Warning: Boys, this post discusses body functions, and specifically periods. You have been warned.
I can't believe I haven't gotten around to writing about my biggest green change of 2011, namely switching from tampons to a reusable menstrual cup.
I distinctly remember that my reaction to reading about a blogger who had made this green switch was, ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwww! But the more accounts I read of people who had happily made this switch, the more I became willing to try it. Until finally, a few months ago I went to Whole Foods, bout a Diva Cup, and promptly went how to try it on old Aunt Flo.
If you too are on the cautious side of the fence about trying a reusable menstrual cup, I'll warn you that you need to be patient because there is definitely a learning curve. Then again, there was a learning curve to using tampons as well, but that was so long ago, my memory of it is dull and foggy. Except for the day where I had to call my grandma to come pick me up from middle school because I was convinced my tampon was lost somewhere in there. But I digress.
First, let's get the visual issue out of the way. As another blogger wrote, it is a bit disconcerting to see exactly what goes on down there. But you'll get over that just as quickly as you did all the other gross activities you deal with during, you know, life.
Then there is getting the darn thing in in the first place. It was a challenge. On the first try I think I spent 30 minutes or so trying to get it in there and placed correctly. The second try brought tears to my eyes and resulted in a 24 hour moratorium. By the third day, however, I had it down and things have went more or less smoothly ever since. There are a million ways to insert the cup (although I find the simple C fold works well), which you can view here. There is also more information than you'll likely ever need about the world of menstrual cups here.
Besides the breaking in point, I'd give the Diva Cup two enthusiastic thumbs up. I now find it more comfortable to wear than tampons. It's also more convenient since you can wear it for up to 12 hours, with no leak issues (depending on the volume of your flow that is). And when you add in the reduced waste and purchasing issues, well, what's not to love?