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The Diva Cup and Menstrual Product Alternatives

October 13, 2009

divacup-main_FullI’ve never really liked tampons, because of the whole “there’s a BLEACHED wad of cotton in my twat” thing and besides, I’ve always found the string kind of annoying. They’re also kind of drying, if you know what I mean. Pads are ok, but then you have to deal with the possibility of it bunching up in your crotch and there’s still the whole “there’s a bleached pad of cotton way too close to my private bits” thing that you have to deal with. That’s it, that’s pretty much all that’s available in your regular drugstore to stop you from bleeding all over the place. I’ve just cornered the market, right?

Nope, look again. There’s a variety of products and freakin’ human companies out there that give a care about your vagina and the fact that you bleed out of it at regular intervals. You can use fabric pads, which are made of unbleached natural fibers, are machine washable and are thus reusable. Sea sponges are a nice alternative to tampon, and they are also reusable, which means that not only are they good for the environment, but they also cost way less. 

website_foldPersonally, I’ve been using the Diva Cup for about a year now and I absolutely love it! It’s made out of pliable medical grade silicone, and it comes in two different sizes: a smaller one for those who have never given birth and a slightly larger one for women who have had one child or more. Basically, you squeeze the cup so that it folds on itself and then you insert it into your vagina until it sits comfortably past the vaginal opening, but lower than your cervix. After making sure that it has popped open as to form a tight seal, you never have to think about it until you `empty it. 

website_holdI can leave the Diva Cup inside for up to 12 hours or more, before having to remove it, empty it, wash it, and reinstall it. All you have to do is empty the contents into the toilet or into the sink and then quickly wash it off with soap and you are good to go. Depending on your flow, you can figure out your own schedule. I generally empty it out in the morning when I’m in the shower and then again at night before going to bed. I can never feel it, I seriously almost forget that I’m on my period and surprisingly it’s really not messy. The blood just collects into the cup until you’re ready to empty it and you really don’t have to worry about spilling it or getting it all over the place. 

website_insertThe first week that I used the Diva Cup, I found it hard to install and take out. The plastic was initially too hard, and it kind of hurt when pulling it out, but boy am I ever glad I tried it again the next time my period came around, because I got into the rhythm of things and everything went smoothly from then on. It’s just a matter of squeezing it the right way and if you are familiar with your body you learn what works best for you rather quickly. 

Wearing the Diva Cup is almost like not having a period at all, the initial price pays itself off in just a few months and it’s good for the environment. On a side note, it’s kind of fascinating to see what menstrual blood actually looks like and how much of it comes out. I love pouring it into my white sink, it looks amazing and it’s a lot thicker than you would expect. I am NEVER going back to tampons and pads, you might think they suck now, but once you’ve tried something else you realize just how bad they are in the first place. FYI, there are lots of different menstrual cups out there, I encourage you to find the one that fits your needs best. 

10 Comments leave one →
  1. October 13, 2009 7:16 pm

    I’ve been using the same product (though it’s marketed as a ‘Moon’ Cup in the UK) and have found it very effective. It was a little tricky to get used to in the inital stages, a little painful where it sealed against the vaginal walls. But it’s just a case of fiddling about until you get a comfortable position and then perfecting that over time. It really does seal and I have never noticed any leakage. No annoying strings nor unfomfotable pads causing blood to congeal in your pubic hair. Excellent product!

  2. October 13, 2009 7:30 pm

    Ah yes, congealed blood in pubic hair, I’m glad I never have to deal with that again. The only time I ever had a problem with leakage is if I didn’t make sure the cup unfolded and sealed itself when putting it in, and really that’s barely ever happened.

    One thing I forgot to mention in the blog post is that the first few times I tried to pull it out, I had a hard time getting a hold of it. I cut the stem really short and I don’t have the longest fingers in the world, so what works best for me is to use one finger from each hand and place them on either side as if I was pinching the bottom and then pulling it out that way. I can’t, for the life of me, do it with just the one hand.

  3. Nicole permalink
    October 14, 2009 10:31 am

    i’ve been using the diva cup for years, and it makes everything (especially traveling) waaahaaaay easier. definitely seemed grosse at first…but now I just feel super in touch with my vag. woowoo! and yeah, lumps of bleached cotton shoved up there is much worse.

  4. October 14, 2009 12:27 pm

    I’ve been wanting to try one of those for years. Thanks for the reminder! Also, according to my mother (who is not a doctor but loves to self-diagnose) tampons are how she got cervical cancer. Although I believe it could have possibly contributed to it, I think tampons are unsafe anyway (TSS). I used to have pads that were biodegradable, but can’t find them anymore. The brand changed and they stopped making them. So, I’m off to get myself a Diva Cup. Thanks!

  5. Colleen permalink
    October 14, 2009 12:56 pm

    I LOVE the divacup and have been using it for just over a year now. I do have some leakage issues in the first day or two of my period but I figure that is more to do with my not emptying it quite as much as I should. Personally I use a panty linear during that time and it’s never more than the linear can handle.

  6. October 14, 2009 3:26 pm

    Nicole: Yay, for feeling in touch with your vag.

    Dominadoll: Let me know how you like it!

    Colleen: I have some friends who are hesitant to try it, because they have such a heavy flow that they are worried about leakage, but I’m convinced a menstrual cup would actually help.

    The last time I had my period, I used one of my leftover pads and I ruined a pair of pj bottoms and one of my sheets.

    Something else to consider for those who are weary of putting down 40 some bucks to buy a cup, they sell disposables ones at the drugstore. In Canada, they are marketed as Insteads and although they are not as good (they are wider at the rim, fit higher up around you cervix and are messier to remove) they would give you a good idea of the concept of a menstrual cup.

  7. October 15, 2009 8:35 am

    Yay! I love love love my Diva Cup, I’ve been using one for probably about five years, never had a leak.


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