Well dear readers (yes, the both of you!) I am here tonight to let you in on a secret that, though at first maybe ewwy, will help your life in a very very awesome way. This secret is one that I hold very dearly; this product (oohhh, a hint!!!) is of a personal nature (ohhh, another hint!!). A very personal nature. As in, no one should use it but you, otherwise....ew.
The secret? The secret that makes me so so happy that I use it every month?
May I present to you, dear readers....
THE DIVA CUP!
This little baby is a Diva Cup. It's a silicone menstrual cup and I am in love with it. Okay, I'm not actually in LOVE with a MENSTRUAL CUP because that's WEIRD and GROSS. I am in "like" with what it does for me.
I started using the Diva Cup in October of last year. I had heard a few good things about it, and I read up on it at the Diva Cup website and it seemed pretty legit. It's make of silicone, not plastic, so you don't have to worry about gross plastic chemicals leaching into your sensitive vaj. It's also very squishy because it's silicone. If you have silicone baking pans, it's like that. You squish the two sides together and then push down on one of the corners so it makes a bit of a triangle shape. Then you insert it, twist it, and leave it for 12 hours. Yeah, 12 HOURS!!! When you're ready to take it out, you use your pc muscles to push down a bit, and you grab the bottom of it, squeeze, and gently pull/twist it out. As long as you're not completely inept, you can pull it out without spilling any blood, and then you simply empty the blood into the toilet. Then you just rinse it out, put a bit of soap on it to clean it, and put it back in. I put my in before work and take it out 12 hours later (sometimes more like 14 hours later). During my cycle I leave it in the whole time, without a break, except when I'm emptying and washing it. As it has no absorbent properties and is merely a receptacle for menstrual blood, there is no risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome. It sits low in the vagina and does not touch the cervix.
For me, the best part of the Diva Cup is that I do not feel gross during my period anymore. I used to primarily use tampons and would also use a pad at night in case I leaked. The Diva Cup, when inserted properly, does not leak. When you twist it after putting it in, it seals to the walls of your vagina, which is why you have to squeeze the bottom of it when taking it out to break the seal. As long as you don't leave it in too long and it fills and breaks the seal, you're okay.
One of the things I like about the cup is that you can leave it in so long that you don't really have to worry about emptying in public. I have emptied it in public before, but if you can find a single bathroom with a sink, or if you can wait to go home, you don't have to deal with your period in a public space with people around, which I love. When your cycle is over, you boil the Cup for about 10 minutes, and it's ready for your next cycle.
You know when you're on the rag and you just feel nasty and smelly? The Diva Cup makes it so you're not smelly! Menstrual blood starts to smell when it oxidizes. The Diva Cup doesn't give the blood a chance to oxidize, so you don't smell. As long as you reinsert the Diva Cup right after washing it, you don't get blood on the labia, and you don't feel all nasty.
I know I sound like an infomercial, but I seriously love this product. It makes my menses soooo much nicer. It's healthier for you as well; tampons work by absorbing blood, and they contain chemicals and bleach. Not only do they absorb blood, but they absorb normal, healthy cervical fluid. This can leave your hoo-ha feeling very dry; when you're dry and shoving a tampon in and out of there, it can cause little cuts in the vaginal walls, which just isn't good for you. The Diva Cup prevents that.
Another thing that I have noticed with the Cup I've noticed my cramps aren't as bad. I'm not sure why that could even happen, but it's nice at least. Using any reusable alternative to tampons and pads is awesome for the environment. It can also save you $150-200 a year!!!!! It could (SERIOUSLY) save you THOUSANDS if you decide to use it from now until menopause.
One friend tried the Diva Cup and hated it, but I think it may be that she's a virgin and either 1. didn't do it right or 2. is too tight. She said the cup went high in her no-no and it was hard for her to get it out. I've never had that problem, and neither has any other girlfriend I know who uses it. So maybe if you're a virgin, not the best idea unless you're comfortable with your body. It's also not suggested for women who have an IUD.
So that's it. My big secret. The Diva Cup. It seriously makes me not hate my period anymore. It's so easy, and I don't have to worry about carrying tampons and pads anymore, plus I save money each month. It's so nice, in fact, that I usually don't realize what day of my period I am on and am surprised when I'm not longer bleeding. If that doesn't say something, than I don't know what will.
Oh, did I mention that I ran today with my Diva Cup in? Didn't feel a thing.
Do it. Diva Cup. Most natural food stores carry it in the personal care aisle. Mine was $25, and it lasts for at least a year.
DO IT. Do it. For reals.
These people and the Neti Pot people need to make me a spokesperson....