As it gets closer to the time that I depart for Vietnam, I am starting to notice things in my daily life that I know will change once I arrive in Hanoi. The food that I eat, the places I visit—the list goes on. Then there are the things I am uncertain about, and if they will change or how they will change. Naturally, this got me thinking about dealing with menstruation in a foreign country. I guess this isn’t such a natural thought progression, but I rarely ever think rationally, so it’s not entirely surprising. What if I don’t have access to the same menstrual products that I have grown accustom to in Canada? How will I dispose of said menstrual products when necessary? This is enough uncertainty to give an already anxious girl something else to worry about. And then I remembered, the Diva Cup!
The Diva Cup is a non-absorbent menstrual cup that simply collects menstrual flow. It can be worn for up to 12 hours before it needs to be emptied and washed, and then it can be reinserted. It is supposed to give you the freedom of participating in all activities without having to worry about the unreliability of disposable menstrual products. PERFECT!
The Diva Cup also empowers women to make healthy choices for their bodies and the environment by giving them an alternative to traditional menstrual products. Disposable menstrual products contain dioxins as a result of chlorine bleaching or other bleaching processes. After inserting a tampon, these dioxins have the potential to leach through your skin. Not good. And of course there is also the risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome. No thanks.
Disposable pads and tampons are responsible for an incredible amount of waste that ends up in landfills every year. In fact it is estimated that 12 billion pads and 7 billion tampons are disposed of each year in North America. That’s a whole lot of waste! And then there is the problem of dioxins again. Just as they can leach into your skin, in landfills they can leach into the environment via groundwater, streams, and lakes.
And then there is the cost benefit. No more buying a box of pads or tampons every month, which can quickly add up costing you $150-200 each year. The Diva Cup can last up to ten years, and will only cost you around sixty dollars. That sounds pretty good to me.
As a bonus, the company responsible for the Diva Cup, Diva International, was started by two women (a mother and daughter in fact), making it a great way to support women entrepreneurs. And, they are manufactured locally in Kitchener. It just doesn’t get much better.
I can’t wait to go out and buy my Diva Cup and start using now, and in Vietnam.
You can also check out Sustainable Cycles for alternative menstrual products. Sustainable Cycles is a women-run collective, also based out of Kitchener, producing reusable menstrual pads made from ethical fabrics.