For Ladies Only

Growing up, there were few topics not allowed at my family’s dinner table. My mom spent 40 years working as a nurse, many of those years in labor & delivery. To say she has a fascination with the “miracles” of science and the human body is an understatement. Sometimes, over dinner, she would tell us about her day – what happened with this patient or that baby. Hearing things like “placenta” and “I checked and the patient was fully dilated” [guess how that’s checked] and “crash c-section” over dinner were not weird. And I all-too-vividly remember her telling us – at the dinner table – that “it’s OK to touch yourself sometimes.” Yes, that way.

[I completely understand if anyone is having an “oooh that explains it …” moment right now. About me.]

I bring this up to illustrate why it’s silly that I haven’t written this post sooner. (In fact I’m writing it as I eat dinner.) I held off, thinking it’s too personal, or it’s “icky,” or you guys don’t need to know this much about me.

But, I need to share. I’ll try not to get too … descriptive.

If you’re not interested in learning about alternative menstrual products, please move on.  [But come back and tell me your favorite clip from that video.]

This picture has nothing to do with this post, but, you know, every post needs a picture, and I wanted to break up the Warning with the Post. Oh and I have straight bangs. This week. Once they grow out a little bit, it’ll be back to side-swept until my next haircut. 

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A few years ago (four? five? don’t remember) I did something that kind of changed my life. I bought a Diva Cup. If you’ve never heard of it, it’s a reusable silicone cup that you wear internally during your period (where a tampon would go). You dump it out, rinse it out, and put it back in every few hours until your period is over.

I don’t know about other women, but I hate tampons. HATE. They don’t work for me – within an hour, I’d leak, unless it was the last day or two. And I hated the feeling of a cold, wet, tampon string (I realize there are ways to avoid it). And having to carrying around tampons all the time. And my bathroom waste basket overfilling with … you know.

It was just very “there has to be a better way!” and when I heard about the Diva Cup, I had to try it.

And I haven’t gone back. It literaly made my period a better experience.

Why do I love it?

– No more carrying around tampons
– No more buying boxes and boxes and boxes of tampons
– No more wastebasket filled with … that
– No more leaking after an hour
– No more wet strings
– I can go longer between “changing”
– Which is also helpful for long runs
– It’s cheaper
– It’s greener
– It’s discreet (completely internal, nothing … hanging out)
– If it’s in correctly, you can’t feel it (much like a tampon)

I will be honest, it does take a little bit of a learning curve to get the hang of it, but once you do, it’s not bad at all. As long as you don’t mind getting “up close and personal” with yourself, but, according to my mom, it’s OK to do that sometimes. I do prefer to change my Cup in the privacy of a single bathroom (or in the shower), but you can get by in a public restroom. (Bring a disposable bottle of water with you if you can, although toilet paper is enough.) I’ve even taken care of it in a port-o-potty, of course that included the fear of dropping it. (I didn’t.)

If you hate tampons, or want to try something else, you can purchase a Diva Cup for $40 through their website, or at a variety of retailers (including Whole Foods, apparently). One of my sisters-in-law uses Fleurcup. Other options include the MooncupFemmecup and Lady Cup … all I know about those is some ladies on Reddit have tried them.

Have you ever tried the Diva Cup or any other alternative menstrual products? 

This post is not sponsored or anything. I’m just trying to do my part to free women from stupid tampons. But if any other makers of lady cups want me to try their product, my lady bits are ready and willing. 

And come back tomorrow someday when I tell you about the time my mom pierced my ears and why I’ll never circumcise my non-existent son(s). 

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10 Comments on “For Ladies Only”

  1. I have never heard of this, and I am intrigued! It took me forever to get comfortable with tampons (like, I was in college), and you’re right – there’s definitely a “learning curve”.

    To be honest, a post like this a few months ago might have made me a tad squeamish, but after giving birth in front of what seemed like 30 people, all bets are off:)

    1. Sometimes I forget that there are things that are NBD to me (like … coming face-to-face with certain bodily fluids) that are gross to other people. And not everyone learned the word placenta at a young age.

  2. My dinner table was not necessarily the most forward-thinking….but that kind of stuff is NBD to me either, long before I did the whole get-pregnant-have-baby thing!

    I do have a Diva up in the bathroom cabinet, I used it for probably 3-4 cycles maybe five years ago. When it went well, my experience was very similar to yours, as in it was easy to use, easy to manage if you aren’t squeamish, etc. Maybe it was user error or a fit issue, but I did have problems with the contents escaping prematurely, and with that kind of medium there’s a small margin for error! So I went back to ob. I also wouldn’t swim with it, and at that time I was swimming enough to where I didn’t use the cup consistently anyway. I still have it though, and I might try it again one of these days.

    1. I do still leak from time to time – sometimes because I wear it too long (overnight), other times because of user error. So I usually wear a thin pad with it, but I did that with tampons, and in my experience, I still leak less frequently than I did with tampons. And I have swam in my cup with no issues. And run in it too, although I find it leaks quicker if I’m running … maybe all the bouncing around?

  3. I have a Lunette, which I loved, except I got lazy about the monthly boiling and ended up with a few yeasties (which I had never/rarely had before) and ended up going back to tampons. I should try it again, sans-laziness.

  4. I’m a tampons girl but only as a back up to the pad. During the first day or so, I feel like I am bleeding to death and am in constant fear that I am leaking and showing up on my clothes. I am a teacher and unfortunately cannot get to the bathroom as much as I would like to so that is why I use plan A and B.

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