I’d just like to warn men that if you’re grossed out by discussions of menstruation, you might want to go elsewhere. Also, remember that your spouse/girlfriend’s way of handling her period is probably very personal and while pointing her to the Diva Cup may be fine, suggesting outright that she should use it for frugality or the environment’s sake is probably not a good idea.
I’ve written before about whether generic feminine products are worth it. My basic conclusion was: pantyliners — ok, pads — nope, tampons — ok if they’re from CVS.
One of my former roommates asked whether I’d ever considered the Diva Cup. I hadn’t thought of it recently, but when I was younger, I used to wonder why there wasn’t just some kind of cup I could use.
On her recommendation, I considered it further and ended up buying a Diva Cup. I’ve used it for a number of months and I think it’s perfect for me. I’d go so far as to say that I love my Diva Cup! Here are some of the pros, cons, and my thoughts.
Pros of using a Diva Cup
- The Diva Cup is convenient and cost-effective. You don’t have to keep buying more and you also don’t run out. Both bigs pluses in my book.
- The Diva Cup is environmentally friendly.I t’s insane how many tampons and pads some of us use.
- The Diva Cup is comfortable. I wasn’t sure about this one, but I can actually forget it’s there, something I can’t do with a tampon. If the pull-tab makes you uncomfortable, you can trim it down…but don’t cut it off!!!
- The Diva Cup causes less cramping. I don’t know why, but there you have it. Thrilled. Micah asked me about it because he said “I haven’t had to get you pain killers and you haven’t complained about it once or asked for backrubs.” Since I normally have one day where I’m virtually incapacitated, this was a shockingly good discovery. I don’t know if it’s like that for everyone, though. Don’t count on it.
- The Diva Cup is safer. Less risk of TSS because it’s made of silicone and doesn’t absorb like tampons. That way, the vagina can do its own self-cleaning and just ignore it. According to their site, they’ve never been associated with TSS…though they still advise removing at least once every 10 hours. You wash it frequently and boil between periods it to keep it clean.
- You can sleep in a Diva Cup. It’s safe enough to sleep in for 8 hours or more, plus most of the time it’s not likely to overflow.
Cons of using a Diva Cup:
- Using the Diva Cup requires comfort with one’s body. I think you really have to be comfortable with your body to use it. Depending on how it’s positioned, you may have to stick your fingers inside and fish a little. There’s a nice tab to pull to get it out and pressing down with your pelvis like you’re going to give birth brings it to the entrance…but it still requires some comfort. It can’t get lost up there, don’t worry.
- Using the Diva Cup requires comfort with your blood. Periods can be kind of gross. And you’ll have to empty the cup. But if you’ve been having it for over half your life like me, it’s not too bad.
- Diva Cup has a potential for leaks. But so does everything else–pads, tampons. It might leak if it’s not positioned right and it might overflow if you don’t change it regularly. I put in a pantyliner just in case.
- The Diva Cup needs to be washed. Ideally, you wash it with gentle soap every time you empty it (3-5 times a day for me). But if you’re in a public washroom, you can just wipe it down with toilet paper. I boil it before and after cycles.
- It may be harder to use the Diva Cup if you’re a virgin. Whether or not you can use a Diva Cup depends less on if you’re a virgin and more on whether or not you’ve been able to use large tampons in the past. Some people may run into problems if they have a tight hymen, others will be just fine. If you’re not a virgin, then it should definitely fit.
They have a very helpful user guide on the site (under FAQ, but it’s dynamic so I can’t link directly to it) and one that comes with the cup itself. I’d say that they’re both must-reads, the first if you’re thinking about it and the second if you get it.
There are two sizes, one for young women who haven’t had babies and one for older women or women who’ve had babies. The Amazon models I’m linking to cost less than $25, so if they last for 10 years, that’s $2.50/year!
For women who feel fairly comfortable with their bodies and cycles or for women looking for a change from, I recommend considering it and perhaps even buying one, as even wearing it for a few cycles should recoup the cost. The first day I wore mine I actually felt like dancing–like those women in commercials who are feeling so free. I also felt like a doofus for wanting to dance.