This article is a sponsored collaboration between INTIMINA and PAPER

Is anyone ever truly prepared for their period? Up until recently, mine still managed to come as a big ol' surprise, time after time, even after more than a decade of monthly menstrual experiences. Usually when I just so happened to be wearing my most expensive pair of mostly-lace underwear, or dry clean-only white pants. It's like... oh shit. Yep. I'm fertile. Thanks for the reminder, uterus. But did you have to be so loud about it?

Here's a concept that I'm trying in 2020, though: actually being prepared for the literal inevitability of blood coming out of my vagina every 30 or so days. And I'm doing it right. Instead of hauling around a carton of toxic chemicals (those innocent-looking tampons happen to contain terrifying ingredients like pesticides, fragrances, rayon, bleached cotton and dioxin), I'm keeping a convenient, collapsible and reusable menstrual cup in my tote bag.

And my bathroom cabinet? Once a mess of hastily-purchased bodega tampons and pads still in their ugly ass packaging, now a minimalist Marie Kondo-inspired shelf wherein I store just four period essentials by INTIMINA. No one, in the history of monthly cycles, has ever been more prepared to shed her uterine lining.

How does she do it? Read on. Here's all you need to say goodbye to tampons forever, take control over your own dang cycle and feel extremely smug and ethical and 21st-century-woman at the same time.

INTIMINA Lily Cup

Now, I know what you're thinking. I was once like you. There's something... intimidating about shoving a menstrual cup up there, especially during such a sensitive time-of-the-month. But unlike the first generation of menstrual cups recommended to us by various hippie aunts, the Lily is so flexible that it packs down to tampon size and can be inserted with similar ease. Made of ultra-soft, ultra-bendy medical-grade silicone, this thin little cup offers up to 12 hours of period protection. Lily can handle heavy flows as well as light ones; she's reusable and eco-friendly and a trendy shade of millennial pink.

INTIMINA Lily Cup Compact

Now, here's where we level up. Keep your standard Lily Cup at home, and its compact version in your purse. The Lily Cup Compact folds up and stores in a nondescript case the size of a lip balm. It's just as easy to use and effective as the non-collapsible version, but with added portability. You can feel confident while carrying this thing. Should circumstances arise — and they literally will — whip her out on the go, just in time to save those white pants.

INTIMINA Feminine Moisturizer

Okaaay, lol. Insert "WAP" joke here. Cardi and Meg-inspired gags aside, should you need a little self care down there, this is thee product to keep on that aforementioned chic n' minimalist bathroom shelf. The product is made from a water-based solution enriched with aloe vera to supplement your body's natural moisture. You definitely don't want to mess with the pH balance in this instance, so this one's free of weird chemicals as well as glycerins and parabens.

INTIMINA Intimate Accessory Cleaner

The final item in your arsenal is pretty obvious: an easy go-to cleaner for your cup once you've emptied it. If that already sounds like too much work (you're busy! I get it!), rest assured the cleaner is insanely quick and simple to use.

Believe me, that shit can result in an awkward conversation... instead, just use this small alcohol-free spray that removes surface impurities in literally five seconds. You've got that amount of time, I promise. Spray your cup, check your feed, then rinse and wipe dry.

And there you have it. Everything you need to never be surprised or bothered by a period again, and it's all available to buy in one swipe with the affordable Urban Warrior package over at the INTIMINA website. Free shipping included!

Photos courtesy of INTIMINA

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