Remember when you first got your period? For some of us, it was an iconic moment and for others, it was devastating. No amount of those old-school videotapes, books, or talks could have prepared us for what most of us would endure for the next 50-60 years.
I remember when I first got my period, I was excited, but confused and didn’t feel that great. My mom put a pad in my hand, took it out of the paper, and showed me how to put it on my underwear. Pads were officially my go-to.
That didn’t last long.
As a competitive swimmer with a heavy flow and bad cramping, my coach told me that I couldn’t keep taking off 3-7 days of practice each month, or else my speed and endurance would go down.
He told me to try tampons. I knew what they were, but the idea of them was terrifying. Reluctantly, I tried them only to have a not-so-great first trial.
Eventually, I got used to them, but I could not stand pads or tampons. For a while, those were the only options that were available, and each month I dreaded the feeling of either wearing a diaper or having a weird cotton stick between my legs.
When I got to college, I did some research and found the Diva Cup. Desperate to give literally anything else a try, I cringed at the $30-50 price tags of the variety of cups in Target and decided on the original Diva Cup size 1.
After about 40 minutes of trying different folds and wearing it in the house all day on the weekends, I decided that this was it. After years of discomfort, I found something that worked for me, and trust me when I say there is something for everyone!
As someone who has tried it all, here are some of my alternatives to pads and tampons: