Two months ago, I was browsing Ravelry when I happened upon a thread about knitting a washable tampon. Yes, my friends, wait long enough and almost anything will come up on Ravelry no matter how far-fetched. Several pages into the discussion, someone brought up a concept I had never heard of before: a menstrual cup.
Now I know some of you ladies are really in tune with your bodies and have lived a crunchy enough life that menstrual cups have crossed your radar before. But not me. My first menstrual products hung from belts.
I'm much closer to the end of my menstrual life than the beginning. Nevertheless, every month I get annoyed at how much landfill my period generates. All those wrappers and pads and sewage waste. But what could I do about it?
That's why I sat up and took notice of the testimonials about the Diva Cup that appeared in that thread. A silicone cup that catches menstrual flow rather than absorbing it. Dump it out, rinse it off, insert it again. Nothing goes in the trash. Nothing at all.
I ordered one from iHerb.com (by far the best price on the web, reasonable and fast shipping). This was so far outside my experience that I had no idea whether it would work for me. But when my period came around a week or two after I received my package, I gave it a shot. And you know what? The learning curve was much more gentle than I had been led to believe by the many (many, many) discussions on the web about insertion methods. I quickly found that the C-fold worked just fine for me, and that if the cup was in at the proper depth and open, the complete rotation was very easy. (Difficulty with rotation is an easy indication that it's not in correctly -- no guesswork needed.)
Combine that old standard (rubber cups were marketed in the early 20th century; today they're made of silicone) with a 21st century innovation -- mon.thly.info -- and suddenly I'm not putting three checks on my wall calendar and counting forward four weeks to guesstimate the next visitor, and I'm not giving Noel detailed instructions on what color box to buy at what strength and count when he comes to the feminine hygiene aisle in the grocery store.
How revolutionary is the Diva Cup? Consider:
- Changing a couple of times a day instead of five or six.
- No more pads and tampons filling up my purse. I keep one pad in there for backup on the heaviest days, and I suspect that once my supply of pads is exhausted, I'll be switching to the washable, reusable Lunapad.
- Only one pouch to pack. As much as I've been traveling lately, I've found myself stuffing my overnight bag with supplies anytime I was in the danger zone, trying to figure out how much to put in my carry-on and how much in my luggage. Won't it be nice just to have my cup in my purse already?
- Money in my pocket. The cup has paid for itself in pads and tampons in two months' time, and it will last me until menopause.