I recently wrote about how I purchased my 1st set of cloth pads here & have written a bit about my experiences using a Diva Cup here and here
Diva Cup Update
I've been using the Diva Cup since August of 2009 and could not be happier with the switch. I find that I feel cleaner, more confident & less limited while using a menstrual cup instead of a tampon and/or pad. I still find that on my heavier days I'm able to fill the cup quickly and need to empty it & wear a panty liner or light pad for just in case.
The Diva cup has changed the way I travel, snowboard & camp. All the activities that became very difficult during my cycle are now within reach. The clear downside is the cramps!
Snowboarding with my Period - then and now
In the past I'd load my snowboard outerwear pockets with tampons and many times find that I'd get to the bathroom just too late. I'd have a mess, no easy way to get out of it, and feel damp and nasty. Not to mention - the tampons would be crushed 1/2 the time from falls or awkward movements. Now I don't have to worry about that. During my heaviest days I still take a few more breaks than maybe necessary just to make sure I don't have any accidents. I also wear a pad or liner just in case.
Camping & Rafting with my Period - then and now
I love camping and a rafting trip is always part of the itinerary. In the past I had to make frequent trips to the camp bathroom which was always damp, dirty & the opposite of private. After washing my hands of all the camping grime, I'd have to change my tampon. Before I knew it, I was back in the bathroom doing it all over again. During rafting trips I regularly found myself hiking my way through poison ivy looking for a private place where I could fish the zip lock baggy of tampons out of my lunch sack and do an exchange. It was gross and the opposite of ideal. Now I'm able to bring 2 Diva Cups with me. I wash 1 while wearing the other and store it in my toiletry bag for when I'll need it next. If I have access to a bathroom, I empty my cup, rinse it and pop it back in... if I don't, I remove it, clean it off with toilet paper & keep it to clean more thoroughly later while popping in the clean one. During rafting trips - I just don't do anything at all. I haven't found the need to change it during the 4-6 hour trips! It's great!
Traveling with my Period - then and now
Traveling used to be such a hassle... I'd never know if I was going to have my period or not. I'd take a bag of feminine products only to not need them... then on other occasions have nothing and need them desperately. Now I have my diva cup (2 in fact) and I just pop it into my toiletry bag and I have it wherever I am.
How I clean it
The directions say to boil the diva cup at the end of your cycle to sterilize & to wash it during daily use in the Diva Cup soap ... or a non oil based soap that is unscented. I almost NEVER do this. I use some unscented Dr Bronners baby soap and water... that's it. I've been doing this with the same bar of soap I purchased in 2009... and I still have about 1/2 left. I've seen no degrading of my Diva Cup and the cost savings are obvious. I know that the website discourages this but many people have used it finding it to be fine!
Why I do it
I use a menstrual cup for many reasons and I will list them below:
- I am reducing my carbon footprint and my contribution to landfills
- It does not contain leaching chemicals, synthetic materials, dyes, etc.... that have been identified by some as a carcinogen (read here)
- I feel cleaner & it makes my life easier
- I'm more comfortable
- I have less accidents
- I save tons of money!
Cloth Pad Update
I am immensely enjoying my cloth pads. The only down side is that I wish I had more of them. I purchased a starter pack from Pleat on Etsy for about $24. They came with an overnight, a regular & a liner. I've used all three and have found them to be very effective.
I used the regular during the day during my heaviest day in conjunction with my Diva Cup. It stayed in place and was very very comfortable. I did not get any discomfort that I usually get when wearing a maxi pad (especially with the dry weave). In the evening I wore the overnight pad and found it to be absorbent enough, but a little short. I leaked a bit similar to how I leak with a disposable. I found that I'd need an extra long pad for over nights. The light pad I used during the day to supplement my Diva Cup during a moderate flow day. I found that it helped up quite well. There was a tad more shifting compared to the regular & overnight sizes, but still found them comfortable. The biggest down side was not having enough.
Today I put in another order with Pleat for 2 more liners and 2 more regular pads. I believe these will be great to use in conjunction with my Diva Cup during the day and for the tail end of my cycle when I prefer just to use a liner. I did not choose to order another overnight pad as I felt they were too short. Instead I will look at longer pads through other vendors.
I am currently looking at the Pink Lemonade Shop at Etsy for their 11 inch over night pad & their 13 inch post partum pad.
How I use them
I use them no different than you would a normal pad. They law on top of your panty and have a small snap to attach underneath. I don't even feel it there. When I need to change it, I rinse it under cold water and throw it in the garbage pail that I use for my family cloth wipes in the bathroom. I find that because I use them to supplement my Diva Cup, I do not have to change them while I'm at work.
How I wash them
Because I rinsed them, they are usually a bit damp. I throw them in the wash with the rest of my family cloth & run them through a regular cycle. I use my regular homemade laundry soap & vinegar as a fabric softener rinse aid. Then I line dry them like I do mots things.
So far I've been beyond satisfied. Would you try any of these things? Do you think they are just crazy?