This is a blog about menstrual cycles.
There. That should be enough information for you to decide whether you want to read this or not.
Having reached the age of, well, too old for the pill and too old to be convinced I need extra chemicals in my body, I found myself in need of (for the first time), supplies. Having opted for the Mirena for years, I had little if any need for pads or tampons. But when my body had had enough, and the Mirena was removed, I needed to get back to the wonderful world of feminine hygiene products. Aside; I despite terrorizing reports about the Mirena, I loved it. The worst part was having it implanted. Removing it was a snap, and my doctor did it in her office. Easy-peasy.
I’m convinced that until men start bleeding from their penises, women will be unfairly taxed for feminine hygiene products.
Introducing the Diva Cup. If you haven’t hear of it, just click on the link there. Promoted as being reusable, and a cost saver (because you simply wash and reuse it), I’ve heard excellent things about it.
The Diva Cup isn’t the only menstrual cup out there, but it’s easy to find.
Basically, it’s a reusable cup that’s supposed to be inserted into your vagina. It forms a seal and catches your menstrual blood. There’s a little tip on the end (kind of like the tip of a condom, but more solid) that you can, theoretically, grab hold of and pull it out.
To make it interesting, the Diva Cup comes in sizes. Since I’m over 30 and have given birth, the general instruction is to go to the largest size, a size 2. I picked myself up Diva Cup for the standard $39.99, and took it home, eager to see what it was all about.
First of all, the material is a lot thicker than I thought it would be. And it gets slippery when it’s wet. Ideally you’re supposed to kind of fold it in half and slide it up into your lady hot-stove. Ideally. Let’s just say I had to make more than one attempt to launch my Diva rocket, and I was convinced that despite my age and history of childbirth, that I still had a nice, tight woo-hoo. The discomfort did da lot for my gynaecological confidence.
Maybe I needed a smaller size? After a few attempts, the Diva Cup did make it’s way to where it was supposed to be. But it was still folded over, it had not opened up into the full circle so the cup could form a seal.
Instructions said to give it one full turn to make sure that it was sealed. Easier said than done. It’s slippery up there! It was like trying to grab hold of a soaped up piece of rubber in a narrow, squishy drain pipe. I’m sure it just takes practice. Having my fingers inside of my nether bits while I’m menstruating wasn’t really a fantasy that I dreamt of living out when I slid the pretty Diva Cup box off of the pharmacy shelf. Alas, there I was, bloody fingers slipping all over the outside of a wet, rubber vaginal insert…already panicking of course about a myriad of things to be anxious about once you have a foreign object jammed inside an orifice.
After monkeying around bent over like a dog digging at mange on it’s stomach, I finally got the seal. A seal I wasn’t entirely confident of. And then I waited.
Actually, I went to bed. What better way to test the seal than to lay down, roll around and get things moving in the morning. No leaks. This was a plus. No horrific feeling of having a giant bowl stuck inside of me. I was convinced that I could get through a yoga class without any concern of leakage or discomfort. Bonus.
Time to remove it.
It was cold last night when I took the Diva Cup for a ride, and I had snugged in tight underneath my fluffy duvet. Turns out the Diva Cup also snugged in tight. The small little doo-hickey that I had carefully examined prior to inserting the cup seemed to have shrunk overnight.
Let me just start by saying that I have short fingernails. Shorter than average. I also excelled in microbiology. ‘Nuff said. I’m quite convinced that had I tried to remove this cup, which seemed to have formed a vacuum seal, with fingernails, that I would have broken one off in my vagina.
Getting the damn thing out was difficult. Yes, I was likely tense, but getting ahold of that little tip was like catching a greased pig. Bent over the toilet, I thought that worse case scenario, I could get a pair of locking forceps and pull the damn thing out.
Please see a video on YouTube for an official DivaCup informercial, including insertion and removal.
Having said all of this, I can see the benefits of using the Diva Cup. It does what it’s supposed to do, and it saves money over the long-term. Who really knows about environmental benefits. After all, does the material in pads and tampons degrade more harmlessly and more quickly than medical grade silicone? That, I do not know.
I will be using the Diva Cup again, and hopefully becoming more and more comfortable with inserting and removing it. I loved the idea of using this while camping and travelling but the reality is that being in a clean environment for removal could be problematic under those circumstances.
Yes, it is more environmentally friendly, and the cost would definitely be worth it if you are going to use it all of the time. Provided you’re in an environment where you feel comfortable inserting and removing it, I think the Diva Cup could be a lovely addition to an active woman’s lifestyle.
The big plus; Not trying to get to sleep with a mattress sized pad between your legs, and dare I even go as far as saying, sleeping completely a la mode.