Hi everyone! Fancy here!
The first "green" change I made was 2 years ago and was probably the most hard-core, and I didn't even originally make it to be green. Men, you may want to avert your eyes. Ladies, I am talking about the one, the only, the amazing...Diva Cup.
See, I started using the Diva Cup not to be green, but because the alternatives were no longer working for me. After having my daughter, I found that tampons...umm...seemed to go south as my day went on. Not very effective, or comfortable, huh? As well, they seemed to irritate my cramps. As for pads, well, I had not used them in over a decade and had no desire to go back.
In researching this problem, I kept coming across an item I had never known existed, menstrual cups, cups made of silicone or rubber that go into the vagina to catch the menstrual flow, and then are cleaned out and re-used. Unlike many women I know, the idea did not ick me out at all. Since I had used OB applicatorless tampons for years, I was accustomed to getting close and personal with my menses. So once I read about how they work, I was eager to try it and bought a Diva Cup (the common one in Canada. The Keeper, The Lunette and The Moon Cup are others you may come across) at Noah's right away, then waited eagerly for my flow to...flow.
It was love at first use, if love for a menstrual product is possible. I will admit it took me a couple cycles to get it in right quickly and easily, but following the directions really helped, and now I have no problems at all with insertions or removal.
The things I love about the cup are that it greatly reduces my cramps, stays in place, needs to be dealt with less than a pad or tampon, is clean, is affordable (about $40, that is less than a year of tampons, and it lasts 10 years!) reduces midnight runs to the drugstore, reduces overflowing toilets once a month (whoever said tampons are flushable lied...but I refused to throw them out!) . Of course, the best thing about the sups are that they are reusable so they reduce the waste that disposable menstrual products lead to, as well as the energy used for producing and transporting and endless supply to meet an endless demand for the disposable products.
To answer a few common questions:
1. Does it hurt?
No, now at all. You don't feel it. Unlike a tampon, it sits at the lower part of your vagina, so it is in the wider area, and does not press against the cervix.
2. Is it messy?
Well, if you fling it around, it may be. But with normal usage, not at all. It sits vertically, so when you remove it it stays vertical, so you can just tip it out into the toilet with no spills or mess.
3. How do you clean it in public bathrooms?
Well, I rarely have to. Most days cleaning it right before I leave the house and first thing when I return is enough. If I do have to though, I just dump some water from a water bottle in my purse into it, swish it around, and dump the water in the toilet. Voila, clean.
4. Does it leak?
Well, like any menstrual product, you have to get a feel for what it can manage and keep and eye on it on heavy days, but I have never found leaking to be a big problem and I definately find it leaks way less than tampons. I do wear panty-liners for back up (cloth ones, but that's for another post!) just in case.
Go ahead, try it! Be a Diva Like me!! Many heath food stores or natural product stores sell them, as wel as Ebay (yes, there are new ones on Ebay!)