Now for those of you that don't like reading about "women problems" or just have no interest in hearing about my menstrual woahs, close the window now. Go ahead, close it. This is just going to get worse.
I was fortunate enough in my youth to start my monthly visit from Aunt Flow later in my teen years (around 14 I think). Since then it's been an almost constant battle. I am unfortunate enough to experience really bad cramping the first two days of my period. So bad that I have even had to stay home from work and sometimes, double the recommended dose of naproxen (Aleve) still doesn't help. On top of that I always break out the week before hand and it doesn't normally clear up until my period has been over for 4-5 days. Fist pump for being a girl!
The worst part of it all though is using tampons. I have never been much of a pad girl. I hate how they feel and how you can hear them move around when you walk. Or at least I hear them when I walk. People who like using them probably don't. I digress. I have almost always used tampons.
Then a few years ago I decided to go the eco friendly route and try a Diva Cup. If you don't know what a Diva Cup is, it's a small, cup made out of medical grade silicon. You insert it instead of a tampon and it literally catches your flow. You take it out (very carefully!) every 8-12 hours to empty, clean and reinsert. I tried this for a few months and it was working great. I finally didn't have to wear tampons. Then it started to leak. I had no idea what I was doing wrong but it wouldn't stop. I got fed up and switched back to using tampons.
What's so wrong with tampons you ask? There are a few things:
1. They bleach the cotton in tampons. THEY BLEACH THE COTTON IN TAMPONS. How wrong is that? On average, women have their period for 5-7 days once a month. So from the age of 14 to 50 a woman would spend roughly 2,160-3,024 days on her period. That's a lot of time with bleached cotton inside your woo haa. No thank you.
2. Tampons are seriously wasteful. If you were to go through 2 tampons a day, that's 4,320-6,048 tampons in a life time that end up in the landfill, or worse, in our waterways. I learned from my friend Lisa's post on Diva Cups that over 7 billions tampons a year end up in America's landfills. That's horrendous.
3. They dry you out. This is probably TMI but after talking with some girlfriend's I have found that I'm not the only one. Towards the end of my period I find tampons SUPER uncomfortable. It's like they dry out my insides and then I can never place them right or something so I always feel them inside me.
4. They put you at risk for toxic shock syndrome. According to the McKinley Health Center at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, toxic shock syndrome is "... a rare bacteria caused illness occurring mostly in menstruating women who use high absorbency tampons. Non-menstrual TSS risk is increased for women who use vaginal barrier contraceptive methods (such as the diaphragm), although the incidence is much lower." And it's fatal...
So, this is going to be round two with the Diva Cup. I have tried turning the cup in a circular direction after insertion to help make a seal and it seems to be working. I'm just about finished my first period using it again and it has gone pretty well. In a couple of months I'll give you an update as to how it's working for me. If you want to learn more about Diva Cups I highly recommend looking around their website or Lisa's posts on it. She's done lots of research and has some really informative information on her blog.