Even in our modern times, that time of the month for us ladies can be difficult. Until recently, tampons were my go-to, but I never felt quite right about putting them into my body, let alone disposing hundreds of plastic applicators and packaging materials for the sake of being able to function out in society during my period. Millions of women use tampons and pads on the daily, so I figured there was a more eco-friendly and healthier way to deal with our cycles. I went to my local Co-op a few weeks ago and purchased a menstrual cup called The Diva Cup. I had passed the cute purple and pink packaging countless times before always a bit intimidated by its size (roughly a ping pong ball).
I thought it was time to invest in myself and the environment after reading about the dangers of tampons and pads, and the synthetic fibers and petrochemical additives used to make them.
Did you know that one sanitary pad is made up of the equivalent of four plastic bags? And did you ever think about how those tampons and pads get that bleached-white look? Chlorine is commonly used to bleach tampons and pads, causing dioxin by products in our sensitive feminine bodies.
Dr. Mercola says: “In my opinion, the realm of feminine hygiene can be likened to a “ticking time bomb.” Because when you consider your exposure over the course of a lifetime, it really adds up; the average American woman uses up to 16,800 tampons in her lifetime .”
The use of conventional tampons and pads can lead to hormonal and endocrine disruption, abnormal tissue and cell growth in the body, and is definitely not an eco-friendly way to deal with a natural cycle of the female body Women have been dealing with this throughout time in much safer, and friendlier ways!
I bought The Diva Cup for a mere $30.00 dollars (can be used for many years). I took out the soft, rubbery silicone cup, held it in my palm, and wondered how this thing was going to fit inside of me. But I found out this cup is made from soft rubbery silicone (medical grade material) and is actually not that intimidating.
To insert the cup, wash your hands and the cup with soap and water, and simply fold one side of the cup in, and squeeze the cup into a “c” shape. It is easiest to insert it while sitting on the toilet. You are going to hold the C shaped cup with one hand and insert it towards your tailbone. The first few times is going to feel a bit odd, and definitely get some giggles out of you, but once it is “inside” you may want to try and rotate the cup about a full circle, until you feel it open up or it feels comfortable. Once it is inserted you don’t have to take it out for another 12 hours! It can hold 30 ml of blood, so you don’t have to take it out often like tampons.
Here is a link from the Diva Cup website with really helpful steps: http://divacup.com/how-it-works/tips-for-success/
The biggest thing to remember is not to be scared! The cup cannot get lost in your body as the vaginal canal does not connect to other parts of your body. It is painless, and comfortable! The only thing that was shocking at first was the blood when dumping the menstrual cup into the toilet.
To take out the cup, you can contract your muscles kind of as if you are doing kegels, and the cup will begin to push out. You will see/feel the stem. You will simply pull on the stem of the cup until you can reach the base of the cup, and pinch it in, and it will slide out easily.
I wear a menstrual cup while bike riding, yoga, running, and doing my daily activities and cannot feel it nor does it bother me in any way. I cannot even imagine going back to using tampons and pads. I always found tampons to be rough on my body, and can definitely understand how fibers can get left behind inside of us and cause harm. I highly recommend menstrual cups for all women no matter age or body shape! I sleep with it comfortably in and don’t have to worry, unlike with pads and tampons that get uncomfortable and need to be changed often. The best part about a menstrual cup is that there is no odor involved and it is so discrete.
How about you–would you try a menstrual cup?
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Photo: Irena Stanisic