Today we'd like to introduce you to Danela Žagar, INTIMINA Global Brand Manager, who shares INTIMINA's story and answers some of our questions regarding their menstrual cups and why we should all make the switch!
Where did the idea come from for Intimina?
INTIMINA is a Swedish brand that offers the first and only range of products dedicated exclusively to all aspects of women’s intimate health. Our mission is to provide a comprehensive collection of products and information for women at every stage of life, from the first menstruation to beyond menopause.
INTIMINA’s story began in 2009, and since then we’ve been making women’s lives easier and healthier, regardless of their age or location. Our mission since then has been, and still is, to break stereotypes, to educate and to promote confidence, wellbeing and sustainability. We are staying close to women, we want to make them feel like we are here for them, even in the most vulnerable moments. That being said, we’re not saying having periods is making women vulnerable – quite the opposite, they’re strong in spite of it: Where intimacy begins, a woman begins.
Could you tell me a little bit about your own experience with using a Menstrual cup and why you originally made the switch?
I have been searching for alternatives to traditional menstrual products like pads and tampons for years, and when I started working for INTIMINA, I fell in love with menstrual cups. It was a big change for me so it took some time to get used to inserting the cup, but once I did, it was life changing. The most important thing about menstrual cups is that they are so soft and comfortable that I sometimes completely forget I’m on my period. I can wear a cup all day and empty it when I come home from work, I can exercise without worrying about leaking and it is safe for my body because it’s made of medical-grade silicone. And I also save money because a menstrual cup can last up to 10 years which means I don’t have to buy pads or tampons any more.
Another important thing for me personally is that I am contributing to waste reduction. Giving that each woman menstruates on average for 38 years, 7 days per month, it would mean that each uses almost 17,000 traditional menstrual products during her lifetime. That's a lot of waste that takes centuries to decompose because most of it contains plastic. By using reusable menstrual products such as menstrual cups, I like to think I am helping the planet.
For those who are not familiar with your product, what is a menstrual cup? Why should we all make the switch?
A menstrual cup is a flexible cup that is worn inside the vagina during menstruation to collect menstrual fluid. Menstrual cups are usually made from medical grade silicone, and, unlike tampons and pads, collect menstrual fluid rather than absorbing it. Washable, reusable, and long lasting – they provide numerous advantages for more comfortable period.
Thanks to the menstrual cup dealing with your period can become just another 2-minute part of your morning and evening routine, like washing your face or brushing your teeth.
There are a lot of reasons why a menstrual cup is the best choice when it comes to period products, so let’s name a few:
Longer Lasting Coverage: Insert your cup in the morning and leave it in for up to 12 hours—go to work, go running, do yoga, or go to the beach and don’t think about it. Before bed, remove the cup to wash it and then reinsert it for a full night of undisturbed sleep.
Total Security: The major challenge during menstruation is avoiding leaks. The biggest benefit of menstrual cups is that you no longer have to worry about an unexpected emergency during your period. Menstrual cups are tailored to your anatomy and made of ultra-soft materials in order to form a completely secure seal. Wear whatever you want—light colors, tights, your favorite clothing—with the confidence that your nice things will stay nice.
The Safer Choice: Menstrual cups are safer than many other menstrual products, such as tampons, which can cause dryness and irritation. Using a menstrual cup made of body-safe silicone allows you to avoid the dryness and allergies sometimes caused by absorbent menstrual products.
Saves You Money: Adopting a menstrual cup approach puts an end to the monthly cycle of flushing your money down the drain. When you purchase a menstrual cup, you reduce your period shopping to once a year and save an average 75% of your previous menstrual care spending.
All-Day Freshness: Menstrual cups collect rather than absorb menstrual fluid, allowing your intimate area to be fresh and airy all week long. Unlike sanitary pads, which collect menstruation outside of the body, menstrual cups discreetly contain your flow on the inside, eliminating odor and irritation.
Earth-Friendly: Did you know that 20 billion menstrual products end up in landfills each year? Using a menstrual cup allows you to make a significant environmental difference by ending your contribution of disposable menstrual products to the earth
Can you wear menstrual cups while exercising or swimming?
Absolutely! Cups can actually be more comfortable during exercise than tampons and are less likely to leak. You can leave them in for up to 12 hours, which is enough time to run a marathon or go trekking or climbing.
