The Female Dilemma

Oh man, that’s this? Am I really going to write about *gasp* female issues? I am! This was so astounding to me that I couldn’t even accept it at first. Shocked and a little freaked out to be honest. I even contemplated work arounds, but unfortunately, they are all a bit costly. So, what is the dilemma and why is it so shocking?

You know that thing we women deal with every single month for the majority of our natural lives? That often times painful, always awkward, and just unpleasant thing we all experience? That’s right, menstruation. There, I said it. MENSTRUATION. An oddly clinical term for such a messy issue. Anyway, as a woman of my generation, I’ve always taken the availability of sanitary products for granted. When I moved from the US to the UK, I was a bit disturbed by the fact that most were heavily scented, but it was easy enough to track down fragrance free options. I assumed (never forget what your third grade teacher told you about assumptions; he/she was right…) that it would be similar to the UK.

I was wrong.

Two months have passed since we moved to Sweden. I’ve scoured every store I’ve found, ÖoB, Lidl, Hemköpp, ICA, COOP, Willy’s, even the Apotek. Nonetheless, the one thing I haven’t found was…tampons with applicators. Are you kidding me?? As far as I can tell, they are unicorns. They must exist, but if they do, they are so hidden that the likes of myself simply cannot track them down.

Finally, I accepted this reality and began looking for alternatives. During that search, I found numerous posts from distressed expats who were experiencing a similar reaction. There were also the prepared ones. The ones who somehow knew someone who warned them. Those fortunate souls brought months, years worth of supplies when they moved. I alternate between admiring and despising them…


So, what is a girl to do? Order online? Maybe, but Amazon.co.uk seems to only mail individual packs, not multipacks, and the shipping is exorbitant. How about friends and family? They too are willing, but the shipping cost, once again, is exorbitant. I can’t justify it. Perhaps, go with the flow *snicker* (bad joke, I know) and learn to use the darn things without applicators? No thank you. I have short fingers and no desire to learn that at this late age. Instead, I will hold out; having friends or family who visit load up their suitcases to stock me up bit by bit. In the meantime, I will pretend I’m, a young teen again and embrace the maxi pad. Why not?

To those of you who freak out when you read about things like this, I cannot say I am sorry. Really, you should have stopped reading after that first paragraph. Instead, I will say this is part of the human condition and we are all human. To those of you traveling to Sweden, consider yourself forewarned, and maybe pack a few extra boxes to pass out on arrival 😉

Until next time…



4 thoughts on “The Female Dilemma

  1. Katie says:

    Feeling as if I should have warned you about this, but being an applicator-less person myself it never occurred to me. They’re actually far easier to use without the extra plastic/cardboard stuff, and easier to carry around (5th pocket of your jeans are perfect).

    (Right on about the British obsession with rather naff fragrances on EVERYTHING)

    I’ll have a look at shipping prices from here.

  2. Emily says:

    This doesn’t surprise me it has how progressive Sweden is about waste. The plastic applicators are not eco friendly. I advise a diva cup. Get friendly with your period. As someone who’s been bleeding 9-12g every 1-1.5 hour for the last 10 days trust I know the struggle is real. <don't worry I am seeing a doctor and we have adjusted meds to fix it.

  3. Quirky says:

    Thankfully, some wonderful readers, and a very nice Cross-Cultural trainer, pointed me to where I could buy these in Sweden!!! Apparently they just hide them. Since this posting I’ve found them in 1 store and been provided with 2 websites. In case you ever need them in Sweden, here is one of those sites 🙂 http://www.tampongshopen.se Viva la Applicator!

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