminder of the habit, a routine, and a reward.

One of the examples that Charles gives in the book is the habit of smoking cigarettes. A box of cigarettes would be the cue to smoke, smoking a cigarette after breakfast outdoors would be the routine, and that sense of relief smokers feel after having a cigarette would be the reward.

How to create new habits:

The tricky part about habits is that they never die, Charles says. So in order to create new habits, you have to find different cues and routines that suit the reward you’re looking for.

If you’re smoking to feel relaxed for example but would like to quit, change your routine and swap the smoking cues for something else that feels relaxing.

Now that you know how habit works, here are 5 holistic habits to help you improve the health of your hair and skin:

 

1. Olive oil cleansing to remove make-up

This is a great way to make sure that your makeup is completely removed and it’s convenient since you can get it from your kitchen cupboard.

When searching for an olive oil, you want to get an extra virgin olive oil that’s not diluted or mixed with other oils as that could block your pores.

I remove the oil by applying a natural cleanser to my face brush.

2. Drink citrus water on an empty stomach

Did you know that eating fruit for breakfast is a great way to absorb their nutrients since fruit ferments faster and is digested faster than other foods?

Oranges are packed with vitamins so having citrus water is like taking a multivitamin in the morning. I blend a whole orange with a cup of water and a tablespoon of honey which tastes like a slushy and really gives me a boost of energy to start the day.

3. Eating more broccoli

If you want to look younger for longer, avoid inflammation, constipation, improve hair and skin health then broccoli is your best friend. It’s also one of the foods recommended to cancer patients to help their bodies fight cancer because of its high nutrients.

I love cooking broccoli in coconut cream which gives it a creamy flavour.

4. Dry brushing before a shower.

Dry brushing helps to reduce cellulite naturally. If you brush from your foot to your heart, you increase blood circulation and as well as even out tiny fat pockets that usually form around the thigh area.

5. Sleeping for 8 hours or more.

Just like our phones, our bodies need to recharge and it needs consistent recharging otherwise it won’t operate at its full potential.

Studies show that people who don’t get enough sleep are easily persuaded into buying decisions, they’re grumpier which can affect relationships and they’re less productive which can affect how you work.

So try to get a good night’s rest.

Did you enjoy this post? I’d love to know which goals you’re taking on this year. Tell me in the comment section below: