The Diva Cup. 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.
The Diva Cup
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.
1. Cost: Diva Cup vs tampons or pads.
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, but I’ve used mine longer — just be sure to keep it clean. But seriously, $25 bucks for a reusable device is not a heck of a lot when you consider the cost of disposables over the year.
Before buying a menstrual cup, be sure to check if the brand carries different models sized by age or based on childbearing. For example, the Diva Cup Model 1 is for gals under the age of 30 who have not had children and the Diva Cup Model 2 for gals age 30 and over and/or for women who have delivered vaginally or by caesarean section.
Now 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!
- Tampon Pack: $5
- Pad Pack: $5
- Monthly Cost: $10
- Yearly Cost: $120
Bottom Line: 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 or menstrual cups over my lifetime. That’s just good financial sense. Period.
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.
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. Diva Cup and 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.
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.
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.
There’s a bit of a learning curve getting used to folding and inserting a Diva Cup. When placed correctly, 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.
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?
Haha, frugal dad gets a merit badge for bravery …. good job frugal dad! I have never sent senor guinness to the drugstore for me (he’d refuse anyway, the big wuss) & hadn’t actually realized it was that common. Was just looking at these over at the Big Carrot the other day, I will admit I had never even considered them until Mrs Micah started posting about them and now you too. So despite the deafening silence I aqnticipate in this comments section somebody is listening to your advocacy! Good post!
@Frugal Dad Well, the Diva Cup is frugal….and perhaps “Frugal Mom” might be of interest. 😉 Thanks for sticking with the article! My “other half” mostly appreciates #4.
I only read this out of morbid curiosity. As off-putting as the subject is for us guys, it was well written. Thanks for sharing…I think!
Gawrsh leaving ANYTHING IN the body overnight… seems kinda freaky to me… however latex rubber seems to be the body’s best friend so… enjoy your good night’s rest dear… yes, another man that read the whole article… perhaps you’ve unknowingly written a fetish piece. Only Google ads can tell.
Yeah…. I was not planning on commenting on this one, but you just did such a fab job. I never expected to laugh out loud on this topic! Well done.
I have never heard of this product before… but honestly, now I am curious. The money savings alone are a big attraction, but the waste that is created with conventional products is another big factor. I think I will check my local pharmacies and see if they carry this. (i don’t watch TV much, and when I do, it’s taped so I ffwd over all commercials – which may be why I have never heard of this.)
It’s worth a try, that is for sure.
Thanks for the post!
I love my Diva cup!
and I thought Canadian Dream cutting his own hair was being frugal…
I’ve read Mrs. Micah’s post about this too. Is it really no mess? Because that’s what I fear the most – pulling out the cup and spilling blood everywhere …
It almost makes me wish I had a vagina!…. except not really 😛
Excellent article! I’ve been using the Diva Cup for several years, and I love it. When I think of the money I used to spend and the amount of waste I tossed or flushed… *shudder*
To CFO’s question about mess (if I may): There can be a bit of mess while you’re getting the hang of things (insertion and removal), but it doesn’t take long to get used to it. Also, you have to rinse it and wash it every day, but it’s a small price to pay- and you’d be washing your hands anyway, right?
Oh boy. Oh.Boy. Well. Hm. Er. Erm.
That’s all I’m gonna say!
Thank you for writing this post! I’ve had a Diva Cup for over 2 years and kept thinking I should write a post about it because it makes sooo much sense from a pf perspective (as well as a lot of others!) but I just didn’t have the nerve 🙂
And the diva cup is super duper awesome for traveling… No need to pack a box of products that will take up a lot of precious space or worry about finding the brand you like in a foreign country.
I’m very impressed…that I read this whole post! 🙂
Seriously, it wasn’t gross at all – I was expecting a photo though…
@guinness416 I highly recommend giving the Diva a try. Trust, I rarely get this excited about a plastic bell-shaped thing.
@Sara So happy you saw some humor in this post. I actually had fun writing it.
@hmmm Ahhh, another fine fellow comments.
@SunkistMom I too have never seen the Diva Cup advertised on TV. I found out about it through a friend of mine. There’s nothing like word-of-mouth to get the message out.
@Hedy I love my Diva Cup too! Isn’t it funny how such a silly thing is so loved? I don’t know any woman who says, “I love my pad.”
@moneygardener The Diva is indeed frugal. But there’s so much more to it than just money. It’s a device which really makes a huge difference every darn month. But yeah, saving thousands of bucks is pretty darn cool.
@Chief Family Officer There is a bit of a learning curve to a cup. It only takes a few tries though. I’ve never made a mess of it…just pinch the cup closed.
@A.J. LOL. Yeah, best to stick to your man bits. 😉
@AllisonWonder You stated usage very well! Thanks for mentioning rinsing…I forgot this in the post. I’ve found so many women (like you) who have used the Diva for years…it’s a funny product which women really really love. I only wish I listened to my friend years ago and started using it then.
@Hayden Tompkins You crack me up…you and your Ds. 😉
@centsprout I waited a week before posting this article. I wavered…so I know what you mean. You make an excellent point on travel. It’s hard to find the right brand and also annoying to pack. Carrying the Diva Cup is sooo easy. Travel should be point #11. 🙂
@Four Pillars I’m thrilled you read the whole article. Now go tell Mrs. Pillars how cool the cup is. Seriously. 😉
Well, they don’t have it at the pharmacies around here. I didn’t ask because I had 2 small kids in tow in and standing still is not an option in a store. I did find a box of ‘softcup’ disposable ones, you cannot use the same one twice apparently. I also live in a small town, which could be why they do not have them yet. But hopefully I can get a chance to get out alone this week, and ask. There is still one more pharmacy in town I haven’t tried.
