This is not a blog that thousands of people read. I’ve said before that it is more like a journal and a way to pass some time while I count down the hours/days/weeks/months until daddy comes home (hence the title). As we’ve added kids I have spent less time writing here, so I’m sure any chance of a loyal “following” is gone. Therefore there are no ads, no one sending me products to try and review, no money being made here, and no attempts at turning this blog into anything other than what it is. There is one other post devoted to telling people to go buy something. It was about the Beco Gemini baby carrier and it is still a baby product I recommend to friends. This will be a post like that. A “you NEED this” post. But its not about a baby carrier. It is about a menstrual cup.
You might be thinking, “what the heck is a menstrual cup?” I know that’s what I thought when I first heard of them. Or maybe I am way late to this party and everyone is using them. Outside of certain circles I kind of doubt that’s the case. And if you are someone I talk to regularly and and we have even once talked about periods, vaginas, bodily fluids, etc. and you failed to mention that you use a menstrual cup and how awesome it is then we have a problem.
According to Wikipedia,
a menstrual cup is type of feminine hygiene product which is usually made of medical grade silicone, shaped like a bell and is flexible. It is worn inside the vagina during menstruation to catch menstrual fluid (blood), and can be worn during the day and overnight. Full menstrual cups are removed from the vagina, emptied into the toilet or sink, washed and re-inserted.
I heard about the DivaCup a couple of years ago on a blog but the author of the post had yet to actually use it. I thought it sounded interesting, but since I’m sure I was pregnant at the time I didn’t think much of it. I read about it one other time on a blog, but this author definitely did not use one and the entire post was full of comments like, “Can you believe this exists?” and “Ew, gross!” and “I would NEVER use one of those!” But let’s face it, you might be thinking the same thing right now.
I’m not going to go into all of the technicalities of how to use a menstrual cup; everybody knows how to google. In short you do have to be okay with getting pretty intimate with your lady bits, but there’s nothing wrong with that. I will tell you why I think its the best thing since…well since the last thing that made having a monthly period easier to manage. Probably tampons with applicators.*
1. You can leave it in for 10-12 hours and it won’t leak or overflow or even be full. Or give you toxic shock syndrome. No leaking. Not at night, not on the heavy days, not ever. Once it is in position you are good to go.
2. Once you get the hang of it (it took me at most three times the first day I used it to get it exactly right) you won’t have any idea it is even there. No string hanging out either.
3. Taking it out and emptying it is really easy. It is not hard to keep everything in the cup and avoid spilling. I haven’t lost a drop yet and I’m a total newbie.
4. No more running out of tampons. I used to buy that stuff at Costco and had so many that I never ran out. Now I have no bulk shopping options. I’m sure there is some Amazon tampon subscribe and save I could do, but this is even easier. You need ONE for the whole cycle. I actually bought two so that I can have one in my bag in case I get caught by surprise and I’m out of the house, but if you are very regular you can just start wearing it when you expect your period to come.
5. Less trash. I did not switch to the DivaCup out of environmental concerns. Unlike the K-cups that we ditched recently, I wasn’t using so many tampons that I felt compelled to reduce. It is a nice little bonus, but my trash concerns have more to do with my dog and eating trash. The two times I have had to pull a tampon from her butt because I forgot to close the lid and she ate them out of the trash were two times too many. Luckily the string came out first.
6. You will save money. Once cup lasts a long time. I read that originally DivaCup said you can use the same one for 20 years. The package insert now says that because it is a personal hygiene product you should replace it every year, but its pretty obvious that is just a legal, CYA move. The next sentence states that the life of the cup is different for everyone. Everything I have read in Amazon reviews, FAQs, blog posts indicates that these things last a LONG time.
So there you have it. At this point the only downside to this is it feels like my period has been here forever this month because I have been thinking about it a lot. Mostly about how great this product is and how I want to tell everyone about it, so now that I have I can get back to normal.
*I was curious about the history of feminine hygiene products, so I googled “history of menstrual products” or something and learned a few interesting facts. Women have used all kinds of things for that special time of the month. From tampons made of papyrus, to plain old rags (“on the rag”), to just wearing black underwear and bleeding all over it, to sanitary napkins pinned to the underwear, or (as I did recall from ‘Are you there God, its me Margaret’) held in place by a belt. Menstrual cups have actually been around since 1937 or something, but sales weren’t so great. They came back on the market in the ’50s, but were not a big hit. They are gaining more popularity now…maybe in thanks to social media and women sharing their experiences!