Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A Greener Period: Part 1- The Diva Cup



This series, "A Greener Period," is about a year and a half in the making. It's taken me a long time to get to a place where I felt comfortable making the leap to reusable menstrual products. Warning: This post discuses  menstruation so if you are squeamish you might want to stop reading now.

Like most of the things I blog about, the idea of a green period appealed to both my desire to be more earth friendly and my desire to be more frugal. I hated the idea of all those tampons, applicators, and pads sitting in a landfill. I also really liked the idea of not having to run out and spend money on tampons and pads.


The first step to ending my dependence on disposable menstrual products was the Diva Cup. The Diva Cup is a menstrual cup: you insert like a tampon and it catches the flow. It comes in two sizes: Diva Cup Model 1 Pre-Childbirth and DivaCup Model 2 Post-Childbirth.  I ordered the size one off of Amazon using Swagbucks.



When my Diva Cup arrived my first thought was "How am I going to get that in there?" The thing seemed awfully big! I went online and read up on some of the folds. I went with the "C Fold" which is basically folding it in half. I actually found that it wasn't super difficult to insert. The only problem for me was the stem- it was too long. I end up trimming it twice to get it to be comfortable. I also found that if I let it unfold when it was half-way in it was more likely to open all the way and get a good seal.


The Pros:
  • It is reusable and doesn't fill up landfills
  • No smell! Because the menstrual fluid doesn't touch the air it doesn't get stinky
  • It only has to be emptied 2-3 times a day
  • Once I got the hang of it I didn't have leaks
  • No Dioxin or other chemicals like tampons- it's made of silicone like medical devices
  • No risk of toxic shock syndrome
  • It doesn't dry you out like tampons do when your flow is too light
The Cons:
  • Cost- It was $29.99 which is a bit much up front. That being said, it lasts years so I will recoup it in about 3-4 months.
  • There is a learning curve- it took a few days to get the hang of it and be able to insert it comfortably.
  • Emptying it is a little messy- I did it sitting on the toilet so I could just dump it
Overall, I am really pleased with my Diva Cup. I don't think I will be going back to tampons.  I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for an alternative to disposable menstrual products.

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