Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Eco-Friendly Moon Cycle: My Review of the Diva Cup

My moon cycle and I go back to nearly two decades. We had a troublesome relationship throughout my teens, with her being quite the inconsistent, phantom-esque acquaintance in my life. We tried the fake-it-till-you-make-it route with birth control pills, which did a nice job of bringing by a pretend moon cycle that was much more consistent. Cramps, pads, panty liners, leaks, and panties in the sink... I got to experience the joys of womanhood! And then came the next joy: tampons!

The subject of sex was so taboo in our house and we were taught insane lies, like wearing a tampon will "ruin your virginity." Frankly, whose idea was it that our virginity (which is already very subjectively defined) belongs to anyone but ourselves? Nothing about a woman's body belongs to anyone but her. But that's a whole other blog post. Luckily my younger sister was quite the rebellious one and didn't believe any of hocus pocus mumbo jumbo around it. As an athlete, she wasn't about to let bulky pads ruin her game. She secretly broke the rules and even taught her big sis how to use the contraband. I'll never forget that day when she stayed outside the bathroom while coaching me through it or the big "welcome to the club!" hug she gave me after.

A number of holistic/wellness blogs and websites I frequent have been proudly talking about a product that's been on the market for a few years now. The Diva Cup: it's a silicone-based cup-shaped device that you can insert into your vagina instead of a tampon. The idea is that the blood collects in there until you dump it, clean it, and use it for the next round. It took me forever to even start wearing tampons... now you're asking me to insert a cup into my lady bits??

I'm a bit skeptical about new things at first, so I refrained from hopping on the band wagon just yet, but I kept my ears and eyes open, mainly because even tampons had me raising my eyebrow at them a bit. See, tampon companies don't have to disclose all the ingredients that go into making them since feminine hygiene products aren't food. Kinda makes you wonder what kind of things go into those bundled fibers that we're shoving into our lady junk...

People had mixed reviews of the Diva Cup over the years. Some loved it, some hated it. Some hated it at first but then loved it. It turns out that if you don't insert it correctly and let it unfold (you'll hear a "schwoop" sound when it does), you might leak a little -- and that's no fun. But once gals mastered the insert process, they loved it.

Fast forward a few years.

My paternal sisters and I were chatting over food and drinks and, as per usual, the conversation flowed (hehe) toward our bodies. I mentioned being interested in the Diva Cup. Turns out one of the gorgeous ladies swore by it. Another positive! My curiosity continued to grow...

Fast forward to last week.

In browsing my regular news sources, I learned that most tampons contain glyphosate. That's the icky stuff Monsanto built into its genetically modified faux-food. It causes all sorts of ugly health problems, even though the company likes to talk around it. Turns out their GM cotton has made its way into our feminine hygiene products. I was furious! I was already a bit on the fence about tampons, but considered them a necessary evil. And then to find out that I had unknowingly been inserting glyphosate into my vagina when I do my best to avoid it like the plague?? Not only was Monsanto poisoning us through our food; now they were doing so through our vaginas as well. Talk about chemical warfare on women's reproductive organs...

We women go through so many tampons, pads, liners, etc. each year. Think about how many products you go through when you've got one week a month where you're having to change things out every few hours. And that's if you're lucky! Some women change things even more frequently than that. So that's at least 3 per day. And then multiply it by 5 or 10 days. That's at least 15 times a month (or upward of 25 for some women) that your vagina is being exposed to fresh new batches of glyphosate. Why is this a big deal? Ever hear stories about girls who'd soak their tampons in vodka and insert them to get drunk? The vaginal walls absorb things into the blood stream very quickly. I felt like Monsanto had duped me yet again... Thank goodness for the countries that are banning the company from growing their frankencrops.

So this time around I purchased the Diva Cup. I read the instructions, washed it, put it in and consulted with the people I know who were using it as well. Everyone was so excited that I'd hopped on board and were eager to give me their advice! My friends who hadn't used it yet all had their interest piqued as well.

I'm happy to report back that I love it.

My favorite thing about the little cup is the fact that it has marker lines inside so you can actually measure just how much you collected over the hours. Ladies, let's turn this into a competition! "America's Next Top Badass Uterus" -- whomever collects the most at the end of their cycle wins. Forget guys and their pride in how big their dicks are. How awesome is your womb?!

When my 12 hours were up and I took it out, I was in awe. I'd never looked at my period this way before. Usually when you take out a blood-soaked tampon, you're a bit disgusted and want to flush it as fast as humanly possible. But not with the Diva Cup. It was only 1/2 way filled with a thick, beautiful, deep maroon fluid. As I swirled it around the sides of the cup (almost as though it were a fine glass of red wine - oh yeah, never looking at that the same again!), I marveled in how I could see slight tinges of my favorite color, fuchsia. I felt a number of things. Excitement. Pride. Power. Strength. Wonder. There was this sense of real connectedness to my inner divine femininity, a primal reminder of just how amazing my body is for having created this life force energy that would have potentially been the home for a brand new tiny human. I felt a different kind of love for my body I've never experienced.

For a brief moment, I understood the desire some women have to eat their placenta after giving birth. I'm not saying I wanted to do that myself; but I understood it. There's something so magical about what our bodies create without us consciously willing it. For another brief moment, my body didn't feel so opposed to the idea of growing a baby from scratch -- and then that brief moment passed.

I slowly poured the cup's contents out in the toilet and watched as the swirls of life force energy danced in the water -- a sort of hypnotizing dance overflowing with radiant goddess appeal.

No more glyphosate in my pretty bits. I'm sticking with the re-usable silicone cup and cutting down on waste. It's no wonder why they gave it such an awesome name: The Diva Cup. Yes! Look at the amazing treasure your body produces! You are a diva. You are a goddess. Reclaim that inner awesomeness and really own it!

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