Friday, August 22, 2008

Not really about diapers...

...but it's totally related.

Guys, please stop reading.

Family members, please stop reading if this will ook you out.

Only ladies left, right?

Awesome, let's proceed.

So in thinking about the excessive cost and wastefulness of disposable diapers, it's only natural to begin thinking about femenine hygiene products. I mean, how much money will you end up spending on tampons, pads, and panty liners throughout the course of the menstruation phase of your life? Let's just say that you start at age 13 (although many girls start younger), and complete menopause when you are 55 (although for many women, it's older). That's 42 years! 504 months! 504 cycles! Let's say you spend an average of $7/month for tampons and pads. For these modest estimates, you're looking at $3528, plus tax and inflation, so by the time we're finally done, it could be closer to $5000.

What if you have children? Let's say you have 3 children, and don't begin cycling again until each of your children is 9 months old (due to breastfeeding, hormonal changes, whatever). That's 18 months of no cycles per 3 children, or 54 fewer cycles. You're still looking at $3150 before taxes and inflation.

All of this is to say nothing of the waste! We all probably flush tampons, but we're not supposed to. And pads are about as biodegradable in a landfill as disposable diapers are. Don't even get me started on the chemicals and bleaches used to process these things, which you are then either putting immediately next to or even inside your body. And we do all these things without even thinking twice about them, because I did for years, too.

Well, no more for me!

I just got my Diva Cup in the mail today and I am so excited! I read my directions, washed it, and started using it right away. (I'm not a weirdo, I'm having my cycle right now.) It was so easy to use and it's totally comfortable! I don't even feel it, just like a tampon.

I love that all I have to do is empty it into the toilet, wash it, and re-insert throughout my period. It eliminates the unnecessary waste from tampons and their applicators and pads. It's far healthier than products which strip all the natural moisture out of you, and it has practically zero incidence of adverse health issues, like toxic shock syndrome. Also, at just $32.50, it cost less than 5 months' worth of disposable products, and I can use it until menopause.

Some women use cloth menstrual pads instead, which is fine for women who prefer external protection. I personally don't, so the cup is the route I chose. I still use disposable panty liners as a back-up, but will probably eventually switch to a cloth one that can be laundered with the diapers.

Anyway, I'm pumped! I never even knew this was an option before I started using cloth diapers, so I figured that there might be a lot of women who will be interested, but likewise wouldn't even think twice about it.

*** EDIT TO ADD: I found a website that sells the diva cup for much cheaper. I wish I had found this website before I purchased mine, but it would thrill me to know that I saved some other ladies some money. Check out


Amy D. said...

Welcome to the club! I've been using one for over a year now. I love my diva cup.
It's a really good way for a woman to go green. It requites a certain familiarity with one's female anatomy, but I don't see that as a bad thing. I think there's a bit of a learning curve, but once you're past it, it's smooth sailing.

The Cloth Diapering Mama said...

Well, I think that having 2 vaginal births cut down on the learning curve for me! ;o) I had no problems with inserting or removing even on the first try. Hooray! But I did have a really weird dream last night that I was trying to empty and replace it while in a public restroom, and the stall didn't lock and women kept opening the door and staring at me, asking me all about the diva cup!

Melissa said...

sorry it has taken me so long to answer your question about whether we figured out what to buy, but yes we have made our first investment in CDing!

While I was all about prefolds, Jonas really liked the idea of the Bumgeniouses/AIOs so we bought 15 BGs and 12 AIOs off etsy from a SAHM that makes them for cheap. We budgeted a starter amount out a while back and feel good about it since Christmas is coming up and we can add more CDs to our wish list. I am very excited to try it when we meet our little boy soon!! 2 months to go until my due date! (of course I may be using disposables for a little while, we've been given quite a few!)

Stegman Family said...

I just ordered mine and I'm so excited to try it...after Jeanine's not nursing anymore. It might be a while, bummer.

Marcie said...

I have to be honest... my first thought was, "Oh wow, that's really gross." But, the more I read, the more I realized it's not any more gross than a tampon or a disposable pad!

I'm going to look into it, thanks, CD mama!

Stegman Family said...

I got mine and finally (ok, not finally, baby girl is only 8 weeks old) got to use it today! There's a learning curve but I'll figure it out, lol!

Paz Kallah said...

you know, its funny, since i've been looking into cloth diapering, i've ended up thinking about this too. hadn't heard of this yet though, only the cloth pads, which seems grosser (is that a word?) than cloth diapers. so, how is it working out for you? is it all you hoped it would be?