Yes folks, it's another post full of TMI. Especially for the guys. I know that at least one of my readers will be happy, but others among you may wish to go and read something else instead.
Why not join the hockey pool while you're waiting for normal service to resume? You have until 7pm EST today to make your first picks.
I first read about menstrual cups (specifically the Moon Cup) on an advert posted on the inside of a toilet door in Heathrow airport. I remember the occasion because it made quite the impression; I was in my late teens, and my nose wrinkled with disgust as I read the text. When I came out of the stall, one of the girls I was travelling with said "did you get the same advert as me? GROSS!!!" I had to agree - crazy dirty hippies!
However, I am now well and truly converted. A growing unease about the environmental impact of disposable products, combined with my discovery of green bloggers such as Ruchi, convinced me to look into the Diva Cup a few months ago. It took several posts by Ruchi and other trusted bloggers to get me to the stage of reading the product's testimonials and FAQ pages, and I gradually realised that it wasn't such a scary thing after all. So off to London Drugs I went*, and after reading the instructions very thoroughly, I made the switch.
And I aint going back.
Seriously, it's an amazing, life-changing product. You put it in, and just forget about it for the day. I've never had to empty it more than twice a day, and never at work or while out and about - just once at home before leaving for the day, and then again before bed. I no longer have to worry about having the right number and kind of tampons stashed away at home, at work, and in my various bags. I also don't have to worry about disposing of used tampons in friends' houses or other places with no sani-bins. I can vouch for the safe and comfortable use of the cup while running, cycling, swimming, circuit training, doing yoga, and skiing**. And you know what? No string. On the one occasion that I got caught out without my Diva, I broke out the aforementioned handbag tampon stash, and found the string to be more inconvenient and gross than I'd remembered, and much worse than using the Diva.
It did take a bit of getting used to. The first couple of days were a little uncomfortable, but once I got the hang of inserting and (especially) removing it, I had no other problems. You really do need to read the instructions - there's a right way and a wrong way to put it in. If it doesn't open up fully, it will leak - but luckily I was using back-up that night (I highly recommend doing this until you're comfortable with the cup). I also had a couple of spills while learning how to remove the cup - maybe wait until a lighter day before using it for the first time! I will confess to standing in the bath to remove the cup until I was sure I'd got the hang of it, somewhere near the start of my second cycle.
Is it gross? The first time was... different, but I got used to it very quickly (again, starting to use the cup on a lighter day might help to mitigate that initial reaction!) Now that I'm used to it, (and because I'm such a biology geek), I actually appreciate having a more detailed insight into my cycle, not that there's any real practical benefit to this!
As I mentioned above, it took multiple positive reviews over a period (ha!) of years for me to even consider switching, so I'm not expecting anyone who reads this to go rushing out to the store THIS INSTANT. But I do hope that I can be one influence among many for someone who's already somewhere along that same path.
Viva la Diva!
*For Ruchi's benefit: the French text on the bilingual packaging says "coupe menstruelle" (menstrual cup, obviously) and "protection d'hygiène féminine" (feminine hygiene protection, duh.)
**Not until Day 3, obviously. Incidentally, the Diva is also fully compatible with moaning, whining, lying on the couch, eating chocolate, and trying to calculate the maximum tolerated dose of ibuprofen.