Whilst pregnant with Jesse I decided that I would no longer use disposable tampons and pads for my period when it returned, I intended to get a menstrual cup and perhaps even use cloth pads. Spending all that money on disposable tampons, that get flushed down the toilet and end up in the sea, or thrown in the garbage to sit in landfills - eew!
I first came across the idea of a menstrual cup years ago whilst reading a South African alternative magazine which had an ad in for a South African brand. I was intrigued - the idea of having to empty the cup grossed me out, as the very thought that it was reusable, I mean how sanitary is it? (Very, by the way)
We all know how bad tampons are for us, toxic shock syndrome, chemicals and all, but they are also so bad for the earth in general. All that waste! This was a major factor for me, I mean I use cloth nappies on my child, I cannot justify using disposable menstrual products. This, and the cost factor. It was costing me a fortune every month in tampons, especially after having Jesse (I did not fulfill my intention of starting with a menstrual cup straight away, once my period had returned), I'm not sure if I need to do more kegels or what, but I had to replace the tampon after every trip to the loo for a wee, and I drink a lot of water, so that was a lot of tampons.
The most fabulous thing about The DivaCup - after you factor in the green and frugal perks - is that you only need to empty it once every twelve hours or so. Yes, I totally forgot I was even on my period most of the time! I managed to leave it in for around 12 hours at a time, and I had absolutely NO LEAKS! The DivaCup list 12 hour leak protection as one of their features on their website, and indeed it is true! I'm going to repeat that, 12 hours! No more rushing to the bathroom multiple times per day, or having to get up in the night, it is leak-proof! (As long as its inserted properly, which isn't rocket science, and I had it down to an art by the end of my first period)
The first time I used the menstrual cup I was a bit apprehensive about all the blood I would have no choice but to look at, I thought the quantities would freak me out, and I was apprehensive about trying to get The DivaCup out the first time I needed to empty it. These proved to be non issues, it is totally true that you only lose a couple of tablespoons of blood every month with your period (the tampons and pads make it seem like more!) and it was a breeze to 'extract' the cup, totally painless (unlike tampons sometimes) and comfy.
The reason tampons are sometimes painful to extract is because the soak up ALL of your vagina's fluids, leaving none for lubrication. The cup collects, it does not absorb, and so your vagina is always moist, the way nature intended and is hence much healthier. Indeed, I have not suffered from a single discomfort in the way of thrush of friction since using The DivaCup!
The DivaCup is awesome for those of us who like to swim! Swimming was a no go for me whilst using tampons because invariably the tampon would soak up half the pool at the same time, and then choose to expel it whilst I was climbing out or in the dressing room - is it only me who experienced this? The DivaCup is completely secure in your vagina, no matter what positions you get yourself into (yoga) and the seal it creates ensures no leaks, I know, I keep going on about this, but honestly, I experienced NO LEAKS!
I am a complete convert, and cannot believe I didn't try one sooner! I have been recommending The DivaCup to friends and family ever since I first used it!
With regards to the 'ick' factor surrounding our monthly's - The DivaCup will change all of that, I started feeling real respect for my body, and for this monthly cleansing it went through. I have begun to enjoy my bodies natural rhythms, and (I dare say it) almost enjoy my periods - not completely, because I do experience slight cramps on the first day. There is none of that smell associated with tampons, and I found dealing with The DivaCup to be a lot less messy than dealing with tampons and especially pads.
So, how does it work? It is literally a cup, made from medical grade silicone that is inserted in your lower vagina (where you insert tampons) and remains there to collect the fluids expelled during your period. It can continue to collect these fluids for up to 12 hours, you need not worry about it over-flowing or becoming full, because the entire average monthly flow is approximately 1 to 1.4 ounces (30-40ml's) and The DivaCup conveniently holds one ounce (30 ml's)! It is reusable, and can be used for about a year, possibly more, before needing to be replaced, unless the silicone is compromised in some way. Once every 12 or less hours you need to empty the cup and give it a rinse or clean it with The DivaWash! If you cannot rinse the cup, for instance in a public bathroom, then you can simply wipe it out with toilet paper and reinsert until you get the chance to give it a good rinse. There is a couple of tricks to learn for inserting the cup, and a bit of 'fiddling' is required the first few times, but thereafter, it really is that simple!
The DivaCup is made from medical grade silicone and is completely safe for women who have latex allergies. It does not contain latex, nor plastic, PVC, acrylic, BPA, pthalate, elastomer, polyethylene and is completely free of colours and dyes. It has been cleared for marketing by the US FDA and the Australian TGA and is the only reusable menstrual cup allowed to be sold in Canada by Health Canada. Diva International Inc. is also the only ISO 13485:2003 certified menstrual cup manufacturer and head office in the world! The same cannot be said for any other menstrual product!
BUY IT!You can purchase The DivaCup in either size online, or in local stores in the United States and Canada (use this store locator) and internationally. The listed retail price is around $39.99.
WIN IT!For your own chance to win a DivaCup menstrual cup in your choice of size, enter by using the Rafflecopter system below! Contest is open to U.S. & Canadian mailing addresses.
MANDATORY ENTRY: Visit DivaCup.com and tell me something interesting you've read!Leave a valid email address so I can contact you if you win. Email addresses in Rafflecopter are not made publicly visible.