Okay, I know not that many women are comfortable talking about their periods, but I just have to share this.
I bought myself a Divacup a few weeks ago. You can get size 2 here http://www.iherb.com/ProductDetails.aspx?c=1&pid=-2228795031505824959
and size one here http://www.iherb.com/ProductDetails.aspx?c=1&pid=7988702063722287683&at=0
and save $5 by using the code SIC262. So it comes out to be $15.49 including shipping, and they're normally $30+ without shipping.
Anyway, I used it when my period came shortly after, and it worked with AMAZING results. Over the years I've become pretty in tune with my self, so I knew when I was starting with the slight cramping and all. So I went to the bathroom, noticed the first spot, and popped the Divacup in. From what I've read on various site dedicated to cups (there are other brands too, Mooncup, The Keeper, Lunette, Miacup, Ladycup, etc) some women have a hard time figuring out how to get it in, inventing all sorts of new methods of folding and whatnot. I tried the fold listed on the package, just pretty much folding the thing in half to form a C, and it worked right away. I also felt way cleaner during. You empty it out every few hours (it was about every 2 on my heaviest day, 5-8 on regular days, and up to 12 on the lightest days.) What this meant was that I didn't have to empty it in a public restroom except on that heaviest day, so I always had a sink next to me to give it a quick rinse and pop it back in. On those days that you're out in a stall, you can wipe it down with toilet paper, or even go into the stall prepared with a wet paper towel. Not to mention my cramps weren't half as bad as normal and I barely even noticed it was in place. It worked a hundred times better than tampons ever worked for me (or should I say failed to work?)
It even comes with it's own cute little bag to store it in between uses. At the end of my period, I boiled it for about five minutes after washing it off with mild soap, and it's ready to use the next time I get my period. I no longer will have a bathroom garbage can filled with icky used products, I won't be filling landfills with plastics, I won't be exposing my insides to chemicals, and I won't be sending anything other than toilet paper and bodily waste into any plumbing. Plus, that whole shelf I needed for all my various sizes of sanitary protection? I get to store other things on it now!
Then there's the matter of back up protection. On that one heavy day I had, I wasn't sure how often I'd need to empty my cup, and I had some slight spotting. I was wearing a pantyliner the whole time, because I really didn't know how it was going to work for me. But I'd like to be completely free of disposables, so I have bought some fabric and will be making my own liners. Here are some examples of various ones found online.
Now, depending on how these are made, size, fabric, thickness/number of layers, water proof liners, these can be used for everything from light discharge to heavy flow. You can have liners, pads, overnight pads, anything you can think of. They can be modest colors, or wild fun ones. You can buy them online, or make them yourself. There are patterns online, but just make sure that the fabric you get for the part closest to your body is a natural fiber like cotton. I made that mistake, so I'm going to have to reverse my design and use the cotton flannel I bought for the lining instead of the fleece. Oh well, it was all very cheap and I bought extra fabric to make other things.
And as I'm reading through all these sites and articles, I'm finding more and more about disposable products. Did you know that they are hardly regulated, and not even sterile? Not to mention all the icky chemicals used in them. Some chemicals are fine, but it's not the best idea to be sticking them near your very sensitive parts.
So yes, I am intent on telling every woman I know about these alternatives. If there is anything else you'd like to learn, get links to websites, etc, just let me know and I'll get you the info. This is just another great way to save tons of money (one website said that the average woman spends $3000 in her lifetime on disposable menstrual products) and also help the environment by not using so many wasteful products.
, diva cup
, environmentally friendly
, going green
, green products
, menstrual cup
, no pads
, no tampons
, washable pads