10 Reasons the Diva Cup Can Change Your Life

I’m going there people. I’m going where the ocean ebbs and the moon wanes. I’m going where the crimson wave has little to do with surfing and where the cotton pony has nothing to do with ranch life. Yes people, I’m going there. I’ve decided to rag on so called “feminine hygiene” products.

I’ve never been comfortable with the cost or environmental waste associated with tampons, pads, and other menstrual gear listed under the banner of “feminine hygiene”. I’ve always felt cramped when dishing out big bucks for a wad of cotton on a string and I’m grumpy with the garbage created. To me, it’s just bad financial cents to bleed my bank account and rot the earth when there’s a much better way.

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Last month I finally listened to a good friend of mine and tried something called the Diva Cup. The Diva Cup is a brand name for a menstrual cup, which is a reusable bell-shaped plastic device developed to collect and contain menstrual flow inside the body.

I was honestly skeptical at first. The initial idea of putting some plastic bell thing “up there” was a little off putting. But I’m sooo over it. The Diva Cup is the most amazing, useful, wonderful girly product ever. Since I want you to “have a happy period,” I’ll get over all silly shyness and share my thoughts with you.

10 reasons the Diva Cup can change your life:

1. Cost.

A menstrual cup like the Diva Cup costs about $25 and can be used for a year. The company behind the Diva Cup, Diva International, suggests cups should be replaced annually and kept very clean. Seriously, $25 bucks for a reusable device is not a heck of a lot when you consider the cost of disposables over the year.

To Buy a Diva Cup:

I’ve done the math ladies. The amount of money we spend over our lives on disposable pads and tampons is mind boggling. If I roughly guesstimate a woman’s fertile life ranges from age 13-48 (seems like a good average to me), that’s 35 years!

Now for the very very rough mathy math:

  • Tampon Pack: $5
  • Pad Pack: $5
  • Monthly Cost: $10
  • Yearly Cost: $120

Lifetime 35-year cost: $4200
(This number does not account for inflation or taxes either!)

Basically, we’re making the companies behind Always and Tampax rich. Especially when you consider about 50 percent of the population needs this stuff. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather save thousands of bucks by buying a couple of Diva Cups over my lifetime. That’s just good financial sense. Period.

2. Environment.

I cringe to think how many pads are put into landfills each day. It’s sad actually. Most women use about 18 pads and/or tampons per cycle. By using menstrual cup products like the Diva Cup though, all this landfill waste can easily be avoided.

3. Health.

I’ve discovered a few health benefits since using the Diva Cup. Seriously.

  • No harmful substances. Pads and tampons can contain bleaches, absorbing chemicals, perfumes, and other irritants or allergens. The Diva Cup is made of medical grade silicone which cannot be broken down or absorbed into the body.
  • No Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS).Tampons have been shown to have a connection to TSS, a rare but sometimes fatal disease caused by bacterial infection. No such connection exists with the Diva Cup since cups do not function though absorbency.
  • “Down There” Health. Upon removal, tampons can scratch and leave tiny thread fragments. Pads can cause rashes. The natural balance “down there” is not compromised through the Diva Cup.

4. Guys, no more drug store trips!

I haven’t forgotten about the fellows. I know many of you have made a fateful trip to the drug store looking for the “exact” brand and product your female friend needs. I’ve seen you in “that” aisle carrying an empty package of the stuff your gal has unfortunately run out of. Matching up and finding the right stuff is daunting, and nearly impossible considering how often pad and tampon companies change their packaging. But you fellows brave the checkout and bashfully buy the brands. Fellows, these blushful trips can end. The day your gal gets a Diva Cup is the day those drug store trips are finished. Kudos.

5. Sports.

Participating in sports can be a drag when it’s that time. Being in the middle of a game when you need to pull the goalie is not an ideal match. Skip searching your duffel for a relief player with the Diva Cup since cups can be kept in play for 8-12 hours. When a cup is placed correctly, it does not leak and cannot be detected. Feel free to swim lots of laps, ride a bike, or run a marathon. It won’t win any races for you, but you’ll make it to the finish line without fail.

6. Sleep.

No more midnight bathroom trips. No more sleeping on towels. No more doubling-up. The Diva Cup can be worn all night long, unlike a tampon. Sleep soundly for 8-12 hours. I dare you.

7. Freedom.

Stop stuffing your purse full of tampons and pads. Carrying stashes of girlie stuff is a thing of the past. With the Diva Cup, your period worries are no longer woes. Go to school or work and forget about it. No more bathroom trips till you get home hours later. You are free.

