It seems like everywhere I turn I’m running into articles and products that encourage greener living and eco-friendly alternatives to things we use everyday. So it’s no wonder that people are beginning to think of environmentally friendly feminine hygiene products. While many have pointed out the wonders of cloth pads, which are reusable (and come in cute patterns!), I’m not sure how I feel about switching from tampons to something that still makes me feel like I’m waddling around a bit. I don’t think I could get over the comfort factor.
I think this is one of the strengths of the Diva Cup, a soft silicone cup that is inserted into the vagina and collects blood from your menstrual cycle. Sounds a bit queasy-making initially, but the cup has some wonderful benefits:
* The Diva Cup can be worn safely for 12 hours at a time – when you’re ready to remove it, it can be emptied out, washed with soap and water and reinserted.
* It won’t dry out your vaginal lining and it hasn’t been bleached, like tampons. Chemical free hygiene products are better for the environment and your body!
*The Diva Cup can be used for a year. I use about 8-10 tampons a month on average. In one year alone, I’m using between 96 and 120 tampons! One Diva Cup costs about $25. You do the math.
* The Diva Cup is a great environmentally friendly alternative to tampons and pads. The website points out the benefits of being a ‘Green’ Diva:
“Women, on average, experience a lifetime menstruation span of 41 years (11-52). From use of disposable feminine hygiene, an estimated 12 billion sanitary pads and 7 billion tampons are dumped into the North American environment each year (1998). More than 170,000 tampon applicators were collected along U.S. coastal areas between 1998 and 1999…Although not all women can afford to purchase an energy-efficient hybrid car or convert their home to solar energy, they can reduce dangerous landfill waste by choosing to use a reusable, silicone menstrual cup.”
Though the Diva Cup may seem tricky to insert initially, with a little practice, you’ll get the hang of it. You’ll know that you’ve inserted the cup properly as there will be no spillage and it will feel comfortable inside you, much like a properly inserted tampon. Check out the websites for the Diva Cup, or other cups (like The Keeper or Moon Cup) for more information and consider making the switch.