Let’s Hear it for the Girls!
Feminine hygiene in sports has long been sketchy territory. One girl on my gymnastics team summed it up thusly: “I wish I could be one of those girls who gets so skinny she just loses it!” And by “it” she meant her period, not her mind. Although to get that skinny you’d probably lose both – double bonus!!
Pads are too bulky, not to mention the chafing problem if you do any sort of running. Tampons are better but you have that pesky string to worry about, especially for swimmers, gymnasts, and I’m assuming, figure skaters. Cross-country skiers, you’re in luck. Plus they leak, necessitating the usage of a pad or at least a panty liner.
I know some girls use birth control or other methods to skip or lighten their period (and, for the record, anorexia is not a good option) but for the rest of us who still have to worry about, ahem, a visit from Aunt Flo (not my fave euphemism by the way, but the one most suitable to print), I’ve found the greatest thing since rolled cotton with a string wrapped in candy-colored plastic: The Diva Cup.
Side note: why the candy-colored plastic and kid-friendly packaging Tampax?? I cannot even tell you how many times one of my children has brought me a wrapped tampon insisting I open it for them because they are sure that mommy is hiding treats in her “special” drawer in the bathroom.
Anyhow, back to the coolest invention ever. The Diva Cup is a “modern menstrual cup.” I know that evokes images of weird hippies or maybe wiccan rituals – hey, I don’t know how you grew up – but let me assure you that this is much closer to a modern surgical implement. Hmmm, that was supposed to sound reassuring. Simply put, it is a medical-grade silicone cup about the size of, but more pliable than, a one-ounce shot glass. Ever since I found this, I’ve been baffled as to why it isn’t more popular as it is so much better than anything else on the market.
– This. Doesn’t. Leak. Not ever. Not even once. No pads need apply.
– You can leave it in up to 12 hours at a time.
– No cotton so it doesn’t dry you out and significantly reduces your chance of toxic shock syndrome – that lovely little malady that any girl who has ever read a tampon box is deathly afraid of.
– It’s reusable indefinitely. One costs between $24 & $32 so that’s a good thing.
– It’s so much better for the environment.
– It will never clog your toilet, your friend’s toilet, your date’s toilet (!) or any other septic system you can think of.
– You can’t feel it.
– The ick factor. It requires you to deal with your own bodily fluids by emptying the cup into the toilet and then rinsing it out in the sink. I understand that this is a deal breaker for some girls but trust me when I say it’s only a little tiny bit worse than dealing with a tampon.
– The lack of an “applicator.” Those of you using O.B. tampons are already familiar with how to get things up *there* without the aid of a plastic bullet but for the rest of us, it’s kind of a learning curve. It took a good 5-6 times putting it in and taking it out for me to get comfortable with the technique. The Diva Cup website has a really good FAQ section though that gives you all kinds of helpful tips. Plus you will really want to read the brochure that comes with the Cup. You’re already on the toilet, you’ve got time!
I think this is officially my first product recommendation!! And likely my last, but you never know. The Diva Cup is perfect for athletic women. Getting my period used to seriously cramp my workout style (hee! cramp!!) but now it’s not a big deal at all. Just check it out.
PS> Only read the ad below if you have a liberal sense of humor.
The bottom caption reads: Comfortable plastic applicator won’t keelhaul yer nethers. (hee!!)