(BEWARE: This might be more information than you wanted to hear.)
It might not be what every woman wants to talk about but most of us who are traveling with our families either have to deal with it still ourselves, or with our teen daughters, or possibly with both.
It isn’t going to take a hiatus just because we have!!
How I have found it best to deal with it economically, environmentally, compact-fully (new word?) but still somewhat messily is with a Diva Cup or something similar. Like with everything else in life nothing is perfect. But I find this totally satisfactory & better than alternatives.
I purchased mine at a health food store in Canada but you can pick them up at some large pharmacies and online at places such as divacup.com.
They are re-usable for years, easy to wash if you have the facilities but sometimes you just manage to give it a wipe. The yuckiest would be if you are doing long-term hiking where every ounce you carry in and out is crucial and thus you don’t carry paper towel or a disposable wipe of some sort to wipe it out. Instead you have to insert it still mucky after dumping its contents out. The alternative is packing boxes of pads or tampons when you really don’t want to be carrying that weight , spending that money nor creating that garbage.
Personally, I usually use a disposable panty-liner. I know, I know, that’s still creating garbage. But I go thru very few in a cycle because I use it as a back-up for slip-ups (or rather, slip-downs, if you know what I mean).
If you’ve given them a try and just can’t get the hang of it, I say
“If at first you don’t succeed, Try, Try Again!”
Really. It takes some of us quite a while to get the hang of it, but once you do you’ll be happy you didn’t give up. It might require a bit of adjustment (ie snipping) of the tab, or practising the way you insert it, but you should find it suits you well within a few cycles. In the meantime, use pads as a back.
Before you purchase one be aware that there are actually different, um, sizes. This may seem weird, but its really just dependent on whether you’ve delivered a baby before.
We aren’t affiliated with it but I do recommend The Diva Cup. Even if you were to buy a different brand, there is a lot of information on The Diva Cup site worth familiarizing yourself with. Topics like How it Works; Choose Your Size; Care & Cleaning; Tips for Success; Medical Questions; and Extreme Sports & Travel. There is a lot of info under Educate & Power: All Things Period; Chart Your Cycle; Teens; Moms; Health Professionals and Educators.