@SunkistMom Here’s a Diva Cup store finder: http://www.divacup.com/en/search/
I used the store finder to find one in my local little town. But in the store they kept them hidden away…so I had to ask. If the store finder fails to find you a local store, you can always buy a Diva Cup on Amazon.
I didn’t know they could be purchased in brick and mortar stores. Last time I bought mine was ten years ago and it had to be purchased online. I actually need to buy myself a new one, since my Keeper is starting to show its age (the little stem is getting stretchy). Maybe I’ll try The Diva Cup this time. Thanks for writing this post! I didn’t realize Mrs. Micah had written one, too, I’ll have to go over and read hers. I have to say one of the most fantastic things about using these cups are the lack of smell that you get when using pads.
@Allison & Fox – Thanks! I’m going to look into this.
Sweet! Thanks Fox! I found a store in town. The Nutters of all places!
@Mrs. Accountability I wish I had started using a cup ten years ago. It’s amazing how long they last! Yeah, pads are terrible on so many levels.
@Chief Family Officer Excellent!
@SunkistMom LOL! I’m happy you found one in town and don’t have to wait for mail delivery. 🙂
Thank you for writing about this! I’ll definitely check it out =)
I use it and it trully is a good investment.
To wash it you just use soap and when you are done with it till the next month, you just boil it to keep it clean (I boil it with baking soda).
Advantage #11: For those of us who cannot time our period’s arrival to the minute, you can safely put it in on the “hmm, am I gonna get it today? I don’t know!” day.
I love mine too!
I bought mine new on Ebay btw for anyone that cannot find them elsewhere.
Very interesting post Squawkfox. Congrats on your bravery–it sure did stimulate a lot of discussion! I’ve heard of these, but had felt a little icky about the daily re-using part of it. Thanks to your post, I think I’m mostly over it. I will definitely consider using this once my sale stockpile runs low… Amanda
Great post. I’ve had a Diva Cup for five years now (I ordered it online) and I love it too. I don’t find that it helps with cramps that much (although mine have never been that bad to begin with) and I do get leaks sometimes, but it’s at least as good in those areas as anything else I’ve used, and there are still the cost/convenience/environment factors.
To all the squeamish guys: Don’t tell me you’ve never talked about your own bodily functions in mixed company.
This was so well written! I have been looking into buying a Diva Cup for a couples of months now and after reading your post I think I am going to go find a store that carried them. They look like a great investment!
One of my friends tried it and just couldn’t get comfortable…her experience turned me off, but you just may have convinced me to try it. Thanks!
[…] Squawkfox tells how women can save potentially $4200 over 35 years with 10 Reasons The Diva Cup Can Change Your Life. […]
Wow, I never heard of this in my life! I don’t really know what to think about it yet…
Any of the menstrual cups are a good idea! I have the Moon Cup US and my friend has the Diva Cup. We both like them and relaize we should have been using them years ago. By the way we both got ours at South Coast Shopping. I think the Diva was only $16.99 and the Moon Cup $21.99. No more tampons!
I just purchased my Diva Cup 2 months ago, and it worked well, even on a weekend trip with lots of public washrooms! Love love love it… as a side note, I did find it to be somewhat uncomfortable sometimes, but I found that when I trimmed the stem, the discomfort was take care of. For any ladies who have the same problem, just trim it a smidge and try it again 🙂
I love it, too! I switched a few months ago and enjoy the freedom immensely.
I’m a new Diva cup convert, and I love it. I bought mine new on Trade Me. A LiveJournal community for menstrual cups is a source of very frank discussion.
Oops, forgot to include that I live in New Zealand. Kiwis will be familiar with Trade Me.
Ok ok. You convinced me. I’ve read about them before but the price kept me from doing it. Now with gas prices going up I don’t want to have to make an “emergency” trip to the far away store for more supplies. I just bought it off ebay as Suz suggested. Only $23.50. Less than I thought. I am looking forward to becoming a fan.
A note of major importance:
If you have an IUD, you cannot use most of the cups listed above, but you CAN use the Diva Cup. Not to be too graphic, but here’s the deal (I checked with my gyn): if you have an IUD, you have the IUD string. Many of the menstrual cups sit up against the cervix like a diaphragm or cervical cup. This type of cup can catch the string of the IUD and when you remove the cup you can accidentally remove the IUD. THAT WOULD BE BAD.
The Diva cup sits lower, so you aren’t going to catch that string. If you are concerned, just make sure you don’t catch the string.
Mine brings me so much joy. It’s one of those rare products that makes me do a happy dance. I used to have completely miserable periods. Now I don’t. Perfect! 🙂
As for the cramping, I have no evidence either, but it seems like it’s gotten a lot better for me too.
Great post! I agree that there is definitely a learning curve to prevent spillage. I was able to find Instead cups at our local WalMart and I live in a VERY small town.
Excellent article and well written! Burn the tampons!
@Daizy I was just reading over the divacup FAQ and there is very little difference between the two models. Model 2 is only a 1/8 inch (~0.3 cm) wider in diameter than Model 1. Both are the same length. When I first used it I too thought I was mistaken in getting Model 2…but I found later I didn’t quite get it inserted correctly. Did you twist or spin the cup around to open it correctly? It took me a bit to figure out how to do this. I actually emailed a friend of mine who explained it best…”You need to push it out a bit using your muscles and then spin it. RELAX” Sigh. When I got that bit of lovely information I was comfortable as the cup then positioned itself and I no longer noticed it there. 🙂 So yeah, I had that problem too.
I got mine and I am disappointed. I am 36 and I got the #2 according to the recommendation on the site but I think I should have gotten the smaller one. I even trimmed the end but I can’t get comfortable. It’s not just the pointy end. I usually use regular and slender tampons and this thing is much bigger. I guess my hips haven’t spread like the site says. I don’t want to spend another $20 for the #1 if it won’t work either.
Anyone else have this problem?
[…] writes about the 10 reasons it’ll change your life and Cheap Like Me details her experience…including the rocky start that led to true love. […]
I use the Keeper. (The difference between the Diva Cup and the Keeper is that the Diva Cup is made of silicone and the Keeper is made of rubber.) I bought it at le Frigo Vert in Montreal about 6-7 years ago, and I just love it. It’s better for all the reasons you mention. The only downside, I guess, is that you are more likely to get a bit of blood on your hands — NOT spilling everywhere, just a few drops. And I only have to empty it about once every 12 hours, so I always do it at home.
@Daizy. I too purchased the Diva Cup larger size. I am 48 yo, no children. I am a petite, small-framed person. I tried it for 3 periods. It was painful to insert, painful to wear, pressed on my urethra pretty badly and leaked constantly. I had to admit it was just too big (both in diameter and length). After researching on the internet, I ordered a Ladycup (the small size) – supposedly one of the smallest cups you can get. Surprise! Insertion is easy, no pain, it works for me. My point is, the sizing methods all the companies are using is too broad. Age and childbearing are not the only factors to determine what size you need. Don’t be afraid to try a smaller sized menstrual cup. Hope this helps!
I am a Diva Cup drop out. I’m just not built right. It worked, no leaks, but it was not comfortable at all. I even tried cutting off the top ring but it was still too big. Maybe I’ll try the Ladycup small that Wendy recommended when I get the nerve to try again.
I’m a bit jealous of you Diva-girls!
@Daizy Ohh I am sooo sorry to hear the Diva didn’t work out. I think @Wendy’s story is encouraging regarding the LadyCup so do give it a try when ready. I love menstrual cups in general and finding the right one is key. It’s awesome there are so many choices on the market. When/If you try the LadyCup do tell us how it goes. I am certain this conversation thread will help others (perhaps too shy to comment) as well. HUGS!
I finally got a chance to use my Divacup. And it is amazing, more comfortable than it looks that is for sure. I’m rather impressed. When you look at it you don’t expect it to be comfy.
I hope Daizy can find one that works for her. I can understand that every woman will be built a little different.
The cup is a great invention!
@SunkistMom Yay! I’m so happy you found success! I agree the cup fails on every level to look comfortable, but it is for me. The cup is indeed an amazing invention! 🙂
I am actually having a small problem with small leaks. But I think that was due to my first born, 100+ stitches and awkward healing. Other than that, it works fine. I might have to keep buying panty liners for a while until I figure out a good position.
Insertion and removal requires a learning curve, so don’t get frustrated. It’s like a bicycle: all of a sudden, you just “get it” and you can’t remember why it was so difficult.
If you need help, there is an excellent LiveJournal community with instructions and hand-drawn examples here:
@Elizabeth I love it when others link to me. HUGS. I feel honored when anyone feels a post is worthy of their own readers. Thank you thank you. I am especially thrilled when others share their views on the Diva Cup. Getting the word out is the best way to let other women know about this awesome little product…especially since they don’t seem to advertise.
I hope it’s ok that I linked my post about the Diva Cup back to this post about it. You just said it all so well that I couldn’t say it better!
Thanks for your comment!
Just passing through…Forget pharmacies, try the health food store. Chain pharmacies couldn’t care less about the world and their products reflect that. You can get Diva Cup at little health food stores and coops in NH and VT.
I’ve found print adds in outdoors magazines (forgot which ones) advertising the Diva Cup; however I learned of it through word of mouth. I wish I had this 10 years ago! What a difference it truly makes, on my outlook at periods and “that time of the month” has truly changed for the better! Pads were too uncomfortable, tampons left me feeling “out of balance” for up to a week afterwards – these are perfect! Never in my life have I ever slept as well on my period as with the diva cup! I truly cannot stop singing about how wonderful it is. And here is a bit more food for thought – those “feminine hygiene” products are made in factories, how sanitary is that? Really? Think about it now, and we have million dollar ads telling us those are good and safe and the only thing we can use! Ugh!
does anyone know if i can have sex with the diva cup in place.
Oh man..my husband is going to freak out once I bring this baby home..HAHAHAHA
The Diva Cup website says that it can’t be used with an IUD. Too bad, I was almost converted!
Great post! Love mine too. Don’t understand the cramping either, but I couldn’t use tampons and can the Diva Cup, it is an interesting mystery. It’s been suggested it is dioxin related.
I know it was awhile ago, but for emily, you can’t have sex with it in, way too large 😉
I agree with the cramp thing! With all the moving to our apartment and everything I lost my mooncup, so I switched to tampons until I could find it hidden in a box. Those were the worst 2 days I had had since the Mooncup entered my life 8 months before. Horrible. I put in the mooncup, and problem solved. Don’t know why, but it’s true.
I guess I’m old fashioned.. but it’s kind of weird. I like the idea, however, of saving money. I guess I’m always afraid of things getting lost up there. This sounds gross.. but I wish there was a string so you could pull it out. I will have to look around in stores to see if I can find one to look at it in person.
@Dana Letters to Elijah I totally understand your hesitation. It took TWO YEARS of convincing before one of my best gal friends got me to get one. It really can’t get lost up there. The cup has a tab thinger with a grip on the bottom, so it’s easy to get out. There is a learning curve though, but after a few tries – usage is easy.
Fox! Just found you via Carnival of the Green. We have a store here at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage where we sell both Moon Cups and Keepers. If your readers are interested in purchasing one and would like to support a community of folks living as sustainably as possibly, please go to http://store.milkweedmercantile.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=82_6_36&products_id=279 and check out the Milkweed Mercantile (currently a bit messy – under reconstruction). Thanks so much, and keep up the great work!
I’ve heard about these for a few years (lunapads) but been a bit skeptical. Now that I’ve read your post, I’m SO in – everything going for it – frugal, environmentally friendly, and … does the job!
Hi Fox! I love mine, too!
Yup, I’m a diva cup fan, too. I travel in Asia a LOT, and I feel like it’s the only thing I can efficiently pack that is going to be sanitary and convenient on, say, a 22-hour train ride. My only problem is I truly do forget it’s in there, and have to remind myself to change it after 12 hours!
I LOVE my Diva Cup – I wish I’d had it when I was travelling last year or I’d known about it 10 years ago instead of going through all the pads/tampons etc, life is SO much simpler – no worry about carrying a bag to the lou, about disposal when camping etc. For anyone looking for them try health food stores both the ones near me carry them!
I have been using a menstrual cup (a Mooncup – I am from the UK) for about 3 years now. And I have to say that I LOVE it!
And you are quite right about the reduction in cramps – there is no medical evidence for it as far as I know, but pretty much everyone who I have ever spoken to who used a mooncup also reports this. I know I do. I used to have terrible cramps. Now I often don’t have a single one!
And it is so much easier than faffing with pads and tampons when you are travelling!
I’ve been using a divacup (the silicone version) for about three years now, and I couldn’t be happier. I love that, unlike expensive, potentially dangerous tampons, I can use my cup during non-period, “spotting” times. No TSS risk, no nasty bleach, and I control how sanitary my sanitary product is. I love it!
I purchased my cup in a fit of frugality and planet-saving and now I encourage every woman I know to adopt a cup as well. Thanks for tackling such a sensitive subject in such an approachable way! I’ll definitely be forwarding this post to my hesitant girlfriends.
P.S. if you’re non into an insertable, leave-in product, why not try reusable pads, such as lunapads: http://www.lunapads.com/
Diva Cup + cloth liner = success
I bought my cup in a purchasing co-op: several of us bought them at almost-cost because we were buying so many at once from the supplier.
However emptying the cup in the public washroom at work is a challenge because I usually dirty my fingers, so I usually wait until I get home.
I read that the diminished cramping may be due to the suction that is created upon insertion.
Hey, I’ll be honest with you, I’m always a little nervous about this type of product, but as someone who tries to be as environmentally friendly as possible I ordered one of these to try it out. After a very short period (ha, ha… ugh) of use, I’m a believer! It’s not something that comes up in casual conversation, but if anyone is wondering, I’ll be happy to testify!
I love my diva! 🙂
I love-love-love my menstrual cup! I’ve used both the keeper and the divacup. Both are great. It took me probably 3 times to get it in right.
It doesn’t cause cramping as much because the muscles aren’t trying to hold it in like they have to with a tampon.
Another great reason: TRAVEL. I stayed at a family friend’s and leaving waste around would be very unbecoming. The discreteness of the cup turned me from sceptic to believer.
I love my Divacup! I have used the Instead cup for years – I was a guinea pig for it years and years ago. I stopped using for a long time and read this post. I reread it over and over again for a few months before I finally went ahead and bought it a couple of months ago. It’s so easy and just awesome! I bought mine at iherb.com and it was CHEAP. I used code WAT706 and it got me $5 off and so it ended up, with shipping, $16.00. If you don’t have one just do it – you won’t regret it. Listen to Squawkfox.
I definitely try to live an environmentally responsible life, but sorry, folks. I tried a similar product, and I just couldn’t get past the mess of insertion and, especially, removal. In addition to the mess, the difficulty of removal threw me into a panic……I look at modern-day disposal tampons and pads as wonderful, modern conveniences that I am just not willing to give up.
diva convert since 1.5 years, and wouldn’t go back! the silicone suits anyone who could be rubber or latex-sensitive. if you react/have irritation with some condoms, i highly recommend the diva.
to those who might find it uncomfortable the first few times, try this: i would warm mine with very hot water from the tap. it makes the silicone more soft/pliable (and is usually a necessity if you’re rinsing and re-inserting at once). and read those user forums posted above–there are many many variations on how to fold/insert them!
as to cramps, here’s what my old naprapath told me years back:
tampons don’t encourage the natural, downward flow necessary to ridding one’s body of the uterine lining. “plugging up” the flow not only forces the flow to stay in place, but the cotton or other absorbent material is almost always chemically-treated. that’s an extra burden on a normally sensitive area. lastly, your muscles work harder to hold a tampon in its position, whereas a cup’s dimensions and shape (do NOT trim the upper lip of it!) hold it in place fairly naturally. extra-absorbent tampons, statistically speaking, encourage less frequent changing for most, which encourages toxic shock syndrome (TSS) and related issues.
the menstrual cup has a long history–from the turn of the 20th century in the western world, in fact.
not buying consumables=great peace of mind. quantifying the amount of plastic and whatnot i’m no longer throwing into landfills (or septic systems) is wonderful!
