Thursday, February 20, 2014

Guest Post - "Menstrual Cups...How and Why"

I got my period, I think around 10 years old, and I absolutely hated pads. I felt like I was wearing a diaper and felt that I walked differently from being uncomfortable. My mother never let me wear tampons for fear of Toxic Shock so I stole them from my friends houses when an opportunity arose. Her fear however, was always in the back of my mind. I made sure I changed the tampons after every bathroom visit or every four hours. From the ages of 10 to 23 I was a big fan of tampons because I assumed they were the only pad alternative. 

When I first heard about a menstrual cup I said to myself "Ew, how disgusting!!" I understood that the amount of plastic and everything else that goes into tampons was wasteful but the thought of putting a cup into my vagina while I was bleeding was terrifying. I continued reading about the cup because of the blogs I followed on Tumblr and I thought more about switching because it had finally occurred to me that there are also chemicals in tampons that could cause potential harm. The day I finally committed to the cup I read an article about a woman who went to open a tampon and the tampon had come out of the plastic applicator. When she looked down at the wrapper and the tampon she saw mold covering the cotton. SCARY!
I went to the health food store in my town and bought the Diva Cup Model 1 because I was under the age of 30 and had never been pregnant. I got home and waited patiently for my next period. 

Putting the cup in the first time was difficult. I think I may have even cried because I had gotten my hopes up and really did not want to use tampons again. I read over the illustrated instructions and finally figured it out. Over time it got much easier to put in and now I hardly have to think about what I'm doing. 

To use the cup:
  • Fold it and insert it into the vagina. 
  • Spin the cup to make sure that it's opened up and is the correct position. You shouldn't be able to feel it.
  • Take the cup out and dump the contents into the toilet. 
  • Sit the cup somewhere so you can wipe yourself. 
  • Wash the cup in warm water and plain soap.
  • Reinsert the cup. 

If the cup gets smelly, changes color, or you'd just like to be extra clean you can place the cup in boiling water for a few minutes and it's as fresh as new. 

The Diva Cup is an amazing invention. Because it's worn internally there is no need to change it every time you go to the bathroom. Those days of being out at the mall and realizing you forgot to pack tampons in your purse are over. You can go to the bathroom and not have to deal with making a makeshift pad out of that awful toilet paper. Once you get the hang of placement and putting it in it also never leaks. It's quite a relief to not worry about wearing 'period panties' or bleeding through light colored pants. Along with those benefits the cup contains odor, is made of natural silicone, and can be cleaned very easily. 

I can assure you that once you get over the initial gross factor and purchase the cup it'll be worth it. The monetary savings add up to about $150 dollars a year and it's not as messy as you would imagine. Plus, there are cup holders and bags made out of cute patterns on Etsy so you can personalize your monthly date with Aunt Flow. 

Felicia Trumbauer is a soon to be mom from Reading, Pennsylvania. She is a Domestic Goddess for a living and a human rights activist.

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