The extraordinary experience of menstruation

The Lady Finger

May 2, 2009

As I type, my uterus is shedding its lining. This is cause for celebration for a few reasons: First and foremost, I am definitively not pregnant. (Though apparently it is possible to bleed and breed! Yikes!) Whenever I’m having sex on the regular, regardless of how many forms of birth control I’m using and how well I’m using them, I always have the sneaking suspicion that I might get pregnant. I think it’s a stress thing and I guess, probability-wise, totally possible. Secondly, I get to use my Diva Cup, which for the past nine months has made having my period a little like a science project and therefore, kind of fun in a weird, sometimes gross way. And thirdly, it’s given me reason to talk about men-STROO-ation, which I believe is perhaps one of the most feminist things you can do, a point I will elaborate on in a minute.

First up: DIVA CUP! I love it! I’m writing this for The Lady Finger because I mentioned my Diva Cup to Sara last month during my Lady Days and she said that the women she’s met who use them are like, Pentecostal about them and I should use this blog as a forum to spread the word. It’s true: I needed something last minute before going to the beach and a friend forced me to buy a Diva Cup instead of tampons. It costs about thirty dollars, which is about three months worth of tampons/pads/other disposable things. I now take my proselytization to the Internet, where I can speak the truth about the Cup.

The Diva Cup is a flexible, silicon cup about the size of an espresso shot that, I swear, once it’s in right, you cannot feel it at all, unlike tampons which get increasingly uncomfortable as they sit inside you. The Diva Cup gets you up close and personal with your inner-vagina (“I didn’t know there was like… so much skin!” said a friend) but also with your menstrual blood, something that tampons and pads just absorb and then you throw away.

Now, I’m a biology person, so I totally get it if this is not your bag, but menstrual blood is crazy cool. It’s like Gak! It’s like, not even blood. It’s mostly tissue and mucous and totally sick looking when you pour it out and it’s like dripping and clinging and the epitome of a nightmare leak but not a leak and therefore, awesome. Having a Diva Cup instead of disposable “feminine hygiene” (Whoa. We don’t even need to get into that phrase here) products requires planning ahead, but it can usually go for 12 hours without needing any attention, making public bathrooms no issue.

So, that’s my pitch for the Diva Cup. Be green and economical etcetera and get one.

Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.