I HAVE NEVER HEARD ABOUT THIS DIVA CUP OR MOON CUP, IT SEEMS INTERESNTING. WHERE CAN I BUY IT, IS IT REALLY TRUE THAT YOU WONT HAVE A MESS WHEN YOU TAKE IT OUT? IT SEEMS A LITTLE BIT COMPLICATED TO USE. BUT WELL I THINK IF I AM ABLE TO FIND IT THAT I WILL GIVE IT A TRY.
THANK FOR INFORMING US.
The Diva Cup RULES!
I’ve used the Diva cup for 3 years and like it because it’s “green” and cheap. That said, it can be a real pain to change when you’re not at home cause it can get messy taking it out.
I AM TRYING SO HARD TO MAKE THIS WORK. I’m on my second full day Diva-ing. I want to save the Planet, (and the cost), of using paper products. Sleeping non-stop and worry-free is GREAT. But this STEM IS KILLING ME. It seems that when I have it PERFECTLY situated, all is well and the world is a happy place. But if I’m the least bit off after inserting, that thing is moving and jabbing. Arghh! Yes, I cut it a smidge, but I’m really considering cutting if off entirely-making insertion MIGHTY interesting. I can’t even fathom anyone EXERCISING in this thing! [ps] Removing to empty, and cleaning quickly with Baby Soap is a breeze, breeze, breeze :]
*CAN ANYONE HELP ME WITH THIS “STEM” ??*
I’ve never had an issue with the stem – but there are women who do and discuss their solutions in this livejournal forum:
I hope this helps!
Hi, found your blog while hunting for a pretty pic of a menstrual cup. I’ve just started on my MooncupUK last month, and it’s really, really changed how I think of my period.
Hope you don’t mind if I use your pic on my blog. I’ll obviously link and give credits.
Many, many moons back … there was a similar cup, called Tassaway (sp.) which seemed to not really go over too well. It was quite small. A one size fits all. I can attest, personally, as to why I feel it may have lost favor with the ladies. In my case, the cup worked just fine. But one day, it did not! I realized I had “lost it” you know where! That was one potentially hazardous experience as well as one humiliating trip to the doctor’s office. This modified version appears to eliminate that danger. So ladies, enjoy!
I’ve used my Keeper for six years or so and absolutely adore it. I do find that I get occasional leaks, especially at night (just an anatomy thing, I think). I have just started experimenting with making my own mini-pads out of flannel and a chunk of old towel (I just traced a store-bought one and sewed it together). Working great so far, and no need to buy anything ever again!
Thank you for getting the word out. I accidentally stumbled onto the Divacup. I did a ton of research, bought one and LOVE it. Every woman should have one. I wish, like so many others, that I had found Divacup sooner. Now I tell all the women I know about it.
I’m from the UK, when I bought mine there weren’t anything available in the UK, so I bought the Diva cup from the US, I’d saved a fortune in the last few years, I’d never go back to wearing tampons ( I hated pads anyway)
There is so much taboo about a normal bodily function of women, it saddens me in this day and age we can’t talk about it without it being really embarrassing
Thank you for putting up this info 🙂
@Hedy I love my Diva Cup too! Isn’t it funny how such a silly thing is so loved? I don’t know any woman who says, “I love my pad.”
@Fox – I love my pads! I don’t use disposable store-bought ones, though, but nice reusable organic cottons ones. I bought my first few, and now I make my own. I choose fabric with cute patterns that make me smile when I reach for them, instead of how I used to grimace at the thought of having to deal with a stupid period and stupid bleach-filled disposable pads.
They have about the same “ick” factor to the uninitiated as a Cup, but a quick trip through the wash get ’em ready to use again. You wouldn’t throw out a pair of underwear if you accidentally bled onto it, would you? No, you’d wash ’em and think nothing of it, and these are the same. 🙂
I’m interested in trying a DivaCup, but since tampons always hurt me so much I’ve always been afraid to spend the money.
This is the first website I stumbled on when searched “diva cup shorter periods” and it’s good to know I’m not the only one who thinks the cup makes for shorter periods.
And I swear, mine are less painful now, too.
Diva Cup website says it probably just seems that way, but I think it really is that way.
I love my Diva Cup!
[…] Read more about the DivaCup here […]
I’m sorry; the whole thing just seems unsanitary to me. If I had an overnight guest who was a Diva Cup user, does that mean that she is going to use my bathroom sink to rinse/wash out her yucky bloody menstrual vessel in … the place I use to wash my face and brush my teeth in??? Is she going to ask for my bathroom cleaning supplies, so she can disinfect my sink and faucets afterward – every time she does her rinsing/washing ritual? And will she be asking for my breakfast oatmeal saucepan, to do her “boiling duties” in my kitchen, if she is visiting me for an extended period of time? Or will she – I hope – at least bring her own canister of bathroom disinfectant wipes and boiling pan with her in her own luggage?
