I’ve always hated my period, not as long as I can remember because I haven’t had my period that long, but ever since the age of 14 when the full understanding of puberty and womanhood descended upon me.
Since that day, I’ve dreaded the one week out of the month when everything is just so much more complicated than usual. I especially hated pads and tampons, but especially pads because for some reason I reacted to them and by day four or five I would have an itchy rash. Besides this, they were simply inconvenient and uncomfortable, rash or no rash.
Tampons were okay, only they always leaked, so unless I wanted to risk leaking through, I’d still have to wear a pad. In reality, everything about my period was disgusting, pads, tampons, dirty underwear, bloody sheets… you name it!
I had been told about the concept of menstrual cups. Unlike most people, my first thought was “what happens if you do a cartwheel?”. Even when I learned more about the actual concept, I still thought it was crazy, until last January, when I got so fed up with periods, and everything that goes along with them that I decided to spend the $40 (and the chance of being embarrassed if the person at the till was a young gentleman) and try it. My first reaction to the literal product was “wow, that’s big! I don’t think it’ll fit” but reason triumphed over emotion as I realized that in reality this little cup was no larger than other things that were intended for the same destination, so I took a deep breath and tried it.
I liked The DivaCup at once, and even though it took a few days to really get the hang of inserting and removing it, I persevered and within a few days I’d mastered it. It was awesome!
Believe it or not, I actually enjoy my period now, something I never thought was possible. Everything that I thought would be just awful about menstrual cups was not awful at all. I realized that whether using pads, or menstrual cups, I still get blood on my fingers once in a while; that is life. While emptying a menstrual cup is more technical and complicated than changing a pad, it eliminates to need to have a steady supply of disposable products, sleeping just so, and frequent trips to the bathroom to make sure nothing has exceed the preferred boundaries.
There are even fun things about The DivaCup, like knowing how much blood actually comes out, and at what rate. Then there’s the wonderful feeling of being in control. The gravity feed, “lets drip onto a pad” method just did not work for me. Now I can stand up at the end of church without being tempted to quickly grab my skirt and spin it around backwards to make sure there’s nothing on it. And I can wear light colored bottoms and forget about my period. I can sleep at night without being careful not to turn the wrong way. I go to class, to the gym, work, everything without having to stuff my pockets with tampons like a hoarding chipmunk, and without having to make frequent trips to the bathroom just to make sure things are okay.
And best of all, using The DivaCup gives me a chance to talk about this option with other girls and women. I don’t know how it is in adult circles, but in teenage girl circles (yes that includes college girls) complaining about periods is a frequent thing. Now, instead of sharing my own frustrations with Kotex and Always, I have the opportunity to share a solution. The DivaCup not only offers a more comfortable, cleaner solution to the perpetual problem of menstruation, but it also offers a chance to be more eco-friendly and saves money; two things that do not always go hand in hand. Talking to girls about The DivaCup also gives me a chance to introduce them to the concept that sanitary products are not available everywhere, and that in some parts of the world, girls have literally nothing. It is important that we realize just how blessed we are to live in a place where solutions such as pads, tampons, and The DivaCup are available. What a blessing it is to not have to wash out rags, or skip school because toilets are not available. Next time you are tempted to complain about your period think about the fact that you have more than one way to care for your cycle.
I am thankful for The DivaCup. It has made life cheaper and less stressful (no more worrying about leaking, or running out of disposables) and more comfortable too. Thank you so much!
Ellen is a 19 year old, free-spirited girl from British Columbia, Canada. She loves outdoor activities of almost any kind; especially running, swimming, hiking, and canoeing. She also enjoys writing, reading, animals, music, cooking, and anything involving kids. While these things are important to her, Ellen especially values quality time with family and friends. Her life goals include, completing grade 8 French Horn, hiking the PCT, becoming a lifeguard instructor, getting a degree in education, and ultimately making the world a better place.