YOUR PERIOD JUST GOT EASY AF
This post is in absolutely no way shape or form sponsored, and the opinion below is entirely my own. That being said, if you’re reading this Diva Cup, I won’t be mad if you want to send me a lifetime supply of your amazing cups.
Hi babes. I was SO excited to write this post for you because I’m just so inspired right now and basically on such a high from this discovery. I’m going full evangelist because I feel like I unlocked a secret that can possibly alleviate menstrual cramps for thousands of you!
Back story. I got my period for the first time when I was 15. Actually on my 15th birthday. And after swearing my mom to secrecy, my dad pulled me aside on our family Thanksgiving trip to casually ask if I had gotten my period yet. True story. Thanks mom. Same dad also wanted to come along for training bra shopping. He’s basically the 2nd Jewish mom I never wanted.
But I digress. After a few cycles using pads, I made the transition to tampons (because pads), and have been using them ever since. Within the last 10 years, every trip to Costco my shopping cart included two big boxes of Tampax Pearls (you know, the ones that have like 3,349 tampons each), and because I was on Nuva Ring for so many years, periods were like clockwork. Sunday night, remove Nuva Ring. Tuesday and Wednesday tired AF, and big undereye bags/circles. Thursday MAYBE a little cramping if that + start of period. By Sunday, everything back to normal, insert new NuvaRing, and sip on a He Shou Wu blood rebuilding tonic. My life, the last 14 years.
But within the last few years, I’ve had a lot of questions about whether tampons were really the best option. Not only from an environmental standpoint, but I had been hearing things about the chemicals. That they could aggravate symptoms of PMS, cause hormonal fluctuations, etc…But despite a certification in Holistic Health Coaching, because everything for me was so easy and regular, I sort of brushed it off.
But from deodorant and perfume to cleaning products, the chemicals we spread, spritz and spray onto our bodies and around our homes are a growing area of concern for health scientists. In particular, a group of chemicals sometimes referred to as “endocrine disruptors”—because they may mess with the hormones your body’s endocrine system regulates—have been linked to brain disorders, reproductive issues, obesity and cancer. (Recent reports from Europe pegged the healthcare costs of these chemicals somewhere north of $200 billion.)
As I was coming to the end of my Costco tampon supply, I thought, you know, if I’m going to transition from tampons to a cup, what better time than now. I had already opted out of hormonal birth control as of August, and this seemed like the best next step towards are more holistic approach to a monthly cycle.
Every so often, you make a life decision that changes the game and guys, THIS was one of them.
Having done a little research, I opted for this model of the Diva Cup, but they offer several models (here for example), and there are many other options such as Lunette, Pixie, Dutchess, LENA, Blossom, Softcup, and Lunapads. I’m two days in and there is NO going back for me.
The Diva Cup is not only a more environmentally responsible and chemical-free choice, but for the first time since August, I did not have the severe menstrual cramps that kicked back in once I cycled off hormonal birth control. In fact, I was worried that I hadn’t tracked my cycle properly in my period app because I didn’t even have a little twinge of menstrual cramps. But lo and behold, when I checked my Diva Cup, Auntie Flo was in the house.
As a health and science nerd, I started posting on forums and doing some research and found that other gals had experienced the same amazing relief from menstrual cramps just by making this small change from tampons to a reusable cup!
"Duuuuuuude. I'm using the lunette cup and I'm experiencing the same thing!!! Literally today no cramps, day2. Yesterday day 1 the most minor back cramp.” - Lauren C.
"Yup, it’s one of my main selling points when try to encourage people to use the diva cup! I don’t completely hate my periods anymore!” - Serina F.
"No cramps with mine! It's like night and day!” - Andrea A.
" I had the same experience. It's because tampons don't just absorb your flow, they also absorb the good fluid that's supposed to be in the vagina. This causes irritation, stimulates cramping, and can even cause more bleeding.” - Jessica C.
Also, I was like “how do you pull this thing out and clean it without the bathroom looking like a crime scene?” But even that was simple to figure out and it’s not like the cup is overflowing and spilling everywhere. I found that pulling it out and cleaning it in the shower was the best solve. I posted a YouTube video of that here. Just kidding!
For daily use while during your cycle, you want to pull it out about once a day and give it a good cleaning. Having done more research on the internet (where everything is true), it seems like best practice is to boil it in water between cycles, and give it a rinse in peroxide about every 3 months, and manufacturers recommend replacing it about once a year, although it seems like users are hanging onto theirs for longer than that as long as it’s looking clean.
So why isn’t this information proliferating??? Well, as with most things mass market, it goes back to who has the bigger ad dollars to spend, and who has the dolla bills to fund conclusive research that tampons aren’t fucking terrible for your health. I’m not saying that you’re going to die of cancer if you use tampons, but what I am saying is that there are certainly alternatives that are better for your body, and that won’t actively proliferate cancer, endocrine disruption and fill the environment with more waste.
So what do you think? Are you ready to take the plunge and try a reusable cup for your cycle?