Women divers : try the menstrual cup!

Dear women divers,

Back on Koh Tao since a few weeks, I talked with some female pro diver around me and I realize with dismay that managing our period is not easy with our special lifestyle. Diving 4 times a day and being on a boat all day brings its share of complications in the matter.

It is about time someone reveals the existence of the most precious object of all aquatic sportswoman: the menstrual cup.

So I volunteer to talk to you in detail about this wonderful female tool which I can't go without now, because; to paraphrase Francine Chambers (creator of the Diva Cup);

“With all the state-of-the-art conveniences Western society has developed, it baffles me why outdated feminine products are still being used."

The first time I tried the cup, even I was very doubtful (see refractory).

What is it? The menstrual cup is an alternative to tampons and sanitary pads during menstruation. It is inserted into the vagina to collect menstrual blood. The cup is reusable at will and can be worn for 12 hours before being emptied, rinsed and given a new use for 12 hours. You can use it for about a year.

What does it look like? It is a small silicone cup about 2 ½ inches in height, 1 ½ inches in diameter. It is soft therefore pliable, with 4 tiny holes on the sides (to avoid any suction effect).

How does it work? It is very simple. You put the cup in in the morning and it can be kept in for the entire day, it can also be used at night. The cup should be boiled before and after any cycle for sterilization. This cup comes in two sizes. Size 1 for childless women, size 2 for those who already had children.

How much is it? It cost around US $ 30. It is often found in health food shops.

Here are some negative assumptions that I issued before trying:
  • Cleanliness: "Nan frankly, stop taking me for a moron, I do not believe for a second, it will not leak, I'm sure it will leak."
  • Comfort: "Maybe you don't feel anything, but you have to put it in place! Gymnastics every morning, very little for me! "
  • Comfort 2: "Anyway, for sure you feel it, this thing is not teeny tiny. that's for hippies! "
  • Other: "And if I put my head down, everything is going down? "
Convinced that the cup would not beat the convenience, speed, cleanliness of installation and efficiency of my standard tampons with applicators. I got challenged by my friends 7 years ago. Using the sacred principle that "a true feminist gives herself body and soul for her convictions," my friends managed to get me tested this weird object.

So I conducted the experiment, very few convinced I admit (given my physical and hormonal conditions, a natural tendency to pessimism was to take into account) and .... I have not bought one tampons since.

Here is why I am now a *fan* of the menstrual cup :
  • Economic - Have you seen the tampon's price in touristic places!!! No need to buy tampons every month now, the cup is reusable. A $30 well spent.
  • Eco - Economy of cotton, packaging, labor and especially waste. 100% green, the cup is free of latex, plastic, bisphenol A and is without dyeing, dye or additive (unlike the tampons). I wonder how many tampons go into our toilets every year?
  • Clean - It does not leak. Tested, approved! (Give yourself a few cycles to get use to it though). I even heard it's possible to receive some "sexy treats" without any troubles. However, women with big flows might need to empty it twice a day.
  • Comfortable - You ab-so-lute-ly do not feel the cup. The size of the object has no correlation with the feeling. You can sleep with it very well. It's so comfortable, I live these days much more relaxed.
  • Practical - I really can go through the whole day without thinking about it for a second. Going to the toilets are way more hygienic. Everything is clean, no changes to make, no wet tampon string that will stick on your thigh (we all hate that). No acrobatics moves in order to keep the string away and wipe simultaneously, oh joy and ease!
  • Other - You can put the head down. I won’t tell you how i figured that one out.
Random note
I noticed we really loses less blood than we imagine (we do not know our body that well).

Only disadvantage I found. You need a toilet with a sink. This may pose problems in public restrooms with sinks outside.

Tips for the first cycle
Initially, it is not easy to place or whether the cup popped correctly. It is also more invasive than a tampon, do not be afraid to get your hands dirty.

So now you know what's the secret.
Go give it a try, you'll thank me later ;)

More info on Divacup.com

Interesting articles to read on the subject

Special thanks to my friends : Sandrine, Daphné, Marie-Lise, Clémence, Fanny et Val.
Pictures: Mathilde Malignon

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