Just today I’ve seen several articles and mentions in YouTube videos about this product called my.Flow, a period tracker that syncs via Bluetooth to an app which tells you when your tampon is full. As someone who both owns a vagina and a smart phone, these are my thoughts on the product from the articles I’ve seen.
As far as technology goes, I think this product is really interesting. I’ve seen the Buzzfeed post of the Kegel exercise device/app to measure your pelvic floor muscles, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t extremely curious to try it out (if it wasn’t so expensive!). I’ve become very intent on utilizing technology to track my period using an app, something I never did until recently and wish I’d been doing it all along. Having access at your fingertips to the comings (hah) and goings of your body is such an important part of not just your sexual health, but health in general.
As a former tampon user, I can attest to the terror and paranoia that come with having an excessive amount of blood. Having to be at work on the heaviest days of my period were miserable, because I would worry about leaking through my costume in the two hours between breaks. Forget the cramps: a little Advil can numb that. Nothing can save you if your tampon is full. Most days I would chance the chaffing and uncomfortable diaper-feeling for the secure backup of a pad. For that reason, I like the concept of my.Flow: being able to differentiate between paranoia and actually knowing if you have some time before absolutely needing to go to the bathroom right now.
However, I feel like this product seems too cumbersome just to tell you what you usually already know. Having a tampon string long enough to clip it to your waistband is too much. I can’t even put my phone in my pocket with headphones attached to it without ripping something out. Having something tug on a tampon string connected to a pager could make for a messier situation than a small leak.
From the few pages I’ve visited, it seems like consumers will also have to buy the special tampons that go along with the product. Tampons are already expensive, and having to order special Bluetooth-friendly ones just adds to the cost that is already forced upon vagina-havers for something we never asked for.
There are enough dangers associated with tampons. Now we’re adding wires and technology on top of the chemicals used. While the concept is cutting-edge, I think there are still better ways to go about handling menstruation.
When I first started my period, I only used pads. Tampons were scary to me and it took about a year or longer before I finally went to using them. Pads are messy and make you feel dirty for sitting in a puddle of your own blood, hoping you don’t shift the wrong way and leak everywhere. Tampons were uncomfortable to figure out at first but finally they became my weapon of choice. Except for the occasional leakage, they’re much more discrete and seem to do a better job all around. However, I knew I kept tampons in for much longer than is recommended.
I slept in my tampons, leaving them in for up to 12 hours depending on the sleep schedule I was on. How I never got TSS I have no idea. It was when I finally realized just how dangerous I was being every month that I made a change. Just a few months ago I decided to invest in a menstrual cup (I use the Lunette cup) and I’m never going back.
While a cup can run you $30-$40, it’s reusable for much more than the same amount of money can get you in tampons and pads. While a menstrual cup can seem pretty overwhelming, it’s been the best decision I could have made for myself. No worries of Toxic Shock, very seldom is leaking a worry, and you are able to leave it in for up to 12 hours without needing to empty it. The benefits of using a cup is well worth the try.
I understand the attractiveness of being able to see from an app how everything is holding up down there, however, I think it’s not quite necessary. It’s too much technology hooked up to your hoo-hah that can just be solved by other means. It’s a product I appreciate the sentiment from, but not something I think I’ll explore.