PERIODS!!!!! As in, MENSTRUATION!!
What???? Did I just say that? Yep. Yes, I did.
Here’s the thing, periods happen. Every month, in fact. And it’s really not a big deal unless you have a difficult period. Which also happens. But, men who are reading this, keep reading. Periods are a fact of life and it’s nothing to be embarrassed about.
Anyway, I’ve been sitting on this topic for a few months because I’ve been wanting to gather more experience/information but in light of this article, I think the time has come to share my knowledge!
For those of you who did not click on the link to the article, in short it discusses a study about the toxins present in feminine hygiene products. This news is not new to me. Toxins in tampons and pads are only one reason among many why I sought out alternative menstruation care.
Quick question before I discuss new products: Why on earth are feminine hygiene products classified as “cosmetic,” as mentioned in the article? Seriously, who came up with that plan? This is me stating the obvious: If it were not for adequate feminine hygiene, once a month women would be confined to home, probably sitting atop our toilets all day. Or maybe lying in a bloody ditch? Maybe that’s what whoever came up with that classification has in mind for women? Unfortunately, I am not exaggerating. There are women in many countries who, because of inadequate feminine hygiene, miss out on school, work, and other opportunities. Feminine hygiene is not cosmetic. It is essential.
So. A few months ago I bought a Diva Cup. A Diva Cup is a reusable menstruation device. Yep, reusable. Why did I seek out such a scary thing?
Good question, glad you asked. I personally hate buying things that I’m just going to throw away or is only used once or will run out. It’s frustrating and not economical. Also, tampons and pads contribute to a lot of waste on this planet. I’ve always planned on using reusable diapers when I have kids, so it seemed only responsible to find a reusable replacement for my monthly feminine needs.
So. The Diva Cup. It is a flexible, silicone cup that you fold before inserting into the vagina. After insertion, it opens and catches menstrual fluid that can then be dumped out. Bonus! If your flow is regular or light, you can leave it in up to TWELVE hours!!! Yep. You can basically forget about your period for twelve hours. Nice.
Furthermore, it is much easier to deal with while traveling or camping.
Here’s how it works: If you are at home you can rinse and wash the cup with unscented soap and then just put it back in. If you are in public in a bathroom that is its own room instead of a series of stalls, simply rinsing will suffice. And if you’re in a stall, wiping clean with toilet paper will do until you are able to actually wash it. At the end of your flow, you can boil the cup for five to ten minutes to sterilize it.
It’s that simple!!!
I have to admit, upon embarking upon this adventure I was really nervous. What if it doesn’t work? What if I put it in wrong? Isn’t that gross? Admittedly, it does take a few tries to figure it out. But once you get used to it, it’s a miracle. Really.
It is advisable to continue to use pads or panty liners until you have developed full faith in your menstruation cup. But once you get it working properly you will never go back. It’s that amazing.
On average, one menstruation cup will last about ten years. So with an average initial cost of $25.00, that’s a pretty good deal. Not to mention the sheer peace of mind that comes with it! Seriously ladies, this thing is one of the best inventions ever!
While I use the Diva Cup there are other brands, though I think Diva Cup is the most common. I found mine at Harmon’s, a grocery chain local to Utah. But it is also available at Whole Foods (for way more money. I recommend buying elsewhere.) or online.