When it comes to swimming, if you use a tampon, it will not only absorb your blood but also a little bit of water. This isn’t harmful over a short period of time, but because pool and seawater can harbor bacteria that can upset your vaginal pH and cause infection, it’s important to change a tampon immediately before and after swimming. If you are swimming with a menstrual cup however, no fluid can get in, and as the capacity is much higher than a tampon, you are much less likely to leak.
What are your cups made of and how long does it last?
INTIMINA menstrual cups are made of medical-grade silicone, can be worn up to 12 hours without emptying and can last up to 10 years
We've heard that your cups are WEEE-compliant, what does that mean?
All products are WEEE-compliant (an EU law governing electronics) meaning INTIMINA is compliant with guidelines such as minimizing waste and promoting the reuse of materials. INTIMINA’s most popular electronic device is KegelSmart. It's a pelvic floor exerciser that automatically sets a Kegel exercise routine for you, like a personal trainer.
You’ve recently partnered with Pantone to release a taboo-breaking red color, “Period”, and we’re so excited. What is the goal of this collaboration?
INTIMINA is on a quest of breaking the period stigma around the world. This campaign helps raise awareness and educate about menstruation, and what is most important, to define it as a normal bodily function and not something shameful. We want for the period to be perceived in society as something natural and something everyone should and could talk about without shame.
To break taboos around the period and start the conversations around it, we have decided to team up with Pantone Color Institute to create a symbolic Period red colour that represents a steady flow during menstruation. The positive reactions of the media with more than 600 articles sharing this news worldwide, as well as the public, prove that menstruation stigma is something real and present not only in poor countries and certain cultures but also in the “modern world”. It is clear that the world is now ready to talk about menstruation and taboos surrounding it and start changing mindsets.
You have an amazing variety of cups - which one would you recommend for beginners?
IINTIMINA menstrual cups offer confidence, hygiene, and comfort. Thanks to our innovative range, every customer can find a perfect fit for themselves: from perfect starter cup Lily Cup One, to the world’s first collapsible one Lily Cup Compact, period protection during sex with the Ziggy Cup, and a perfect fit for moms is the Lily Cup. Lily Cup One is the perfect cup for beginners. It is a menstrual cup that was made specifically for those who are new to cups, or might be new to menstruating in general. Lily Cup One has a slimmer design for smaller anatomies, and a stiffer rim that will be easier for newbies to pop open within the vagina.
How has the pandemic impacted your business?
During the pandemic and the lockdown our company has quickly put all its power to digital activities which brought us very positive results. Because people worldwide have been at home and after the lockdown kept working from home, they had more time for self-care. We believe that is the reason our online sales increased, not only in terms of menstrual cups but also our pelvic floor exerciser range.
Also, we have seen how the lockdown has affected the environment when the oceans became cleaner and the air pollution decreased, and that was another trigger for people to turn to ecological, reusable products such as menstrual cups.
So, we can say the pandemic changed the world and people’s minds - and subsequently changed our business for the better.
To finalize this interview, and what are some of the challenges you think that most women face surrounding menstruation and sexual health?
We live in a world where period shame is a societal issue. Periods are systematically ignored, euphemized, used to mock, shame, and demonize women. We at INTIMINA believe INTIMACY means talking about the things that are not socially acceptable – even if it means talking about periods and everything that comes with it. So, our goal is to empower women to be comfortable with their bodies, to be free to talk about menstruation and to never allow for menstrual taboos to diminish their strength and the chance to fulfill their potential.
We have sent out this message via our campaign #WhileBleeding. We gathered six amazing women to hear their stories about their pain and struggles and how they’ve managed to overcome those obstacles. We wanted to show that they, we are strong, accomplished, and brave, especially #WhileBleeding.
Let’s not forget about health issues caused by the weakening of the pelvic floor muscles, which are still not part of the women’s intimate health debate. We encourage women to be louder about these problems because they happen to almost everyone. Women who have given birth often experience urinary incontinence after pregnancy, some research say that one in three women are affected by some form of incontinence. Some studies linked the weaker pelvic floor to a variety of sexual issues, including
vaginal dryness, loss of desire, decrease in orgasm frequency... In public discourse this is considered embarrassing, but it’s our reality and we need to TALK about it openly.
Be sure to check out all the amazing offered at @intimina , and make the switch girl!!