8. Less cramps?

I have no scientific proof. But I seriously think the Diva Cup lessens cramps and quells pain. Since I have a history of fainting from crippling painful cramps, I am the first to wonder how a cup can contain this condition. But I think it does. Again, I have no scientific proof.

9. Comfort.

You don’t feel a thing. No mess, no fuss, no problem. It doesn’t matter how heavy or light your flow, one cup covers all stages in a cycle. Yay.

10. International.

I’ve mostly mentioned the Diva Cup brand since it’s available in North America, and that’s where I live. Other menstrual cup brands are available around the world, so I’ve summarized them below:

  • DivaCup (Canada, USA)
  • Mooncup (United Kingdom)
  • Keeper (USA)
  • Moon Cup (USA)
  • LadyCup (Czech Republic)
  • Lunette (Finland)
  • Miacup (South Africa)
  • Femmecup (Far East)

I went there people. I went where cutesy advertising campaigns tell me to “Have a Happy Period,” and annoy me. I went there and provided a real solution to environmental concerns and cost considerations. I went there. I went there ’cause I want you to go there too. Would you consider it?

Your two cents:

  1. Jessica April 14th, 2014

    @Lex:

    This isn’t just an “idea”. This is sustainable and anything but lazy. Please do a little more research before writing it off.

  2. Emma April 15th, 2014

    Hi! Thanks for your very informative article! I’m 13, and I started having my period yesterday. I heard about the Divacup a while ago, and after reading many reviews and checking out their site, I decided I want to try it out. My mom knows as well and is helping me find one πŸ™‚ So thanks again for making this information public for me and others to find!

  3. foxy girl April 23rd, 2014

    Hello everyone! foxy girl here. I just wanted to check in and say that for the 1/2 year i have had my cup, I love it! And thanks to all of you wonderful women for helping me know more about them. It is all that I hoped for! I can now get through a school day without having to run to the bathroom every hour. It is amazing!

  4. Heather April 26th, 2014

    I almost wish I was still getting periods – past all that now thank God! Sounds fantastic – about time we solved this problem! Men who can’t deal with this issue should remember where they come from.

  5. Shannon May 9th, 2014

    The diva up is one of my absolute fav purchases this year. It’s transformed my relationship with my period and body by extension. Period sucks 40% less (also not scientific), but I’ve also experienced lessened cramps and increased freedom and comfort. The anxiety about not being able to remove it is completely dissipated, it just requires getting used to. By your third cycle with it, you’ll be in love. I also realized that removal is VERY easy when you sit on the toilet and lean back. No baring down, no anxiety, it just comes into reach. It’s my baby.

  6. Shannon May 9th, 2014

    AMEN Heather! We need to stop coddling men’s self-imagined revulsion to a process that enables their existence.

  7. Cory May 13th, 2014

    How do you take it out without spilling the blood?

  8. Jessica May 16th, 2014

    @Cory: I worried about the same thing, but with even a LITTLE coordination, you don’t need to worry about spilling all over. It’ll happen, because accidents happen, but you might be surprised how little blood there is throughout the process.

    Also, for anyone who’s worried about toxic shock syndrome: THERE HAVE BEEN NO REPORTED CASES OF TSS RELATED TO THE USE OF A MENSTRUAL CUP. Please visit http://you-are-loved.org/ to learn more about TSS if you’re concerned.

  9. Kenzie May 29th, 2014

    Does anyone have experience using a cup immediately postpartum? How soon after childbirth before it can be used?

  10. Guam Teen July 1st, 2014

    Never heard of this thing, but can teens use this as well? Just graduated high school last month at sixteen, and I’m always looking for more ways to save myself some money. A bill is being passed to raise the Minimum Wage to $8.25 next January over here on Guam, and everything’s bound to get more expensive now.

  11. Alice July 5th, 2014

    Lex: TSS is linked to cotton, not to silicone. You’re waaaay worse off using tampoons.

    Cory: Empty it more often and then over the toilet.

    Kenzie: According to the swedish M-cup site (http://menskoppen.se) You should NOT use it directly after giving birth. As soon as your menstruation becomes regular again, it’s fine to use it as normal.

    Guam Teen: You might need a smaller m-cup (no, diva cup is not the only brand!), but otherwise there is nothing to stop you. The small yuuki cup is one of the smallest πŸ™‚ Also, congrats on getting better wages! πŸ˜€

    // random knowledgeable dudette

  12. Jessica July 12th, 2014

    Guam Teen: I’ve read some teens like Meluna for their different sizes, too http://www.bepreparedperiod.com/PeriodTalk/question.php?que_id=31&value=1 Admittedly, I haven’t seen or tried a Meluna or Yuuki, myself.

