Be warned, this post is all about periods and may be a bit of an over-share of intimate lady-part information. If you are squeamish regarding the topic of menstruation stop reading right now and take in the beautiful view I have provided above, then move on. For the rest of you, be prepared for some seriously life changing information (and no I am not being overly dramatic this is big news).
Hands up who has heard of menstrual cups?
I was first introduced to them when I stumbled across a display at my yoga studio. Picking one up out of curiosity I scoffed at the ridiculous name (seriously, who names these things? they should fire marketers quick smart) and brightly coloured packaging and dismissed it as ‘weird hippie stuff’.
A year later I got to thinking about periods, the grossness of tampons (don’t even get me started on sanitary pads *shudder*) , and the impact that disposable sanitary products have on the environment. I will admit, I quite often skip my sugar pills to avoid my period, and I am one of the naughty ones who uses tampons overnight despite the toxic shock warnings, so I decided I needed to brush up on the alternatives. My research brought me right back to menstrual cups, in fact the very same badly marketed brand that I had seen at my yoga studio more than a year earlier.
Fast forward a week and I am standing in my local health food store holding two different sizes of Diva Cup’s in my hands trying to work out exactly what size I need for my lady parts (am I a size 1 or a size 2… Not the sort of thing the sales assistants can really help you with). A reusable medical grade silicone menstrual cup is not cheap, the initial outlay is between $40-$60 AUD but once you fork out your money, thats it, your sorted for at least a year, no more pads or tampons!!!! This means serious savings in the long run.
Now for the nitty gritty of usage (look away if you are squeamish). A menstrual cup works much like a tampon, in that it sits inside and collects your flow. However, unlike a tampon, it isn’t absorbent, so your monthly ‘Aunt Flow’ gets collected in the silicone cup (which has a measuring scale on the inside for those of you curious about amounts, perhaps a fun bragging rights competition you could have with your girlfriends). You can leave the cup in all day, which means you can insert it in the morning, and empty in the evening, and it is perfectly safe to use overnight. Like the women on the Libra and Carefree advertisements you will be free to do extreme sports, or wear extreme colours, like white , as the cup (if inserted correctly) doesn’t leak.
The bit that really gets some people is the insertion. To wear a menstrual cup you do kinda have to get ‘all-up-in-there’ with yourself. The first bit of insertion involves a bit of freshly-washed-hands cup origami, once folded according to the instructions, the cup is inserted horizontally into the vagina (aiming at the tailbone). The tricky bit is the 360 spin, which requires you to rotate the cup inside yourself to get your origami work to pop open. It takes a little bit to get used to, but like riding a bike (which, with a menstrual cup, you will be able to do all day wearing white pants without an ounce of fear), once you have it worked out, you will never forget how to do it. Removal is easy due to the stem on the bottom of the cup and somehow the ick factor of looking at a small cup of fluid is far less disgusting (or crime scene reminiscent) than pads or tampons. All you need to do is empty it, rinse and re-insert, which is easy done morning and night.
So after a week with my menstrual cup, I feel like standing on my deck and declaring my love for Diva Cups to the world (my love for them has overcome my repulsion to their name and packaging choices). But alas my neighbourhood is not the prime target market for sanitary products (with a mean age of 58) so I my love would fall on deaf (bad pun I know) ears. So instead I decided to write this post to all you lovely ladies in internet land to free you from the shackles of disposable sanitary product usage.
So if you want to save time, money, your underwear (no more leaks), and the planet get yourself a menstrual cup, wear your fanciest lingerie and best white shorts, and ride a horse up and down the beach all day.
You won’t ever look back!!!
Share your love (or repulsion) below.