I’m sorry, but I would not feel comfortable asking my hostess to accomodate my “Diva needs” while being a guest in her home, and the thought of using my hostess’s bathroom sink and kitchen cookware to take care of my menstrual cup care duties is just a bit much, I think. I admire the ladies who are willing to put up with the grosser aspects of this regimen, but just reading this article makes me thankful that I’m now in menopause! And I’m only partly serious about using someone else’s kitchen pan for boiling, but it really seems like a very awkward situation to have to deal with if staying with someone else while on holiday.
@Lisa – If I stayed overnight at your house and needed to rinse my Diva, I would do so directly into the drain while I was in the shower. The hot water from the shower would rinse it down in one second. Then in one more second I’d shampoo it and have it re-inserted. I ask you this: would that be more offensive than leaving a bunch of bloody pads in your dustbin? sheesh!
I’ve heard about this a little bit, and read everything on this post. My question to all users is how did you get over the apparent YUCK reaction of trying this out? How did you get yourself past the fact that it’s a little messy? Has anyone been camping with this device yet? did it work out for you there?
I’m not a tampon user – tried too many and had too many leak days with them so I gave up the ghost on those. Until you get the hang of this, was there leakage int he beginning?
Curious but still working on my inner yuck factor here – your comments are appreciated.
I have a question not really addressed yet (that I’ve seen): I understand that you rinse the cup out before reinsertion… how do you do that if you don’t need to shower. I mean, you are obviously on your period, so what do people do to keep their underthings clean while they’re standing at a sink to rinse?
@Pam – I too wondered whether I’d find it yucky and you know, it isn’t really yucky at all. You definitely can have a little leakage in the beginning until you get the hang of ensuring it’s inserted properly. You’ll want to use a (cloth) pantyliner until then. A little practice, though, and you’ll be worry free.
I have been camping with mine. I empty/rinse it right in the drain when I’m in the shower. I’ve done the same in a river if I’m backcountry camping. You could also dig a little hole, dump it and rinse it. More sanitary than lugging used pads/tampons in your garbage or worse, leaving them in the wilderness. Being on your period while camping is a pain in the arse in general – I’d say the keeper makes things much easier. No waste, don’t have to change often, etc.
@Betty – If I’m not showering and need to rinse I do it right down the drain in the tub (not the hand sink). An alternative is to empty into the toilet and toilet paper wipe it out – not as good as draining but does in a pinch if you’re in a public washroom. In 12 years of use, I have very rarely had to do this – I only need to change mine every 24 hours. I think most women are good for at least 12 hours so almost all of the time you can get to a comfy place to change. There are far fewer emergencies with Diva!
Since I can’t take regular COC’s I have to use Depo-Provera for birth control. After a year on this stuff I no longer have periods (AND I LOVE IT).
If I did have periods though (maybe I will once again after they invent a safer method of female sterilization?), I’d definitely consider using a product like this! Pads are so uncomfortable!
Julie – Thanks for your response; I’m turning 52 this summer and believe that the way to know if you’re “getting old” or are “over-the-hill” is if you’re close-minded to new ideas or are unwilling to learn and grow. Even though this is a situation I’m no longer faced with personally (due to a hysterectomy four years ago), if anyone ever mentions the topic of a Diva or Keeper cup, I will be sure to pass along the “shower solution”. Duh, I never thought of that when I was reading this post, LOL. So thanks for sharing this solution with me and others who may not have thought of it.
And you’re absolutely right about leaving used “personal products” in a hostess’s dustbin while on holiday. A few years after marrying my husband, we traveled cross-country and spent a week visiting my in-laws. I was uncomfortable to begin with due to “personality issues” with my MIL, and the fact that it was “my time” for the entire week only added to the misery and discomfort of the trip. The “shower solution” you mentioned would have been a great option; I was showering daily, and if I were a hostess I would have no objection whatsoever to a guest taking care of her personal needs as you described. :o)
@Kathryn I responded. 😀 I’m always amazed with the response to my Diva Cup post. You’re brave to talk about it. Kudos.
I linked to your article but I got A LOT more criticism for using cloth and the diva cup. If people were only more open to the idea. Love your post about it!
Bless you! Thanks for the support!
@Yasaman The Diva Cup is made of medical grade silicon, so it’s not like general plastics. I’m more concerned with the chemicals used in pads and tampons and don’t get me started on all the stuff in those pad absorbency strips.
I don’t like the idea of putting some plastic inside my body… way up you know… you know how bad plastic containers are for our health even if we use them only for containing food?
Did you even read anything? Diva cups are not plastic.
I have not yet used by diva, but i have one. Just boiled it up today getting ready to use it soon. I was so excited to get it and i’m just anticipating starting my period soon so i can give it a try. I tried the instead cups first and was so thrilled when i bought them. But soon after i found that they did not fit my small size and kept coming out from behind my pubic bone. I saw the size of the diva cup (which is alot smaller around than the instead) and bought one on ebay for around 20 dollars with shipping included, which was pretty cheap after i’d looked around for a deal. I’ve never been more excited to start my period lol. hopefully it works out well for me, if it does i’ll start telling all of my girl friends about them!
A couple of mentions:
On point 5, I have been a Diva Cup user since January 2008 and I have noticed that when participating in sports (mainly running or hiking for prolonged periods of time) the Diva Cup does become quite noticeable to you. You can definitely feel it and sometimes, this may sound gross, so men stop reading, it kind of feels like it is going to slip out. It never has but still, there is always that feeling.
