By Megan Birnbaum
I was first introduced to the idea of the Diva Cup on my trip to South Korea in 2012. One of my friends used one and she told me about it. From one female traveler to another, we were comfortable talking about intimate topics, like periods. Tampons had been in my life for a long time. Tampons were more comfortable than pads because I didn’t notice them as much but, like pads, they were messy and annoying to change all the time. (Fact: Tampons need to be changed at least every eight hours to prevent the growth of the bacteria staphylococcus aureus, a cause of toxic shock syndrome [TSS]. The Diva Cup, I learned, can be left in up to ten hours without showing effects of the same bacteria.)
The Diva Cup is a similar idea as a tampon but it is reusable. You don’t have to buy bulk supplies, you don’t have to worry about finding a trash can, and you don’t have to worry about environmental consequences.
I decided I was going to get one before I left for Colombia. I talked to that same friend on how to get one. I couldn’t find them in stores so I had to order it online. There are two kinds, one if you’ve had a baby and one if you haven’t. It came in the mail and I felt like a thirteen year old again, rediscovering period stuff and feeling like this was a secret and I was in the know. Weirdly, I couldn’t wait to get my period to try it. I looked online for a tutorial on how to use it. It wasn’t graphic or gross, so that was nice.
Essentially, it is a suction cup that you fold to put in. It holds a lot so you have less embarrassing moments of leaks, which I was so grateful for. Who hasn’t had that moment of terror when you’ve literally left your mark somewhere?
To take it out, there is a tab at the bottom but how it works with the suction cup you need to take the pressure off by folding the cup again. The tutorial proved to be very helpful in the explanation.
Now, you may be thinking, “That is so gross. How do you clean it?” You clean it with soap and water, making it pretty convenient to have and use here.
I’ve been using the Diva Cup the whole time I’ve been in Colombia. I wish I had discovered it sooner. I love it and I recommend it to others.
Success around the world: It has been recommended for other countries with limited resources since it is reusable helping girls and women to live their daily lives and stay healthy. Saving the environment and having helpful resources is always a good thing.
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