Every Friday, we send out a weekly roundup of what’s new on Blood & Milk along with articles you may have missed from the archives. We also include an interview with an inspiring woman and this week we’re excited to feature Kim Rosas. To get the newsletter, sign up here.
You started your previous website after posting a “how to use a cup” video that amassed over a million views on Youtube. Did you have any idea this interest existed before you posted?
I was aware through my involvement in forums about other reusable products (cloth diapers) that people were becoming more interested in reusable period care as well. My work at that time was in cloth diaper education but as a newly converted cup user, I was eager to teach others about how life changing they were. That turned into creating written and video content on reusable menstrual cups. That content creation brought me to where I am today and presented me with amazing opportunities like traveling the country hosting workshops on reusables.
After being a prominent educator in the space for many years I noticed that reusable period care products were always hard to find at a single retailer. If you wanted to buy one brand of cloth pads and a reusable cup you would have to place orders in multiple places. Other product categories had boutique online stores—why not period products? After waiting years and hoping someone else would take on this task I finally decided I was the one who needed to do it. I wanted the shop to elevate these items and focused on a curated selection of brands that covered the spectrum of needs from brands I trusted.
As an educator, I’m always concerned about how my information is perceived when there is money changing hands. My work is driven by helping people find their perfect cup or disc, even if it’s not sold in my store. That was behind my decision to have a two-piece model for my business. Period Nirvana, so named for a phrase I always used at my workshops when you finally achieve leak-free comfort with a product, would be an educational platform. Period.Shop is the retail model. They are connected but have different missions so that I will always have a home to share my content, uninhibited by simply being “good for business.”
When and how were you introduced to the disc?
I was always aware of the disposable disc by Softcup but it was something I looked at in total confusion! The only reason I decided to try the disposable disc was to offer advice from an informed perspective since so many people were inquiring about them as “cups.” The disposable disc didn’t work well for me at all but when the first reusable disc was launched in 2018 I was excited to try it. I did have some struggles getting it to work well but it was comfortable. A few years later I tried another brand’s reusable disc and it clicked! I love menstrual cups but I have found my body is receptive to most reusable discs and we just vibe in a way I can’t explain! I’m glad I kept trying them because had I stopped at my first reusable disc I’d be missing out on my most comfortable and leak-free periods.
My body and periods have changed over the years and I’ve found a disc works better for me than a cup. That’s what is so wonderful about having options—when one thing isn’t a great fit for you there is almost guaranteed to be another choice that is. I love that more brands are entering the disc world and it provides me, the educator and retailer, choices to help others the way I’ve helped in the menstrual cup space. The Cora Disc is really beautiful and functional; adding it to Period.Shop was an easy decision and it worked great for me.
What recommendation(s) do you have for someone who wants a more sustainable alternative to period management, but isn’t sure whether to try out the cup or the disc?
It’s truly a toss-up when it comes to adding up points on each side. Where the choice usually lies is “are you concerned about a more involved insertion and removal?” I often direct people who are nervous about using reusable internal protection to a cup—it’s easier to insert and remove if you’re nervous about inserting your fingers high into your vagina and is usually less messy when you remove it. Discs, on the other hand, are more involved but they seem to have a shorter learning curve when it comes to getting a leak-free experience. Discs also seem to be less finicky when it comes to the right size and fit. I like to let the person I’m talking to know all of the pros and cons, then decide from there what works for their lifestyle.
Some other considerations would be if they have an IUD; a disc is suction free and they might prefer that option. If they have a low cervix or a heavy flow that may necessitate a certain cup or disc. Special cases mean the choices become more limited to specific sizes or brands. When designing my quiz on PeriodNirvana.com I wanted discs to be offered as results and each person can decide if a cup or disc is right for them.
Products aside, with all your work in the period space, how has your relationship to your own period changed since using these products?
My periods, before entering the period space as a job, were just a monthly event I dreaded. I never gave them much thought and I was always glad to see them end. I’ve learned a lot about my periods and my body through the years but the most valuable insight has been attention to my complete monthly cycle. I now understand that I have to work with my body’s natural rhythm. If I notice where I am in my cycle I often realize “OH!” and see why I’ve been on a productive streak. Or, why I can’t seem to keep focused and get a single thing done. Knowing how my cycle affects my productivity has helped me harness when I’m at my most productive and gives me the opportunity to accept, rather than force, my body when I need rest the most. It’s been a gift!