To the messy question, again, going to sound very gross so any men who continued reading above, really, stop reading NOW. The very first time I used the Diva Cup I went on a full-day snowshoe trek through the rockies. Anyone who knows the mountains knows there are no toilets out there and in the winter, getting out of your snow shoes, snow pants etc. can mean that you sink quite deep into the snow, possibly needing help to get out. That being said, I went the whole trip without emptying the cup and messy was it EVER. Moral of the story, even if you think it is a light day, do not go somewhere where it may be impossible to clean the cup at some point during the day or you might have a very messy situation on your hands afterwards (both literally and figuratively).
All in all though, it is a good investment.
I’ve heard of this, and I plan to try it when I start menstruating again (I just had a baby, my first, in July). I’m glad I took the time to skim through the comments, because someone mentioned that the Diva Cup brand is the only one that’s really safe to use with an IUD (which I plan on getting as soon as I can afford it). I would hate to have gotten a different brand and messed up the device. Just the thought of that is cringe-worthy.
Your math is off re the cost of pads/tampons. If most women use only 18 per cycle, they certainly wouldn’t go through a box of pads AND a box of tampons every month. And for someone like me who has a 4-day period and a light flow, I don’t even use 18. Also, I buy my supplies in bulk with coupons and during sales, so I probably spend maybe $30-35 a year.
The environmental benefits, however, I agree with.
Two diva tips:
Instead of boiling, use denture cleaner. Disinfects and is a bit more private. I do boil on occasion, however.
Don’t use if you’re a virgin. Enough said.
I am truly considering this option. I will have my IUD removed in 2 days and since I’ve had it for 5 years, I barely had periods. Is going to be weird to be back to these routines and I think the cup will help make it all easier. I never liked the old ways… too uncomfortable! I just mentioned it to my DH and he gave me a look of WTH is that! hahaha
Great article! I switched to the diva cup 6 years ago and have never looked back. Articles like this make it easier for all women to talk openly about the subject, and for that I thank you!
I just received my cup today…. but so far… I can’t get to put it on correctly… I’ll keep practicing until getting it right! It’s tricky though… How long did it took you girls to get it right?
Today is my 3rd day and so far I am loving it! 😉
i use Lunette since 1 year and I’m loving it! It is so discrete! it is true that if i do not relax, the way i put it will lead to spills, but most of the time it is not the case. I bought it for frugal and environmental reasons. the money that were used on tampons each month allow me 1 kg pasta and 1 kg vegetables now, and these are better for my health than a bunch of bleached cotton pads. before trying the menstrual cup I wanted to try the reusable pads but it would have been difficult to dry them without being seen, so this one is more discrete.
I am so thrilled to see you suggest this item! I have been using it for nearly two years and love it! It never leaks-comes with a cute little carrying case, and is soo convenient and!!! eco-friendly 😉
Hello! I have been using my Diva Cup for 6 years now (since I was 16) and I love it so much. I always thought tampons were kind of gross (all that cotton shoved up there? No thank you.), but now I couldn’t even imagine using them.
As for my periods: I now really only have a moderately heavy flow the first two days and then it tapers off to spotting after that. I think it’s because the DivaCup creates suction that pulls the blood into the cup. That’s also why you cramp less, because your uterus doesn’t need to work as hard to expel the blood.
I love that I never have to run to the store just to get lady products, and I love that you can see exactly how much you bleed every month.
Yay Diva Cup!
I’m a Diva Cup fan. It is neater and FAR more effective if you have very heavy periods. I LOVE not having any more accidents on clothing and bedding, and have stopped taking anti-inflammatories to control flow. The fact that the liquid measurement is marked right on the cup is helpful, too. You can confirm, for example, whether your periods are heavier than normal, and make the appropriate trip to the doctor.
I don’t bother rinsing it every time I reinsert during the day (at work or someone’s else’s house). As long are your hands are clean, a little bit of the blood that just came from your body cannot harm you if it goes back in. I just wash and dry it thoroughly in the morning and night, and everything has been fine. Shower method mentioned above is handy too.
As for the hygienic hostess who was worried about menstrual blood in her bathroom sink: I don’t worry about a bit of blood going down the sink at home, although I am careful to rinse every trace away. Seriously doubt it is a health issue. I am already too grossed out by toothbrushing and possible traces of cleaning solvents in the sink to ever wash my face out of a filled sink anyway. (I briefly turn on the water to wet, turn it off, the on again to rinse.) To each her own “yuck,” I suppose. 🙂
I tried the Diva Cup several times and I would love to master it – but what stopped me from continuing to use it was the difficulty I had removing it – the strong suction formed between the cup and my body together with the slippery surface of the cup made it incredibly difficult to remove. I did all the recommended things – squatting down, relaxing and not panicking … and still encountered a great deal of difficulty in removing it. The second time I thought I might have to visit the hospital or doctors to get it removed – it was so tightly “stuck” . I tried pinching the base of the cup to break the suction but even this was difficult and the whole slippy moist surface made it difficult to maintain hold on the cup to pinch it and remove it. And, no, I didn’t put the cup too high up inside me either. I would love if anyone could suggest what else I could try to make removing it easier – in the meantime I’ve gone back to tampons (organic) and use lunapads on my lighter days (cloth menstrual pads) which are great but don’t offer the same freedom as the Diva Cup does.
I can say that it’s been 3 cycles and I LOVE IT! It took time to get used to it BUT I was persistent… I love that is portable, discrete, comfortable and best of all… IT WORKS! It really does! So, try it! Don’t think about it! Just do it! 🙂 You’ll come back to tell your story like me!
