Menstrual cups. Yes, the word makes you wince. I get it…I did it the first time too. Stick with me here. I want to change your life. I’ve converted at least 15 people to this. Now I’m coming for you.
Pause for the Gentlemen: You don’t have to read it all…it’s gonna get “icky”. But I do encourage you to pass this along to at least 1 woman in your life. For your reading pleasure, here is a time I went on and on about Thomas the Train.
So let’s get started. Menstrual cups have existed for 80 years and you haven’t known about them. Crazy, right?! Around 3.5 years ago, I switched from using tampons (gag) and pads (harf) to a menstrual cup (hooray!) based on this recent boom in awareness (social media). My particular one was the Diva Cup. After a friend mentioned using hers and loving it, I figured what the hell. The rest is history.
So How Does This Work Again?
The concept is a flexible silicone cup like this one:
“The cup is worn internally and sits low in the vaginal canal, collecting rather than absorbing your menstrual flow.” So you insert just like a tampon but it “pops” out kinda like an upside down umbrella and catches everything. The site claims 12 hour protection but I have gone longer (while camping!). Once it is full, you can kinda tell and just dump the blood in the toilet. I wash it once a way in the shower with all natural soap (they make a specific one but I’ve never used it).
Fun fact: I actually use it turned inside out for comfort. I hate that stem.
Isn’t It Gross?
Let’s get this straight. Periods happen, period (yuk yuk yuk). It is something us women-folk have to deal with. Currently you may be jamming a wad of cotton (and other stuff) up your coot-coot or sitting on a pad filled with blood. Is that gross? Ya damn right it is! So lets replace that idea with a silicone cup that you can sanitize and reuse. You are still “putting something up there” but now with just seeing blood not soaked in cotton. Read more about the “ick” factor here.
As for clean up, if I RARELY have to empty out in public I just put it right back in. I save washing and rinsing for home. This works just fine.
Got other questions? DivaCup has a lovely FAQ page to help you answer those.
5 Reasons I Use a Diva Cup
- Saves Money – At a one time cost of around $32, I am covered for YEARS. It’s the obvious reason.
- Better for the Environment – 3.5 years ago we moved to a new house in the “country” where we have a septic tank. I was told “don’t flush tampons” (also you really shouldn’t ever do it no matter your sewer situation). The idea of throwing those in the trash REALLY grossed me out so I landed with the cup. Plus ALL THOSE PRODUCTS add up. “If the average woman menstruates for forty years and uses approximately 20 tampons per cycle (240 tampons each year) how many will she use during her entire menstrual life cycle? Answer: 9,600.” HOLY CRAP. Stop throwing toxic stuff in the trash!
- No leaks – After getting it in correctly (if it’s leaking, it isn’t in there right), you never leak. I swear. It’s magic. Once it is getting full, you can tell because…gravity. It isn’t that you see a murder in your underwear.
- Easier Periods – I have no real science to back this up but personally my periods are lighter and have less cramping. I tell people that the one day where you feel like gravity is KILLING YOU just doesn’t seem to happen anymore. I am blaming the toxins in those devil tampons. I have heard other people site this as well.
- “Out of Mind” Factor – Once my cup is in correctly for the day, I honestly forget about a period all day. No leak checking. No worrying. It’s honestly great to be able to know I can just go on about life without slipping a tampon in my shirt sleeve. I’ve been camping, skiing and in all day conferences with no worries. That’s huge.
Testimonials From Converts
Here are some quotes from folks that made the jump:
“After the initial learning curve, the Diva Cup became my best friend. Being able to travel, go out with my kids or even spend the day at work without having to scope out bathrooms or worry about bringing enough supplies is really liberating. You still have your period but you get to fundamentally ignore it.”
“Having a Diva Cup gave me an ability I’d never had before: the ability to temporarily forget I was on my period. I can put in the Diva Cup & just live, without the discomfort of pads, the fear of tampon malfunction or the general anxiety of running against the clock.”
“I’ll admit, it took me a while to even consider trying the Diva Cup. The whole idea of it kind of weirded me out. But after a couple of days of my first cycle using it, I was a believer. I became not only a believer, but an advocate, after starting my period while at hunting camp with a bunch of guys. Using the Diva Cup during that trip made a potentially awkward weekend a total non-issue. And I even shot the biggest deer that weekend!”
Helping Women Around the World
Happy International Women’s Day! As I thought about all the sutff going on today, I wondered if there was anything I could contribute with having a largely female audience. While a DivaCup can save you some money and help the environment, one thing I love about the concept of menstrual cups is that it can help women around the world. Getting your period can be annoying to us here but in other countries, it is LIFE ALTERING. Some girls have to miss school and work (or even quit) due to lack of products to help. Stocking pads and tampons in relief is something people often forget and many women are hurting. 1 simple cup can change all this for them for up to 10 years. Having 12 hours of protection allows women to go about her life without having to worry about locating latrines, worrying about people knowing and so much more. You can read more facts in this Huffington Post article: How Menstrual Cups are Changing Lives in East Africa.