Sportswomen don't want to be held back by their periods. The monthly reality of cramps and low energy is something we all have to contend with, but sanitary disposal is one worry we can do without. Recently people are more comfortable discussing periods openly; after all, they're a natural, healthy process. But sanitary disposal has remained off limits in conversation… until now. It's a problem that sportswomen come across more than most: how to dispose of a used tampon or pad? If you exercise in the great outdoors or tour around playing at different clubs, you have to be prepared for every eventuality.
60% of women in the UK flush their tampons, mostly unaware that they block sewers, causing 'fatbergs' and ocean pollution. The alternative has been to wrap the item in loo roll or even a rustlely, see-through nappy sack and pray there's a bin. It's not the best way to feel 'on form' for a big match or race. This is why Team England and top athletes have embraced a game-changing solution which is helping all women have angst-free periods, especially when they need it most: FabLittleBag. Instead of the usual awkward faff, now women can seal away tampons and pads inside this ingenious sanitary disposal bag. It's opaque, biodegradable and even opens with one hand using the clever loops, which proves very useful when holding the used item in your other hand. It seals securely closed with no leaks or smell, which means if there's no bin handy you can safely stash it in your pocket or bag until later.
Adelle Tracey, the British middle distance runner, has experienced the benefits first hand when competing. She says,
My roomate and I were most impressed with the FabLittleBags in our room during the prep for Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast. When preparing for a championship you can be sharing a room for good couple of weeks and it's inevitable at least one of you is going to be on a period. FabLittleBags were extremely convenient, handy and discreet. I was also very impressed that the bags are biodegradable!"
Credit: Sport In Pictures/Alamy Live News Adventurer Anna McNuff sees the benefit when exercising in the wild. She says,
It's something that actually stops many women taking to the outdoors, or feeling comfortable when they do. In the 21st century that's rather ridiculous… More innovation. More talk. More women comfortable and happy on adventures. Well done FabLittleBag, I'm all for it."
For last year's Commonwealth Games, FabLittleBag was packed by Team England and supplied at both the preparation camp and the Games Village. Ian Braid of DOCIAsport says,
Our athletes' mental health is a core concern as part of Duty of Care In Action (DOCIA). As periods are rarely discussed openly, private menstrual concerns do not receive the attention they deserve. We're delighted to be offering FabLittleBag and to be bringing this topic out into the open."The period taboo does seem rather outdated. Should it really make headlines when the Olympic swimmer Fu Yuanhui cites her period as hampering her performance or tennis player Heather Watson refers coyly to "girl things"? Once these matters can be discussed more openly, we can start to see the long hidden issue of decent sanitary disposal addressed more widely. The inventor of FabLittleBag, Martha Silcott, says,
Flushed tampons and pads are a serious environmental concern, but binning them can prove messy and awkward. I invented FabLittleBag to prevent polluton and make sanitary disposal actually feel good. It's fab to see that FabLittleBag is being embraced by the sports community so that nothing is holding our sportswomen back. Be a binner and be a winner!"
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