Warning: This post may be a bit of TMI, but I just had to share with other women the wonderful world of menstrual cups.
It all began when I was 11 years old. Fortunately for me, I welcomed this new part of my life over summer break while I was home. This prevented me from having one of those traumatic stories of experiencing such a monumental event in the middle of school informing every classmate that I was “becoming a woman”. It happened at home where I was able to keep it between myself and my mother. Now, I can’t recall if I attempted the dreaded tampon during this first menstrual cycle or not, but I do know that when I did, it was an epic FAIL! How was I ever going to get this thing up there??? So, for as long as I could remember, I was wearing pads. Which being in Florida put a real damper on typical summer events of going to the beach and swimming in pools. I’m not quite sure at what age I finally made the transition to tampons, but just like every other female out there, I finally figured it out and successfully “made it work”. So, here I was at 31, and have been buying, using, and throwing away tampons every month of my womanhood (minus 9 months of pregnancy for Maddox, 9 months of pregnancy for Cash, and 12 months during the first 12 months of breastfeeding Cash). So what does that total? Hold on… I’ll do the math. I’ve had my period for 20 years. At 12 months a year, that’s 240 months. Now lets take out my non-menstrual months and we come to 210 months. Which means I’ve had roughly 210 periods by the age of 31, give or take. So, at about $9.39 a box of my trusted brand of Tampax Pearl Multipax, 50 count, which I bought every month, means that I spent a total of $1,971.90 just on tampons!!!
Now, I didn’t look into the menstrual cup due to costs. I became interested in it through my cloth diapering journey of my almost 2 year old. I thought there has got to be a less toxic way of diapering myself. I’ve heard of the menstrual cup, but thought it had to be gross right? So I did what I do with every topic I want to get good reviews about, I go to my trusty YouTube. I started watching videos of others who took the plunge and I thought, if they can do it, so can I. I finally purchased my first Diva Cup in October of 2013 at $28 off of Amazon.com.
Now, I have to admit, there was a bit of a learning curve. It takes a few times to learn about your body from the inside and to know where and how to place it for the best success rate. However, it didn’t take me more than the first 2 days to pretty much master this Diva Cup business. There are other brands of menstrual cups, but I bought the Diva Cup and it works, so I’m going to stick with it. The Diva Cup comes in 2 sizes. There is size 1 for those who are under 30 and have had no children. Then there is size 2 (my size) for women over 30 or have had children. It fits perfect, it’s easy to use, I can wear all day (depending on cycle day and the flow amount, but I’ve never had it overflow), you can not feel it at all when used probably, and it lasts all year (I say that because it says to replace it yearly, but to be honest, I don’t really see why you would need to replace annually unless for some reason you ruin it. I suppose I will cross that bridge when I get it.)! Even if I replace it yearly, that’s $28 per year!!!! So if I would have been using these my entire womanhood, I would have spent a total of $560 throughout these past 20 years compared to the $1,971.90 I had already spent. And this is only looking at money that would have been saved in the past, not all the money that will be saved in the future.
Let’s not forget to mention all the chemicals I’m keeping out of my body considering the Diva Cup is “made from the highest quality healthcare grade silicone to assure comfort and durability” as stated on TheDivaCup.com. Comparing this to the tampon, which we can not even list what chemicals are in it because the manufacturers are not required to disclose the ingredients (Dr. Mercola May 22, 2013). This factor alone makes me bow down to my new discovery.
Last, but not least, we must discuss the amount of waste we are eliminating from being put into our environment. Of course we all know that I am a “tree hugger” hence the cloth diapers. So the fact that I am now contributing even less into our earth puts a bigger smile on my face. Every little bit helps.
I have now been using my Diva Cup for 7 months with no end in sight. It is not a new invention, but is finally making waves through society norms. It’s a new invention to me and I will never go back to the disposable tampon. If you are questioning what happens when you are out and about. I have a few suggestions to lessen your fear. First of all, due to being able to go all day for the most part without emptying out, I’ve only had to empty it out one time out in public. Now, when I did, I realized that it could have easily been a disaster if there wasn’t a family bathroom available. So, the other option could have been the handicap stall that always has the sink in with it. Or you could do what I did. I purchased these individually wrapped menstrual cup disinfecting wipes by Lunette off of Amazon.com. For $20.97, I received three 10 packs. This way I always have a few in my bag, making cleaning it out in public a breeze. I do have to point out though that I haven’t had to actually use them yet, but I do feel better knowing I have them. I am aware that the cost went up a bit, but considering I haven’t actually used one wipe makes me believe that this one order will last a very long while if not a lifetime. I do have to add that I am a stay at home mom. Therefore, I am not out of the house all day as it would be if I was a working mom. So let’s say I had to use one a day while at work (you wouldn’t have to empty it out more than that in an 8/9 hour period) and my period lasts me 5 days (again, this number will differ for every woman), so I would use 5 per month. This would suggest that my order would last me about 6 months. At $20.97 per order, I would have to add $41.94 to my yearly cost bringing me to a whopping $69.94 per year! The Diva Cup, has yet again, by far exceeded the toxic tampon.
So ladies, do not fear the world of the menstrual cup. It has changed my monthly visitor for the better in so many ways. Let it do the same for you!