A few years ago, sustainability was at the forefront of my priorities and I wanted to exhaust all options for living a more mindful life. I discovered the “Diva Cup” while I was waist deep in my vegan antics and decided to try the device out for myself.
First things first, you should be rather comfortable with exploring your anatomy a bit. It’s not the cleanest or prettiest option, but it sure beats stuffing cotton up your vajeen and risking toxic shock syndrome.
The period cup works like this: the small silicone or latex rubber cup is inserted into the vagina and acts as a literal cup to catch anything that comes from the cervix. Since the cervix is just a small opening, it’s quite easy for the cup to act as an upside-down umbrella and collect any liquid for up to 12 hours. There are plenty of guides and how-to’s that can be found online nowadays. Just search “How to insert a diva cup”.
To remove, simply pinch the bottom of the cup and pull in a downwards motion. The cup will bend and slip out fairly easily. You can then pour the contents out, rinse the cup with warm water and unscented soap, and re-insert immediately. For heavier flows, I would suggest removing the contents of the cup every 3 hours or so. And you can even choose to purchase a larger sized cup for those heavier days.
Tips: Inserting and removing the cup in the shower is probably the most mess-free way, which I prefer. It takes a bit of practice, as you are standing instead of sitting, but makes the cleaning so much more manageable. Lastly, you should also trim the handle of the cup to your liking. (They leave a bit of room at the bottom of the cup for people who have a longer canal or just need that extra grip).
From my experience over the last two years, I have to say I will never ever use a tampon again. (Unless I’ve forgotten my cup somewhere and I’m reaaally in a pinch.) It’s completely waste-free and so much healthier for the natural rhythm of your body. Since the cup allows for free-catch of blood, there’s nothing plugging you up while you go about your day… yuck. And no, it doesn’t leak. You can also wear a liner if you’re so inclined and save yourself some messy undies.
If you think about how much waste a female produces during that time of the month, it’s rather startling. An average period is 3-5 days (who are they kidding, no one is ever average) and you should change your tampon every 3-4 hours.
So, roughly 4 tampons a day (NO, you shouldn’t be sleeping with them!!) x 5 = 20 tampons a month. 20 tampons a month, plus or minus pads, panty liners, and lighter day tampons. I don’t even know how much they cost at CVS or Safeway anymore but the last I checked, they cost more than my Netflix subscription.
If you’re concerned about the “ickiness” of the whole ordeal, I get it. It’s frightening at first and not the most glamorous past time. After all, we were trained by our mothers and the media that periods and normal bodily functions should be kept under wraps. But, to that I also say f*** it! Take control of your womanhood. Familiarize yourself with the hums and aches and ebbs and flows of your lunar cycle and grow to love the most human parts of you.