Sunday, October 21, 2007

A post for women only

If you are a man, stop reading. Now. I mean it. NOW! If you keep reading, you will regret it. If you are a women, but squeamish about that monthly visitor, you should probably stop reading, too.

Since moving into a house with a (brand new!) septic system, I have become acutely aware of the waste created by my monthly female cycle. See, when you have a septic system, it is VERY bad to flush your tampons. They don't decompose, instead, they just float in the tank until it is pumped. And that assumes they don't sneak through the baffles and clog up your drain field. So, I bought myself a nice little trash can with a tight fitting lid. I kept it next to the toilet. I lined it with a plastic grocery bag, and, for one week a month, used it to dispose of my female grossness. Suffice to say, this solution was not the best. It was gross, very gross. It would smell if it wasn't empties regularly (and then just transferring the smell to the garage trash can). But mostly, seeing this made me realize just how wasteful it can be to be a female. I had thought I was doing the best I could when I switched to O.B. without the applicator. But, I decided it wasn't enough.

Enter the menstrual cup. I must admit, I had heard about these maybe 10+ years ago, but I always second guessed myself because it seemed, well, gross. The first time I heard about cups, I believe it was the one called The Keeper. It was expensive, and I wasn't sure I would like it. I tried Instead when they first came out, but I found them uncomfortable, and it seemed even more wasteful than tampons. But now, with the gross trash can issue mentioned above, it seemed like it was time to finally get up the nerve and try a cup again. Enter The Diva Cup. I picked it mostly because it seemed to be the cheapest one I could find.

I am now 3 days into my first month using it, and I am finally in love. There were some growing pains getting use to it, but I found the information at LiveJournals's menstrual cup support group invaluable! Most importantly, I learned that most everyone has some issues at first, and that the instructions that came with the Diva were not the only method of insertion. Since trying some of the other folds, I can now get it in and out quickly and easily (the first day, this was NOT the case). Its still a bit messy, but not terrible. And far less bad than a bag of 3 day old tampons.

I figure after 4 months of not buying tampons and pads, the Diva will have paid for itself financially, plus I will no longer be disposing of 20+ tampons per month.

Now... about my love of toilet paper...

9 comments:

Gypsy said...

I've long been interested in trying this but I haven't got the stomach for it. Yet. Maybe I'll give it a shot.

Ruby said...

Don't worry, it took me 10 years to get up the nerve.

Beej said...

Can you use it with the IUD? I bought some instead ones and ended up mailing them to someone b/c I read the insert and realized I couldn't use it with the IUD.

Karen (Pediascribe) said...

We also have a septic tank so flushing anything like that is a no-no. But really, they shouldn't be flushed down a toilet connected to a sewer system either. Eventually someone at the water treatment plant has to deal with those. NASTY.

I haven't tried the Diva Cup yet. I'm waiting for my annual exam to talk with the doc about changing some medications. Until then, I won't really need one.

Heidi said...

I've seen those and heard people talking about them but I just can't bring myself to try them. It took me awhile to get used to using tampons!

Ruby said...

Beej - check out http://www.livejournal.com/tools/memories.bml?user=menstrual_cups&keyword=iud&filter=all

Karen - yeah, I (now) know they shouldn't be flushed at all. But, it was so much easier, and up until recently, I thought it was perfectly fine. Blech. No wonder ancient men use to consider us unclean (Lev 15:19-29) and ban us to the outskirts of town.

Sue said...

See, I'm in love with my Insteads. Love them. I've never had any issue with them. I did the same thing as you...went from regular tampons, to OB, then I tried a cup.

Beej, I'm pretty sure that with the IUD you should not use any type of cup, but I could be wrong. It's one of the reasons I got rid of my IUD.

Sassy Momma said...

Yeah, I tried the Instead once and after my birthing experience with them I stopped using them. Plus I don't really have the stomach to deal with it. Glad they are working out for you!

Naturegrrl said...

i've had one for several months now and have mixed feelings. i'm weirded out that they put the writing on the inside (and some little holes!). and it totally doesn't work while camping. but mostly it's ok. my learning curve was 2 or 3 months.