**DISCLAIMER** This post is targetted for my lady pals and may be too much info for some of you. Please skip right along if you feel uncomfortable.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s jump right in….
A little over a year ago my girl friend introduced the menstrual cup to me. I remember that day vividly, because it was right after our pole dance class and she, along with a few other girls were standing around discussing this bizarre contraption quite animatedly. It’s not every day a conversation like this strikes up, so I naturally wanted to get the low down.
You want me to put this, WHERE?! To do WHAT?? Were my exact thoughts. I was fascinated, intrigued, mildly freaked out, yet strangely excited at the prospect of trying out something so….. rad. Yes, I honestly thought this nifty little cup was oddly cool.
I figured the best way to deal with the weirdness was to just nose dive right in and give it a shot. I shouldn’t dismiss it until I’ve tried it. If it didn’t work out for me, the worst that would happen was losing a small fraction of money. I could live with that.
There are many various menstrual cups out in the market, the one I purchased was the Diva Cup, which I got through iHerb for USD $36.53 (incl. international shipping). While waiting for it arrive and my next cycle to come round I researched application methods and how not to kill myself during the process. JOKING! It’s very safe, I promise!
Fast forward one year later, and I can truthfully tell you that switching to the Diva Cup has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. I’ll share some of the key highlights of my experience, and why I love it so much.
But, before I jump in, here are some interesting facts..
Did you know?
- The average woman uses 9,600 tampons in her entire menstrual life cycle
- Depending on the number of tampons/pads used, the average woman spends between $100 – $225 US Dollars per year
- Most tampons and pads contain surfactants, adhesives and additives
- Traces of dioxin (a known carcinogen) and the synthetic fiber rayon are also found in tampons. Dioxin is a by-product of the bleaching process in the manufacturing of tampons and the synthetic fiber rayon can leave residue in the vaginal wall, leading to possible risk of infection and overall discomfort. (Source: www.divacup.com)
So, why do I love the Diva Cup?
It was relatively easy to figure out – It took me 2 tries to nail down down the application after which I had no issues and can tell you I’m now an expert. This was probably the scariest part of the entire process, but it was well worth it. I have included a YouTube video below to help you!
I only need to empty it every 12 hours – This is a major plus for me. I can go out the entire day and not have to worry or deal with the fuss of changing it out, or panicking if I forget to bring any tampons with me either. Also, I can travel on long haul flights with ease. Major win! **Note: Although recommended to not leave it in for more than 10-12 hours, I sometimes leave it in slightly longer and have not had any issues. Please use your own discretion.
It is leak free – No joke, it has been a year and I have yet to experience a single leak. When I first started, I was cautious and wore a liner every time. I soon discovered there was no need for it, which is truly very liberating! I cannot say the same for tampons/pads.
Comfort – I don’t feel a thing – of course this is dependent on wearing the cup correctly. If it feels uncomfortable, it is likely that it has not been inserted deep enough or not adjusted properly. Or, you might need a brand that is better suited for you. Note: my friend found the Diva Cup stem (the little ‘stick’ at the end of the cup that helps you to manoeuvre the cup out) slightly too long for her and trimmed it slightly. I didn’t have this issue, so it really depends on the individual.
It is safe – The Diva Cup is made of healthcare grade, natural un-pigmented silicone which is nitrosamine (a chemical which causes allergic reactions to latex) and latex-free – with tampons, I always had minor irritations. I haven’t had a single one with the Diva Cup.
There is no odor – Please don’t judge or unfriend me – Yes, on my very first use, I took a whiff and I swear there was no odor (you are very welcome!). Odor only occurs when your flow is exposed to air, which happens in the case of tampons/pads. Because of the nature of how the cup is worn (it sits low and snugly within the vaginal canal, entirely internal), this makes it a non-issue. I stay fresh 24/7.
I get to monitor my flow, and I will tell you this – it’s a lot less than you would expect. There is something empowering about learning more about my body and health. With tampons/pads, I wouldn’t be able to tell. Okay. I’m gonna be real here and tell you that my first time nearly had me gagging. I don’t mean to frighten or gross you out, but I think you should be mentally prepared. Blood.in.a.cup. Fine. Maybe it’s just me? I’m a total wimp. Well, I have a fear of seeing blood (did I mention I’m a certified first-aider? Oh the irony.. you can laugh now…), but I have since gotten over my initial queasiness. No fainting, no gagging, I’m all good.
Reducing my carbon footprint – Using a reusable silicone menstrual cup is a small step towards helping the planet. Good for me, good for the planet, win win. Yay!
As with all things I understand this may not be everyone’s ideal choice, and we have to decide what’s best for us. For those of you who may have been considering making the switch and unsure, I encourage you to give it a try because it may change your life for the better like it did mine.
I leave you with a video that explains what the menstrual cup is all about and tips on how to use it correctly. Also, the Diva Cup website has a wealth of good info if you wish to learn more about it. Let me know what you think! Are you using a menstrual cup too? Or are considering trying it out? If you have any questions feel free to drop me an email, I’ll do my best to answer any queries you may have. 🙂