Monday, May 24, 2010

I'm a diva?

Okay, for starters, if any men happen to read my blog, you're probably gonna wanna skip this post. Whenever women say that men "don't want to know," they're likely talking about one of two things: plotting to take over the world (which is working out sooo well), or our periods.

In my ongoing attempts to be "green," I purchased a diva cup. It's this thing that you insert, more or less like a tampon, and it catches your menstrual flow. It's reusable, you can leave it in for up to 12 hours, and the company claims it doesn't leak.

It's also expensive. Mine cost around $42 at Whole Foods. But I figured, it's reusable, so it'll be cheaper in the long run. Before I used it, I read the whole usage guide. Halfway down the fourth column, it says "due to government regulations and the personal, hygienic nature of the product, a menstrual cup should be replaced once every twelve (12) months from the date of the first use." What? $42 a year on this thing? So of course, I did the math on the products I am currently using, and calculated that it cost me $44.40 a year for my tampons, pads, and pantyliners. Whoop-di-do. A savings of $2.40.

But, I thought, if it worked, I'd be lessening my environmental footprint.

Because pads, tampons, and pantyliners have a pretty big footprint. There's the manufacturing and the shipping, of course, but also the packaging and the fact that they're all single-use items. I have yet to figure out why pads come wrapped in Easter-colored plastic sacks. They're not air-tight, so it's not preventing contaminates from getting in. And women are just going to bleed into them anyway, so it's not exactly as if they need to be sterile. And what are we trying to hide? Healthy women menstruate.

What I was really excited about with the diva cup was the 12 hours bit. I've worked for companies with a free tampon machine in the bathroom, which is great, because not only do you not have to remember to bring tampons to work, but you also don't have to deal with bringing your purse or whatever into the bathroom. Because as much as I don't care that the world knows I get my period, I'm still not totally comfortable with walking around with a tampon in my hand at work. I don't think my coworkers need to know when, exactly, I'm menstruating. It's somehow embarrassing even though it shouldn't be.

My current company does not have a free tampon machine in the bathroom, so I keep some in a desk drawer. It's the same drawer where I store my laptop backpack, my eyedrops, and the container of wipes for my dry erase board. Every now and then a coworker needs a wipe or some eyedrops or something, and when they open the drawer they *gasp* also see that I have a couple of tampons. There's only one man in my department, and he has a wife, so I'm pretty sure if he's ever thought anything about the tampons I keep at work, it's along the lines of, I bet my wife does that, too.

So, on to my review of the diva cup. It's a little more complicated to get in than a tampon, and you have to twist it to make a seal. I'm not convinced that it doesn't leak at all, but I will say that it doesn't leak more than tampons sometimes do. Of course, since I felt like I still needed to wear a pantyliner, it won't end up being cheaper over the course of a year than what I had been doing. Additionally, like tampons, you're not supposed to feel it. Am I the only person out there who does sometimes feel my tampon? I can't imagine that I am, and sometimes I felt the diva cup, too.

Overall, I'd say that it's okay, but I didn't love the diva cup. The cost savings that I thought I'd find weren't there, and as much as I want to help the environment, I'm not sure this is the right product for me. It's a little disappointing, as I had read online how other women love it, but I just can't say that I do. I'll give it another try though. Maybe the more I get used to it, the more I'll like it.


  1. I've never even HEARD of such a thing! I assume you have to clean it out somehow?

  2. Yes! It comes with directions, but it basically involves some good old soap and water, and you boil it for a while at the end of your cycle.