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How I Came To Love Menstrual Cups

Menstrual Cup LoveIf you’ve been around here long at all, you know that I like to talk about feminine care… Okay so maybe that’s odd.  Let me explain!

I was the girl that flat our refused to buy her own tampons until she was in college and had absolutely no other choice.  I didn’t want to be seen buying them and didn’t want the perceived awkwardness at the checkout lane.  (Yea, I was a little ridiculous.)  After having children it was really no better.  I still hated buying them, hated being seen in the isle, the whole bag.  I was so private and I, now that I think of it, was following the shaming of menstruation that society has placed upon it. (I might have a slight rebellious streak too.)

Fast forward to my starting to get eco-friendly phase.  I heard women talking about these menstrual cups and I thought “You use what???!  Where???!  And you WASH and REUSE it?!!! – GROSS!  That is SO not for me, but have fun!”  There was nothing about the process that appealed to me.  I was in love with my tampons (okay not really but at least I didn’t have to wash them) and that was that.  I kept on using my cute compact tampons and continued to hear women talking about these “cups” and they would rave about them.  I started hearing the same things over and over and over again.

  • “Oh, I love my cup!  It’s so convenient!”
  • “The cup changed my life!”
  • “I only have to empty it twice a day!
  • “I no longer have cramps.”
  • “It saves me money.”
  • “It lightened my heavy flow.”
  • “There is no dryness.”
  • “It doesn’t leak!”
  • “There is no string for me to pee on.”
  • “My sex life is better due to no dryness.”
  • “I don’t have to worry about running out of tampons.”

These things began to pique my curiosity and then I started hearing other things that raised alarms, like these:

  • They have no known risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome.
  • “They don’t leave micro-abrasions in your vagina like tampons do.”
  • “They don’t contain dioxin and synthetic fibers like non-organic tampons do.”
  • “They aren’t made with heavily pesticided cottons like non-organic tampons are.”
  • “They don’t harm the ph and environment of the vagina like non-organic tampons do.”

Random fact: Did you know that the average woman will use enough tampons in her lifetime to fill a bathtub? (image right)

So maybe you are starting to see why I got curious about cups.  You guessed it,  they broke me down like a wild animal (disclaimer: no wild animals were harmed in the making of this blog post) and I decided to buy a cup and to be honest I wasn’t expecting much.  I was curious, but completely skeptical too.  After all, this was still the “gross thing that had to be washed”.

There was a slight learning curve, and I say that with the side note of “It is a totally different product!  Of course you need to learn how to use it.”  There are several methods for folding and (TMI) I find that wetting it before inserting makes a world of difference.  Interestingly enough, one study from Finding Lasting Options for Women, or FLOW, found that women prefer a cup over a tampon for everything except for insertion and removal (which wasn’t by much). (Side note: Was anyone else a total freak like me and wrapped up their tampons in TP to keep it from being seen in the wastebasket?  I was such a headcase! – One more thing I don’t have to do now!)

Long story short, it was all true.  Menstrual cups are amazing and I was happy that I had given it a try (only sad I didn’t know about them years sooner).  The worst that could have happened was that I would have saved $20, the best (which did happen) is that I spent probably the best $20 of my life, and I have two daughters that I can now pass this wisdom onto – I cannot express much that means to me.

I experienced most of the things that people raved about.  I get the benefits of convenience & no dryness (you have no idea how much this rocks), and most importantly I get the HEALTH benefits.  That is the biggest reason that I share an talk about feminine care products as much as I do.  It is important, and while I still find it insane (to me) that I talk about them on such a public platform, I know how truly important it is and I hope each time that a woman somewhere will put aside her qualms, as I did, and try a cup.  It’s worth a try, I promise you!

Diva Cup (my first cup!) has offered to give one of you women the chance to try a cup (note: this promotion is over).  I wish that I could give one to everyone, but I do hope that if you don’t win, you order one (about $25 on Amazon).  YOU deserve it and I cannot say enough good things about their cups.  Plus, what better way to honor Earth Day 2012 than to ditch a toxin laden disposable product in favor of a reusable, toxin free wonder cup!
(this giveaway is now over)

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