Do you remember the first time you encountered your period? I remember it like it was yesterday. I was about 13 years old and at a slumber party. Prior to that moment, my grandmother had had the chat with me several times, so I already knew what to do when “Aunt Flo” decided to show up. I remember having a terrible stomach ache that night. I never thought for a second it was my period coming to make its first debut. The next morning I went to the bathroom to see that the “red sea” had made its way to my pajamas. I was able to get a pad from one of the older girls.
Since then I have had some funny conversations with my friends about what it was like to first get their period. One of my friends said no one explained to her what a period was before she encountered it. So, when she first got it, she thought she was bleeding to death.
While menstrual cycles have been around since the beginning of time, the methods for catching the blood have not. The earliest noted use of menstrual pads can be dated back as far as the 10th century. The official invention of menstrual pads were created in 1888 by a company called Southball Pad, prior to this invention many women were forced to use what would now be considered unorthodox resources such as animal fur, cotton, rags, grass and leaves.
The tampon came much later, initially being used as a medical device to stop bleeding due to bullet wombs. Women started to use tampons for their menstrual flow in the late 30’s. Although a choice for many, there has been some controversy around tampons after it was found that a rare, but life threating bacteria could cause Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS), which could possible occur if the tampon is left in the vagina for too long and the streptococcus bacteria is somehow present. According to www.Alive.com (A site dedicated to for natural health and wellness), on average a woman will used 11,000 pads in her life time.
That’s a lot of pads, and a lot of money out of a woman’s pockets. Now, there’s a new kid on the block which can be used for menstrual cycles called The Diva Cup. The company’s goal is to provide a more convenient and sustainable way for women to deal with their periods. This cup can be used up to a year. I remember being embarrassed when I had to pick up pads from the store. I would do all I could to hide the fact I was buying something for my menstrual cycle. Now, I could care less, but I’m sure for some who still have those fears, this revolutionary product may be a great alternative. According to Diva Cup, these are the advantages of using a cup verses the traditional methods of cratering to your period:
The site suggest users replace the cup once a year opposed to its contenders pads/tampons which you have to purchase every month.
Product Cost On average a woman will spend about $50-60 per year if she uses the traditional methods of catching her “crimson flow.” The Diva Cup costs just $30 and can be found online or at a store near you. The website provides information on what stores carry their product.
When period blood hits the air it creates a smell which varies for each woman. The Diva Cup website claims you will not experience any type of smell from your period while using this product, because when using this product blood is not exposed to air until you remove the cup from inside your vagina.
I haven’t personally tried the product but I checked out the reviews on Amazon.com and they seem to be pretty good. I’m a bit old fashioned and a bit closed minded when it comes to new products. I believe in the theory “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.” Pads and tampons have worked for me besides the occasional mark I may find in the undies or after a nights rest, which happened more as a teenager, but at this age not so much. I don’t think I would be comfortable with consistently cleaning this thing, but to each her own.
So what do you think? Have you used the cup? If so, what was your experience? If you haven’t used it, would you? Why or why not? I would love to hear your opinions.
Alisha Bridges is a freelance health writer on the topics of sexual health, skin care, and psoriasis. She has lived and thrived with psoriasis for over two decades. Alisha is the creator of www.Beingmeinmyownskin.com, a site dedicated to sharing what it’s like to live with psoriasis. She is also a student at Georgia State University pursuing a career as a physician assistant with a concentration in dermatology. She can be found on Twitter and Instagram @alishambridges.