Alright, here it is… that ‘monthly talk’… You’ve heard about it, your ‘crazy aunt’ probably raves about it, and you’ve seen it on the shelves at the store, but were too weirded out to pick it up. Well, I’m that crazy aunt that heard about it and picked it up. The Diva Cup, Menstrual Cup, Aunt Flow’s Fountain, whatever you want to call it… it’s a game changer!
For years now I have rarely used tampons, only in the direst of circumstances. I grew up watching documentaries and medical shows, and I’ll never forget the topic of toxic shock syndrome and tampon use.
It’s true that you’re supposed to change out your tampon every few hours to prevent this from happening short term. But what about the long-term effects? Having a chemical-laden, bleached, genetically modified cotton thumb inside you over your fertility lifespan doesn’t give me warm and fuzzy feelings. Tampons contain chemicals that leech blood from your uterus for roughly five days a month, 60 days a year, 120 months in a lifetime?
Why are the incidences of infertility, endometriosis, cysts, fibroids and pregnancy complications on the sharp rise? Of course, I cannot directly link tampon use to these issues, but if I can reduce the chemical load exposure to my reproductive organs, it is one less thing my body has to process, filter and cycle out.
Related Article: What’s the Deal with Detoxing?
What About Pads?
I used pads, or ‘sanitary napkins’ as the proper ladies say, for years after ditching tampons. Still, I was not feeling quite right about it. I was exposing myself to a slew of chemicals in that super-duper absorbent, no leak, odor-free, baby powder, lavender scent, winged bat diaper. Not to mention the ‘oh so subtle’ crisp new Velcro sound that rips away the discretion in any public bathroom.
I was about ready to try The Diva Cup.
What is a Menstrual Cup?
For those who haven’t of it, The Diva Cup is a medical grade silicone cup that is incredibly flexible and sits comfortably inside, lower than a tampon would go and may last for up to 12 hours at a time.
Get Comfortable with Yourself
I will admit, that at first, there was most definitely some ‘getting-used-to’ insertion and removal. You’ll most certainly get well acquainted with your nether regions like you haven’t before. But it’s never too late to learn a little more about yourself! Once I got the hang of it, I completely forgot about it for the rest of my 12 hour day.
The Suprise Benefit of Using Menstrual Cups
The most surprising part of the switch was (and this may get personal, okay we’re too late for that disclaimer, but it’s getting even more personal now) the amount of blood that was actually in the cup. When you’re used to tampons and pads, you think you’re losing a pint of blood every time you menstruate. Between the lethargy, cramping, and changeovers it can seem like you’ve got nothing left in you. Without exposure to all those ‘super absorbent’ sanitary items and just allowing your body to naturally eliminate what it needs, actually minimizes blood loss. On average a tablespoon or two for the heaviest of days.
Who Else May Benefit From It?
Women who want to reduce their chemical exposure, save money and not worry about finding a bathroom every 4 hours for starters. But more specifically, women concerned with iron-deficiency and/or anemia may benefit from switching to The Diva Cup. Since there’s less blood being sucked out from you, there may be some relief of symptoms.
It’s also incredibly convenient for those traveling with limited space. No more having to worry about a stockpile of tampons or pads in your backpack! Now you’ve got extra space for all those trinkets, souvenirs or trail mix.
Overall, The Diva Cup converted me, would you try it?
Tips for Newbies
Every woman’s body is a bit different and The Diva Cup has two sizes. One for women under 30 or haven’t had children and one for women over 30 or have had children. Ultimatly, those are general sizing, you may need to try them both to find which one is better for you.
There is a bit of a learning curve, so it may help to wear a sanitary napkin for the first few times while you make sure it’s correctly positioned. Going straight from tampons to a menstrual cup it may take a couple months for your body to regulate the amount of blood loss.