  13. Katie July 28th, 2014

    I use a Lunette, which is available to Americans if you buy it online. I was surprised to see that the Divacup is supposed to be replaced every year, because the Lunette is supposed to be replaced every 10 years for even more savings.

    A menstrual cup is also nice because you can put it in before your period starts – great for people like me, considering I always wake up with cramps and start my period sometime during the day. I can just put the cup in and be ready ahead of time!

    There can be a little bit of mess when you are learning to use the cup and get it placed properly, but it doesn’t take long to master.

  14. Jessica August 3rd, 2014

    Katie – Regarding DC’s yearly replacement, I commented on October 5th in 2012: I believe they’re complying with the FDA (or some other facsimile; tis based in Canada) on this one. Since it is a personal hygiene product, they could be *required* to advise no more than one year. Yes, this increases profit if women feel the need to comply, but other sources of theirs that I’ve read have implied (if they’re not allowed to be explicit) that it is safe for longer.

  15. happy yogi August 18th, 2014

    I’m so glad that you wrote this! I started using the Diva Cup about 6 years ago and have been slowly convincing all of the women in my life to try it and wishing I had a larger platform to shout from. I loved seeing the community of support that formed in the comment section too. I have had the same Diva Cup all 6 years and have had no problems with it. When I bought mine they used to say that they were good for up to 10 years. I’m not sure what has changed or if it is just for marketing purposes that they’ve shortened it to annually, but just thought I’d share! And to be totally honest, although I absolutely LOVE my Diva Cup, I tend to have the opposite effect with cramps. It certainly hasn’t helped them, but I hope it really is helping other women! It has been such an amazing relief to not create so much unnecessary trash every month! I hope that you will all give it a try!

  16. Emily August 18th, 2014

    I used a diva cup for about a year and it was amazing!! I recommended it to all my ladies. The only thing I love more is my Mirena- TRULY no mess.

    FYI my doctor warned against using the Diva cup with an IUD because there was a slightly higher chance of infection due to the IUD string.

  17. Adria August 25th, 2014

    As for the cramping, for women that are prone to clotting having a tampon in close to the cervix forces small blood clots that would normally pass through the cervix to get trapped against the tampon keeping the cervix forced open. Fluid can build up behind the clot creating pressure and the clot can get bigger. Clots passing through the cervix, even small ones, are usually accompanied with pain, so the larger the clot and the more fluid behind it the more pain. Modernly a lot of women are on birth control which increases risk on blood clots. I was having cramping due to passing blood clots through my cervix and my doctor recommended me going to pads because of this issue. The thought of pads disgusted me, and I am also very physically active, so when I found a DivaCup at a health food store I was very excited. I experience almost no cramping now.

  18. CTY September 18th, 2014

    I doubt if anyone will read all comments and actually get to this one. I confess I did not read them all & may look stupid because this has already been said. But, here it goes. Is it logical to buy 2 Diva cups, so that one is always clean & ready to use so you don’t have to stand (& risk leaking)and wash your only one out before you can reinsert it? Also, if you buy 2 & use them like I mentioned, will each one last 2 yrs.?

  19. Dawne September 19th, 2014

    CTY, they are actually good for much longer than 1 year, but government regulations forced Diva to print that on packaging. Just examine it before use for wear. I’ve heard many women use them for up to 10 years before replacing them. As for needing 2, though I haven’t found one that fits me yet, I have read quite a bit about the emptying/reinsertion, and it seems you can just wipe it out with TP or cloth while still on the toilet. Just don’t drop it on the floor or anything πŸ˜‰

  20. TMenya December 2nd, 2014

    I have an Eva Cup and absolutely LOVE it! Not only are my cramps way better but I have noticed that my period doesn’t last as long. Maybe because there is nothing being absorbed? IDK. All I know is that I wish I had found the Menstrual Cup YEARS AGO!!! I have extremely heavy flow periods so this thing is a life changer. A Super Tampon may last me 2 hours max when I’m having a heavy flow day so I always needed a backup maxi pad in case I leaked. I did need to empty my Eva Cup every 5-6 hours on my heaviest days but that’s so much better than my former life of flushing $ down the drain every month. I mean, Tampons & Pads all add up… I was spending $15-20/month on my period! Thank you Mother Nature! I really hate it when I ruin my panties during my period so I bought a huge 90 pack of panty liners which I wear when I’m using my cup just in case I don’t get it positioned correctly or it doesn’t get a good seal. I’ve had the same pack of cheap panty liners since I got my cup months ago. It cost me about $5. No other costs have been associated with this switch and honestly… I don’t need the panty liners. They just give me peace of mind. I haven’t had a leak since my first period with the cup when I didn’t position it correctly. Also, I keep finding tampons in all of my suitcases and drawers and hiding spots around the car & house… you would think I hoarded the damn things! I don’t even want to think about using those things again but it feels like it would be wasteful to just throw them out. Any suggestions? I certainly am not going to be using those things again!

