Well, maybe they were. I don’t know. I didn’t find out about them until at least 2010…. at least! Like, I had to suffer for how many years without them? Wtf!
I know you’re wondering exactly what I am referring to… and to be honest, I used to think they were gross. Like how can you…. Like…. uhm… Then I tried one… and I haven’t looked back since.
I started my menstrual cycle, from here on out known as Code Red, back when I was 12… so 28 years ago. Now, when I started it, because I had been watching my mother and she bought all types of books about sex, body image, and encyclopedias… I knew that women bled monthly. I didn’t have the talk when it started. I simply, got a pad out of the bathroom and kept it moving. She didn’t even know until later that week when she went to wash clothes. Next thing I knew, my paternal grandmother was calling me with the “I heard you’re turning into a woman now” speech. How embarrassing. That’s why I didn’t tell my mother anything. Ain’t no telling who else knew. I am surprised the mailman didn’t stop me outside and congratulate me. Thanks,
Barbara Bob. Anyhow, the pad I took looked something like this:
My mother was born in 1955 and if I recall correctly, she wore pads with belts in her youth so, these were a huge upgrade. Tampons? I don’t think she even bothered. She didn’t swim, run, or do anything besides bowl…. so I don’t think she considered herself the active woman. I’m not sure of her flow, so these probably worked for her.
I was in 6th grade. This thing felt like a fucking brick and had me walking like I was an equestrian. So yea…. Luckily, I had subscriptions to both Teen & Seventeen magazines so ordering free samples of whatever they had worked for me. I got allowance. I could afford stamps… or take them out of her stash. Whatever.
My first taste of a tampon was probably at 14 or so. It was an O.B. I liked it, because I could put it where I wanted to without the pesky applicator that made them uncomfortable. In my late 20’s I would find out exactly why the applicator would make them uncomfortable and why OB worked better for me. I a lower cervix and my uterus is retroverted/tilted toward my back. It effing leans the wrong way. So, anyway, even when I wore a tampon my cervix would ease them down and practically out. So even with tampons, I always had to wear a pad. Ugh. I get insanely jealous of all of those ads and girls in real life who’d be all “I went swimming for 13 hours without leaving the pool. I wore Tampax.” OMG. Kill yourself (I am a work in progress).
Years went by…. pads changed… got thinner and better…. I stopped having periods after my daughter because a- Periods depressed me severely and b- birth control. I started the patch then later moved to the ring and my Dr told me how I could reduce them to only have one 3 to 4 times a year! Then came Always Infinity pads… OMG. Game changer! They could absorb the entire Pacific Ocean! Love them!!!! Now during this time, I heard people talking about a cup… and I was always like this:
I mean how do you go out in public? How do…. These were the same girls that could wear a tampon and white for the first day of their period. Kill. Yourself!
Then I had Kroix, and we put him in Swim class. Mommy and me swim class. Now I have to…. ugh. So, I bought these:
And because I am not stupid, I also wear them with Depends Active Fit, which are thinner than what most think of as adult diapers, and I never have to worry about staining underwear. Things were all good until we went to San Diego and Code Red came on the way there. I was literally fresh off a miscarriage and Code Red would return at this particular time. Really bitch? I had to use these while out of town. First few days went without a hitch. But the day we went to the zoo…. baby! So, the science behind the Softcup is that that pink rim fits around your cervix. Remember I said my uterus was tilted? So is my cervix… so, while we were at the zoo, I needed to change it. I have on my backup. Picture this: It’s raining. We just got off of the tour bus. I have a rented stroller because Kroix is only 17 months old. I take him into the handicap stall. And I proceed to attempt to remove it. I can’t reach the rim. I push. I still can not reach it. By now it’s oozing out. and Got damnit, the stall is practically a mini murder scene. I literally had to push like I was giving birth… again. I finally got it out and made do, but I had to try others. The one that snugs the cervix just wasn’t working for me. It just wasn’t.
Now, I had heard of the Diva Cup before. It was actually the first one I had heard of, but I wanted to try something I could toss just because of the ick factor that plagued me before I ever tried one. So, I got a coupon and ordered one. Got damned thing was like $30 bucks or something. So, I got it, and boyyyyyy was there a learning curve with it. Yes… It was long (remember, I said my cervix sits low). So off to Google I went. I saw that some women cut the stem down/off. Some women inverted them. I tried both. I decided against inversion because this one time at band camp, the damn thing worked it’s way down and almost exploded out of my lady bits from the tension of being flipped inside out. I cut them stem ALL the way off and now I am practically a pro. No feeling wet all day. Air doesn’t get trapped in the juices making fart noises… you know all that crap that you feel on your period but don’t discuss. I still wear Depends with them because there are times that it eases down a smidgen and I would rather be safe than sorry. Leaking from a cup is not the same as leaking a bit from a tampon. a cup collects and when it pours, it’s full stream and dark red throughout. I love the fact that I can go longer (by hours on average) without emptying it.
Again…. why was I not aware of these until my 30s? Men could go to the moon in the 60s… but thin pads weren’t thought of until the 90s. C’mon now. I find this hard to believe.
And before anyone mention the Always Discreet Boutique or Depends ActiveFit…. Yes, I am aware of Thinx… but I can’t wrap my brain around a pair of underwear that cost $30+… because I would need at least 3 pair. Yea, yea, if you’re younger they’ll pay for themselves, but when you’re 40 and your mother started menopause in her 30s and you’re already on borrowed time…. it’s hard to justify the cost…. Plus, I get Depends and Always for dirt cheap w/ coupons and sales. So, even a few years worth of those are cheaper than a cycles worth of Thinx. If you haven’t tried the cup…. Do it! If you have tried the cup and have been wearing them longer than me…. we are no longer friends… Friends tell friends about things like this.