Periods are a part of the female existence; we hate them but they are an accurate measure of what is taking place inside our bodies. Missing a period can be an indicator of several things such as endometriosis or pregnancy. Pad and tampons companies thrive no matter the economy because no matter the economy, we will still need protection.
But recently the brand Kotex has been in the news, having to recall 1,400 cases of tampons contaminated with a bacterium that could cause serious infections and, according to the FDA, could be life threatening. The FDA officials said that the tampons were manufactured with a raw material contaminated with a bacterium, Enterobacter sakazakii, that “may cause health risks, including vaginal infections, urinary tract infections, pelvic inflammatory disease, or infections that can be life threatening. Scary stuff, that reinforces how much control, we as women, give to big brands to protect our wellbeing. And environmentalists take issue with pads and tampons too, because they make up a decent portion of household waste.
So what’s the answer for a woman in her reproductive age? How are we to protect ourselves from infection and leave a smaller carbon footprint?
The Diva Cup is the answer!
Last month after yet another period, I was turned on to a new product called the Diva Cup; it is a non-absorbent menstrual cup that simply collects menstrual flow. It’s inserted into the vagina and sits at the lower base of the canal. Although it is worn internally, it cannot be felt nor will it leak when inserted properly; and if you’ve been using tampons for more than a year, inserting it properly shouldn’t be a problem. I found the Diva Cup to be a convenient and cost effective alternative to the traditional pad or tampon.
Now initially I was turned off by the ick factor, but in the name of research I tried it. The thought of removing it, emptying it, rinsing it and re inserting it, was slightly off putting to me; but honestly after the first few times the ick factor completely went away. And although I thought it would get messy, it didn’t; not once did I get anything on my hands.
Having become accustomed to changing my tampon every 4-6 hours, to prevent Toxic Shock Syndrome, I found that I would go to empty it and realize that it wasn’t necessary. The days where my flow was heavy I emptied it twice and I could have honestly left it for longer; the company claims that it can be left in for 12 hours, but I didn’t believe it- old habits die hard I suppose.
The best part about the Diva Cup is that all you need is one; it can be reused month after month (so long as you keep it clean); and it completely eliminates having to buy multiple absorbencies for fear of leaking- we’ve all had to ask a friend “is there anything on my pants?”
The Diva Cup is:
- Latex-free, BPA-free, plastic-free
- No dyes, colors or additives
- Comfortable, reliable
- Clean, convenient, easy-to-use
- Worn for up to 12 hours at a time
The Diva Cup is easy to find, it is readily available in drug stores and organic grocery stores, as well; and although the price may seem a little steep, when you think about how much we spend on pads, tampons, panty liners and, during a rough month, new underwear, you will see that the Diva Cup just makes sense.
Visit the Diva Cup website for F.A.Q and so much more. And let me ask you, what is the worst thing associated with your period?