  21. Jessica December 30th, 2014

    @TMenya: I’m in a community choir that rehearses in a church, and I donated all of my disposables to the ladies room. They keep a basket full of disposables in there in case of any surprises. I also worked for a place that had pads in case of emergencies, favoring Seventh Generation. As for pantyliners, when I’m afraid the cup might runneth over, my backup is a LunaPad or GladRag. πŸ™‚

  22. Grace January 31st, 2015

    Can you try out your cup even if your not on your period? If you want to attempt to get a hold of the process??

  23. Jessica February 2nd, 2015

    Grace – That’s what I did, a day or two before my first period with the cup.

  24. JT February 15th, 2015

    A note from a former Peace Corps volunteer: I brought cups with me to use in my country of service–one of the world’s least-developed. They were life-savers. Hours of hiking, running, hoisting loads, teaching, but it didn’t matter: my cup stayed in place, rarely ever leaked, and was easy to empty, clean, and replace.

    Other volunteers faced a real struggle to buy pads and tampons (very expensive and not widely available in country.) I used my cups the whole two years and continue to use them now that I’ve returned.

    Note, also: with proper washing and sterilization, I don’t see any reason to replace after a single year. Mine are all in great condition after three years.

  25. Lindsay June 25th, 2015

    I actually had a diva cup years ago before having my son and LOVED it. Since having him I went back to tampons because my size 1 didn’t do the trick anymore. I have since bought another size one diva cup and a size two as well as a post-childbirth blossom cup and I’ve had leaking issues with them all. I have nothing against any of those brands as I was a faithful diva cup gal for years but obviously my body has changed since then. I recently ordered the femmycycle starter kit as it comes with two cups (regular and low cervix) and while the shape is very different from the tapered bell look of every other cup out there in pleasantly surprised at how comfortable it is. It also has a very large capacity so you REALLY don’t have to worry, even with a heavy flow. My husband is thrilled that we don’t have a bunch of tampons and pads in the trash and I’m thrilled that my period is more undetectable than ever. I rant and rave over menstrual cups because they really are a game changer for women as well as our partners and kids! No more messy bathroom trips and no more cats and kids digging bloody tissue-wrapped tampons out of the bathroom trash!

  26. Lisa July 30th, 2015

    They are $40 dollars up here in Canada. But still, worth it. I totalled up all the tampons and pads I buy each month, usually around 15 – 20 bucks, times that by 12 and holy crap forty dollars seems terribly reasonable. πŸ™‚

  27. Sarah August 20th, 2015

    The Diva Cup works great for me. Part of the trick is to fold it into a U shape when inserting and when removing don’t pull on the stem. Instead bare down a little and then pinch the cup above the stem so it begins to fold just like when you inserted and then remove. If you are having trouble reaching lift a leg up or squat. This will shorten the distance between the cup and your fingers. Also some women have a very low cervix and the Diva Cup is too long for them. In this case I recommend a naturally shorter cup like the Lunette cup. Sometimes if my muscles are tense the cup will work it’s way down a bit and be uncomfortable. Simply gently push the cup farther up as you relax and you’re good to go!

  28. Hannah Jackson April 9th, 2016

    I love that there’s still comments happening on this old of an article! Clearly the subject matter has stayed relevant. πŸ™‚ Anyways, I started using the Diva when I was 22. I wanted to start it much earlier but was too afraid to try it. Oh, how I wish I had; it would have made undergraduate as a dance major so, so, SO much easier. It really has changed my life, and now I tell everyone I can about them (usually people are squicked out, but I’ve made a few converts). Nothing is ever going to make periods perfect and and as easy as not being on your period, but I have to say the cup makes it about 95% perfect, and that’s good enough for me. And I hate pads and tampons, so it’s a win-win all around. So if you’re on the fence and you’re a bit scared, try it! But do your research first. Go to the livejournal menstrual cup page and read up on which cup is best for your needs. While there is a way to sell used cups so it isn’t a total loss, why waste time and money if you can do a bit of research up front?

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