Friday, June 22, 2012

Greening my period with the Diva Cup

Disposable plates are clean, relatively cheap and convenient, but you wouldn't eat off disposable plates every day, would you? It's just too wasteful.

Well, using tampons has made me feel like the environmental boor who uses disposable plates and drinks bottled water for breakfast, lunch and dinner (at least for 5 days out of the month). So I finally switched to the aluminum water bottle of the femcare world, the menstrual cup. The Diva Cup, to be precise.

It arrived in a package that included a cute little cloth drawstring bag and a "Diva" lapel pin that I'm absolutely never ever going to wear.

I'm not going to lie--there's a bit of a learning curve. But aside from one unfortunate retrieval attempt (the one before I thoroughly read the instructions), it was really no more difficult or time consuming than using tampons. And you don't have to worry about carrying enough with you because it's reusable!

In terms of effectiveness, I found the Diva cup wasn't leak-proof, but it did leak less than tampons. And the spotting I experienced was likely due to user error--not getting the cup in precisely its happy place. Comfort was equivalent to a tampon. Sometimes I felt a little "have to pee" pressure on my urethra shortly after putting it back in, but the more I inserted it, the better I became at putting it in exactly the right spot (and opened all the way).

There is the matter of emptying and cleaning the Diva cup, which is definitely best done in the privacy of your own bathroom or at least a bathroom with a private sink. I'm not going to lie: you will see blood. A lot of blood. Some women recommend carrying a sport bottle of water into a public stall and others say a quick wipe with TP is good enough, but fortunately the Diva cup can hold more than even the most super absorbent tampon, so I didn't have to deal with that challenge at work.

Now if I was going to be at an all-day rock festival and dealing with port-a-potties, you can better believe I'd use tampons instead...but I'd also be eating off disposable plates without feeling too guilty about it.