If you follow my blog, you know that I strive to live as naturally as possible! Like most people, I'm not PERFECT and I'm still navigating the different areas of my life that could use a touch-up. One area that's bothered me for a long time is my menstrual cycle. I've managed to ditch birth control and follow a natural method, which I'll talk about in another post of the Gone Natural series, so that's all set. However, I wanted to figure out a way to ditch tampons (read on for a giveaway!).
Why Tampons Bother Me
- They create SO much waste! All the plastic that enters landfills per woman per year is completely unnecessary, and I wanted to find another way.
- If you buy tampons with a cardboard applicator, there's the problem of how the cotton is sourced & what's in it. Unless you can afford to buy organic tampons (which most of us can't because they are CRAZY expensive!), your tampons contain a chemical called dioxin, which has been linked to reproductive problems, and they are bleached. Yuck!
- My period is heavy so I bleed through tampons quickly & have to change them often. I don't like pads (they create a lot of waste & feel weird), which means I bleed through my underwear & sometimes my pants. I'm a yoga teacher and yes, I've taught an entire class with a huge bloodstain that no one bothered to tell me about. I demoed the most EMBARRASSING poses too, like Crow Pose. Yikes.
- Tampons are so expensive!
- I travel a lot and don't want to deal with changing them & buying them. Ugh.
- I hate trying to figure out when my period is finished and having to use a tampon so I don't have a bleed-through moment. If I don't bleed and I pull out a dry tampon, I cringe as it's one of the most uncomfortable feelings ever. Do you agree?
Alternative to Tampons
I started researching alternatives to tampons and came across a few options. The one that made the most sense to me in terms of design, functionality, usage & reviews is The DivaCup. Watch the video for a more formal introduction to the product, but basically it's a menstrual cup that you insert into your vagina that catches the blood. You empty it twice a day, wash it, and reinsert it. With proper insertion, I experienced zero leakage, and was actually surprised at how little I bled while on my period (I expected way more blood to come out based on the amount of tampons I use).
It may sound weird if you've never heard of a menstrual cup before, but they've actually been around for almost 80 years! Keep an open mind & consider trying something different. My guess is that tampon & pad companies squashed these products with advertising because those companies make TONS of money off us repeatedly buying their products for basically 40 or so years of our lives, each and every month.
The DivaCup only has to be replaced once a year (if you choose) & doesn't have all those nasty chemicals in it. It took me a couple of days to get used to using it, but once I did, I fell in LOVE!
My Experience with The DivaCup
While nothing is perfect, I found The DivaCup to be much more preferable to tampons and/or pads. Once I got the hang of it, I was able to practice and teach yoga with it in, swim normally, sunbathe, sleep, and more... without any hassle or worries that I was bleeding through. I am currently traveling around Southeast Asia for 3 months and love the fact that I don't have to buy or carry around tampons with me! When I was just on my cycle and trying the product out, I would walk into a bathroom & think, "Oh no, I forgot to grab a tampon!". Then I would remember that I have all I need inside of me, and would feel relief. And there's nothing to throw away at the end of it, so the landfill gets a little break each month.
One of the things that I love best about The DivaCup is that you get to know your body and your flow better. As I'll talk about in my post about natural birth control, it's very important to understand your body, your cycle & your patterns. There are many reasons for this, but the biggest reason is this - when you know your body well, you'll know when something is wrong. Often times, we rely on outside sources, like doctors, to tell us what's wrong. When we get to know our bodies and our health, we are able to figure out what's going on and how to live in a way that aligns with our health. When using The DivaCup, you have the ability to actually see how much you bleed (it's a lot less than you think!) and you're able to keep track and measure your blood flow, if necessary, for your doctor or your personal knowledge.
The DivaCup takes a few days (or more depending on you!) to figure out exactly how to use and remove it. It's a totally new experience, so expect that. Remember when you were learning how to use tampons? It was weird, right? It's the same thing here. I was staying at a yoga & meditation temple in Cambodia with two bathrooms for 20 people when I was learning how to use mine, and I got the hang of it rather quickly. You can do it, too. Sure - I spotted here and there at first while figuring it out, but it was nothing compared to a proper bleed through with a tampon. Regardless of all of that, once I figured out how to get it to seal properly and I learned the logistics of removing it, I was able to get in and out of the bathroom in no time. Let's talk about the Pros and Cons I experienced with using The DivaCup!
- The DivaCup can be worn for up to 12 hours!!!! 12 HOURS LADIES! That means you only need to clean it twice a day (3 times MAX!) with warm water & a mild, unscented, oil-free soap (DivaCup sells a wash to use or you can use Castille soap like me).
- There's no constant waste each month!
- I'm in bikinis a lot to surf or sunbathe and I finally don't have to worry about that annoying STRING hanging out! Yes!
- MUCH cheaper than repeatedly buying tampons/pads.
- No more toxic chemicals in my vagina!
- No more accidental leaks which means my underwear stay clean and beautiful!
- I know my flow much more intimately.
- NO MORE DRY TAMPONS!
- It's tricky at first but amazing once you figure it out.
- Washing it in a public restroom would probably be an issue. I didn't find this to be a problem in Southeast Asia because all bathrooms have a bidet shower (a hose to clean yourself with after using the bathroom), so I simply sprayed mine out with that and reinserted it. I found a video on The DivaCup's YouTube channel that actually gives advice on how to remedy this problem of cleaning your DivaCup in a public space! Check it out!
Win a Free DivaCup!
I love The DivaCup SO much and love the environment & my followers even more. SO I'm giving away a free DivaCup to one lucky lady (you can't have mine, though - you get a new one). Join me on Instagram or Twitter to find out how to win! Basically, you have to follow me on either platform (or both for more entries!), like the post or tweet, and tag three of your lady friends that would also be stoked on winning a DivaCup (if you're on Twitter, you have to retweet it). The contest will run for one week.
How to Purchase & How to Follow DivaCup
Visit DivaCup to learn more about the product and to order one. There's a store finder on their website, as well. “Like” them on Facebook and follow them on Instagram and Twitter, and tell them Rima sent you!
Okay, ladies - what do you think? Would you try the DivaCup for your period needs? Let me know! And don't forget to participate in the Giveaway! And check out the first post in the Gone Natural series on Natural Hair, which includes my experience with ditching hair dyes and going all-natural. I also give two of my fave haircare home-made recipes - one for making hair grow faster, and the other is a home-made "Moroccan Oil". Join me on social media using the links to the right (above if you're on mobile) and SHARE if you loved this post! Join my newsletter to stay up-to-date with new news!
- Giveaway is open to both Canadian and US Residents only.
- I was NOT paid for this review!!! This comes from a genuine desire to reduce waste in the environment, to eliminate the ingestion of toxic chemicals from tampons, and to make menstrual care less of a headache for women everywhere (because I care!).