Another day, another recall, and this one hits women in the worst possible place: Kotex is recalling its tampons because the plastic applicators may be contaminated with bacteria. Really. WHY OH WHY is there bacteria on the tampon applicators?!?
Here are the crucial details: These are the "Natural Balance Security Unscented, Regular Absorbency" tampons sold at Walmart, Fry's, and Smith's with SKU numbers 15063 and 15068. And now, the crucial question: Wouldn't you like to be in full control of the bacteria that goes into your va-jay-jay? Maybe it's time to explore your options -- as in, a menstrual cup. Never heard of it? Scared? Read on.
So, what is a menstrual cup? As you can see in the image below, it's a little, flexible cup that you fit all the way up your vagina up near your cervix. It could be made of rubber (latex) or silicone. It hangs in there through the wondrous powers of suction and collects your menstrual goodies for around eight hours (on average). Then you pull it out, dump the contents into the toilet, wash, and insert again.
Yeah. I remember my first reaction to this description, and it was something along the lines of EWWWW! NOOOOOO! Wouldn't that put me in close contact with my lady fluids? Gross! But then I read a blog post about cups where the writer asks, "Just from a practical standpoint, wouldn't it be nice to get over that?" And I thought, Yes, yes it would be nice to get over that.
Dear readers, I dared try the cup. And it was okay! I survived. Yeah, it does takes some practice. But I don't miss paying for tampons every month, I don't miss wondering if I can flush the tampons without flooding the bathroom, and I especially don't miss that horrible feeling when I open the closet and realize I forgot to stock more tampons and am up a big, red creek.
You're wondering -- what about bacteria? Okay, so everyone says there's an extremely low risk for Toxic Shock Syndrome. I'm going with that. It's up to you to clean your cup, and I like that. Bleaching is not recommended, but soap and water (for the cup and your hands) will do the job. You can also soak it in hydrogen peroxide if you want to get it extra clean. Clearly these are not for everyone. But as a control freak, I have to say, the cup is working for me so far.
Have you tried a menstrual cup? What did you think? Did you keep using it, or was it a disaster?