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.