Raising female standards with Daye
We chatted with Valentina Milanova, Founder of Daye, a company that makes clinically tested, CBD-infused tampons. They are pesticide-free, toxin-free, made from absorbent fibres and sanitised.
From sexual health to personal health and planet health, Daye is on a mission to raise our standards.
What inspired Daye and CBD tampons?
I've had painful periods since I was 9. No one had sat me down to teach me about the menstrual cycle, so I was left to my own devices and learn about the female reproductive system myself. I'd spend my free time reading medical papers and studies on conditions endometriosis and PCOS, which is when I came across hemp. I learned that its fibres are more absorbent than cotton and its flower has analgesic properties. That's when I had a Eureka moment and thought "Why has no one made a pain-relieving tampon?". So I made the first prototype and patented the design, and the rest is history.
How can CBD be used throughout menstruation, and why are CBD tampons effective?
The vaginal mucosa has a very high number of cannabinoid receptors (which make up the Endocannabinoid System in your body, responsible for modulating pain, among other things). The technology Daye uses to coat our tampons in CBD means the compound isn't absorbed by the tampon fibre (which would happen if you were to simply put CBD oil on a tampon), but rather it stays in contact with the vaginal mucosa. There it enters the bloodstream and is recycled throughout the pelvic organs, soothing uterine cramps that cause menstrual discomfort. The CBD we use is pharmaceutical-grade and high-potency (30%), for optimised bioavailability.
How does Daye 'raise the standards in female health?' Why are the standards low?
Tampon manufacturing has very high profit margins, which is why tampons are taxed as a luxury item! Even though tampons aren't classed as a medical device (which means there are no manufacturing guidelines), we made a conscious decision to reduce our margins in order to self-regulate as a medical device and invest more into the quality, safety and efficacy of our product. On top of that, our business model allows us to reinvest profits into medical research into neglected female health conditions like endometriosis. As a research & development company we will always conduct clinical studies on gynae conditions. Standards are low because female health and pain has largely been ignored or dismissed throughout history. This is partly because of an engrained gender bias, but also because until the 90s women were banned from participating from clinical studies, so a lot of scientific evidence or drug development was only conducted on the male physiology.
What has Daye learned from working within women's sexual health sector?
That a lot of work needs to be done. There hasn't been true innovation in the sector since the 1940's.
What would Daye hope changes in sexual health and feminine hygiene education and policy?
We'd like to see more stringent manufacturing guidelines in the tampon industry, and generally more money invested into female health innovation and companies.
Why is transparency important as a company and in your sector?
Customers deserve to know how the products they're spending money on are manufactured, especially if they're inserting them in their vaginas every month!
What are the top 3 common misconceptions about sexual health?
- That your vagina needs to be cleaned with soap or other feminine hygiene products
- That tampons cause TSS (they don't)
- That you don't need regular STI check-ups
How does the skin change throughout the cycle of life and each menstrual cycles?
More than 60% of people with periods break out when they're due on, whether or not they already suffer with acne or other dermatological conditions! We don't really and truly know why, but researchers seem to believe that the premenstrual spike in progesterone and androgens cause an increase in sebum production, which causes pores to clog, creating a breeding ground for acne-causing bacteria.
How might nutrition influence the menstrual cycle?
There hasn't been much research conducted on how nutrition affects the cycle, mostly because both things are incredibly subjective. There is some evidence on how supplementing on vitamin D and magnesium during different phases of the cycle may help alleviate some symptoms, but more research needs to be done on the relationship between nutrition and menstruation. However, we know that good nutrition is imperative for overall health, which has a huge impact on the menstrual cycle. Food is fuel! We absolutely need it to survive and be healthy, that's what it boils down to.
What’s a motto Daye lives by?
"To health on your terms" (it's even our trademark)
What are you currently listening / reading / chatting to that is inspiring you?