Saturday, January 17, 2009

Diva Convert

Warning: This post is about menstrual cups. If you don't want to know, stop reading.

Over the past few years, I have become (in the words of my mother) a hippie. It started with the babywearing, then the organic/whole foods, cloth diapers, reusable bags and now this: the Diva Cup.

Diva Cups are a brand of menstrual cup - reusable cups worn internally to catch menstrual flow. I know what you're thinking. No really, I know. When I first heard of them I thought it was the most disgusting unsanitary gross and all those other adjectives too, but somehow I've changed my mind.

I think it started with cloth diapers. Anyone who has switched to cloth realizes that washing poop off a diaper is much less icky than wrapping it up in plastic for all eternity (have you ever stopped to think how much poop is in a landfill? now that's gross!). Next came FAM (fertility awareness method, a form of natural, non-hormonal birth control) where I got to know my body better, inside and out, and got much less squeemish about discharge and that whole area. Finally, there was birth, with all it's discharge, blood and general ickyness. I don't know how anyone could be squeemish about such things after that.

Along with the cloth diapers, I had already started thinking about using cloth pads. The amount of waste with disposable pads and tampons is just insane, not to mention all the resources used in manufacturing them. I have issues with disposable products in general - it's intentional waste, used resources and packaging for something we intend to throw out. Doesn't sit well with me. Cloth pads seemed a good option, as they're reusable and preform the same function. They do, however, require upkeep and can get a little expensive.

Which lead me to menstrual cups. It didn't disgust me anymore (at this point I realize that a woman should never be disgusted by her own body), requires very little upkeep, and only cost 40$ (or about 3 months worth of pads). So I got one and this is my first cycle using it.

I thought it would be difficult to insert, but it wasn't. All it requires is knowing where your cervix is so you can place the opening of the cup around it. Using FAM I was good to go. I thought it might be uncomfortable, but I don't feel it at all.

Now, to be realistic, it is a little messy to insert, but hands are washable. And it would be a little awkward to do in a public restroom, but can be left in for 12 hours, so that would rarely be necessary. There is no risk of TSS like with tampons, because the cup doesn't absorb, it just holds. Most importantly, aside from the box it comes in, there is no waste.


Mommy of Three said...

The "Instead" cups came out several years ago, and are the same idea as the Diva cups, only not as expensive. I was in high school when I tried one the first time, and, while in use, I thought it was the best idea ever. But then...then it had to be removed....what a nightmare! I have a tipped pelvis, and apparently mine got stuck behind my pubic bone. After about an hour of trying to get it out, I had to call the 24-hour nurse service listed on the pamphlet. Is was the most humiliating call EVER!!!

After the trauma faded a little, I thought I'd give it another was probably about a year or so later...and guess what? Stuck AGAIN!

Needless to say, I will NEVER use anything of the sort again :) Kudos to those who can, though :)

Steph said...

THe Instead cups are much shorter and worn much higher than the Diva cups. Also, most other brands of cup (diva, keeper, mooncup and Lunette) have a stem on the end so they are easier to get at. I actually had to cut the stem off my Diva because it was sticking out and was uncomfortable. You might want to check the comparison chart here and look at the length of the cups - I had looked at Instead as well, but as they're disposable you have to keep buying them, whereas the other cups last much longer.

Mommy Rader said...

Hm. Interesting concept.

Mommy of Three said...

It comes with a STEM?!?!?!?! Why the HECK didn't "INSTEAD" make them like that?! It would have saved me major trauma and embarassment!!!!

Steph said...

yeah, I can imagine that was pretty traumatic Kayla! I cut the stem off my Diva and still had NO problems removing it. IT was so nice to have a period without feeling all messy and gross the entire time!

Mommy of Three said...


Steph said...

They sell them at whole foods.