Menstruation is painful, and not just because of the physical pain (boo cramping and period shits), but there’s just so much to remember and take care of. There’s always a fear of running out of pads (or tampons), and disposing of used ones is another burden to be taken care of. On a side note: it’s a nightmare trying to dispose of them at a guy friend’s house. If there are any guys reading this: please keep dustbins in the washroom, your girl friends are going to love you for it.
Recently, however, I decided to take the plunge into the world of reusable menstrual products because the issues that I just described were too real. I was fed up of being afraid that I had run out of my pads and making frantic trips to the store to fetch a new pack. It was also disgusting that I had used pads rotting in my dustbin (even if I had thrown it just the night before). I first ordered a pair of Thinx underwear and within days of that I ordered a Diva Cup.
I had heard a lot about menstrual cups but was kind of iffy of using it because I wasn’t too warmed (heh) to the idea of sticking something up my vagina – part of the reason why I never wanted to use tampons. I had watched a lifestyle vlogger on YouTube talk about Thinx and that seemed more up my alley (heh) so I ordered a pair of hiphuggers to try it out. A few days later I watched another vlog about trying the Diva Cup and I figured trying it out may not be a bad idea after all. I did some preliminary research (read: I watched more review vlogs) about menstrual cups and I was convinced enough to order one for myself. I decided to go with the Diva Cup because it had mostly positive reviews and it was cost-effective – $22 from Amazon for size 1.
I’m just one cycle old with reusables but I’ve got to say – IT’S AMAZING. They weren’t lying when they said it’s going to be liberating. Now with Thinx I used it on my first night when the flow’s not the heaviest and on other days I paired it with the cup. The underwear is so comfortable, and there were no leakages whatsoever. It last at least 6 hours for me. After using it I just had to rinse it and leave it out to dry. The drying wasn’t the easiest thing for me but I got by. On to the cup – the best way I can describe it is that it was an experience. I had done a dry run of the cup a couple of days before my period so I could get the insertion right. I tried it on a couple of times and even walked around with the cup inside for a few hours during the dry run. I had nailed it, or so I thought. When it was show time (when my period finally visited) I started having some trouble forming the ‘seal’ after inserting the cup – even after doing the rotation and all that jazz. I also assumed that the cup would last at least 12 hours on my heaviest day because I did start having a reduced flow after getting on the pill, but apparently I still bleed a lot and I last way less than 12 hours. Needless to say, accidents happened. Leakages happened more than once. Thankfully I had the Thinx on too. There was once a time when the cup turned sideways inside my vagina which was so weird. I did get better with each passing day though, and I’m sure I’ll master the insertion in a couple of cycles. A lot of women on the cup also had issues in the beginning and they have since gotten a lot better. I hope I get the hang of it soon!
The cons of reusables I can think of are that Thinx is expensive ($35 a pair) and the cup may not be the best option if you’re squeamish about dealing with your vagina or period blood. Also with the cup, it can be awkward to empty the cup in a public restroom. But since it lasts so long that shouldn’t be much of an issue.
All in all, I think the benefits outweigh the downsides. The cup and panties may be expensive but it’ll pay out for itself in the long run. The cup can last a couple of years since it’s made of silicone which is safe for your vagina. I don’t need to deal with rotting used pads in my waste basket anymore and I feel so good about myself that I won’t be contributing to waste from disposable pads, so it’s the best for the environment. I may move on to making reusable cloth pads to fill up my arsenal of menstrual products. I love that I made the switch and I am quite proud of myself for it.
Update (11/3): I had leakage problems with the Diva Cup 1 so for the latest cycle I upgraded to Diva Cup 2 and it’s been smooth. A wider diameter helps so much!