The Whole Foods in the town where I work carries them. I’ve been thinking about buying one for a while. I think I’m going to next time I’m on that side of town.
I am still a fan of the Diva Cup almost a year later…but I think it’s time for a new one. It is not providing me the protection I need like it used to. Panty-liners are on my shopping list again.
Anyone have any suggestions? I used to LOVE mine but the last few months have been disappointing to say the least.
It’s still better than using a tampon but I used to be able to go without pantyliners because I was THAT confident.
Why not just go on Depo Provera and say goodbye to periods altogether?
My wife’s been on it for 7 years and loves it. You want to talk frugal? Sure, $25/year sets the bar pretty low, but Depo costs my wife just $5 every 3 months. Our health insurance covers the rest of the cost.
No cramps, no mess, no nothing. Every 28 days … nothing happens. We couldn’t be happier.
@Kevin – As a man you have probably not had to deal with some of the horrible side effects of hormonal birth control. It is not for everyone. I, for one, decided a while ago I couldn’t deal with the mood swings, bloating, acne, constant headaches, etc. Plus, my guess is that all the hormones you’re putting into your system when on these treatments are eventually expelled via your waste and end up back in the environment affecting other creatures. Probably not good!
I am currently doing natural family planning for contraception and loving the way it makes me feel. Plus, getting to really know how my body works by charting my different fertility signs (which I’ve been doing on fertilityfreind.com and highly recommend to all women) has been a great and empowering experience. Needless to say, the menstrual cups are definitely on my list of products to consider in the near future, not only for the economic reasons mentioned, but for the eco-friendliness. I might get the Instead disposables to use during intercourse and keep “the dirty deed” clean, since DivaCup and other similar products cannot be used at such times. I wouldn’t try Instead SoftCups as my sole product, though, because I’m sure they’re not too biodegradable and would defeat the “green” point of making the switch from pads and tampons.
Thanks for a great post! It’s great to find a place to discuss these matters freely.
that is the most absurd thing ive eever seen! hilarious
About 10 years ago I used the Keeper for a year or so. I didn’t like it at all. I wasn’t bothered by any messiness, but for me it leaked all the time. Has anyone used both the Keeper and the Diva Cup and noticed a difference in leaking?
The other problem was that I got far more cramps when using the Diva Cup, which is also a problem when I use tampons.
I now use washable pads most of the time. (When I’m going to be out of the house too long I use disposables.) To clean the washable pads, I keep a lidded bucket in the bathroom. When I remove the pad I just drop it the bucket of water. During my cycle, I change the water in the bucket once or twice a day. When my cycle is over, I add about 2 T of laundry powder and 2 T of non-chlorine bleach to the water. Let the pads soak a couple of days or longer, until all stains are out. Change the water and add new soap if needed. Then rinse and launder with the regular wash. They come out spotless and no need for nasty chlorine bleach.
This option is expensive at the beginning unless you sew your own pads. I must have spent $100 getting a whole set of pads. But I haven’t bought any more in about 10 years.
If you think menstrual blood is gross then you should probably not consider this option.
The Diva Cup does not need to be replaced EVERY year. Every 10 years is fine. It’s silicone!
The company just wants to make more money. 10 years is quoted everywhere else other than the Diva Cup website.
It’s fantastic. Sometimes it may take awhile to figure out the best placement. Each vagina is different and also goes through changes during your period. But keep practicing. It’s totally worth it!!
Disappointed in the Diva Cup just a year later. NO protection like I had the first couple of months. 🙁
my BF says why not make it truly multi-purpose and use it as a funnel? LOL
I WILL NEVER buy pads and tampons again. I have some left over from when I used them and I feel like I should give them away or something. I keep them in case a friend needs something while at my place.
I’ve been using the DivaCup for a year. It sounded to good to be true. I was sceptical. I had HORRID cramps that kept me in bed for three days every cycle, alternatively making me pass out from pain and get restless sleep. I was out of bed every HOUR changing my tampon and pad. And I was getting very moist down there- which is highly uncomfortable to say the least.
Since beginning to use the DivaCup my cramps have reduced to ONE day and are easily manageable with Aleve. I firmly believe the tampons were making them worse.
TIP: for people worrying about the mess of taking it out. Well first of all, there is none is you go slow. Don’t whip it out, pull slowly and steadily and it’ll be fine. Keep a journal next to the potty to keep track of how your flow changes throughout a cycle. OR Take it out in the shower. Rinse, and re-insert. Done.
I keep trying to convert all my female friends but they’re all way to wierded out by it. I’m so glad I got over it.
I just got my diva cup the other day and it was really hard for me to get it into position, but it happened eventually. After a few times, it’s not that bad. I was surprised at how comfortable it was. I leaked twice, but only because I didn’t know how full the cup would get– I underestimated my flow. But if any first-timers are concerned about leakage and you have extra pads/liners laying around from previous purchases, I recommend using them with the cup until you’re certain that you’re positioning the cup right to prevent leakage.
[…] were 11. (Or, men, I hear you’re squeamish about them at any age.) Anyway, read the article: 10 Reasons the Diva Cup Will Change Your Life It says pretty much everything I want to say, except one thing: the DivaCup site now says that […]
In response to Michelle’s second Diva tip (posted October 9th 2009)
“Don’t use if you’re a virgin. Enough said.”
I’m a virgin and I’ve used it for the first time this month. A bit of a steep learning curve, but I can’t see myself going back. If I waited for me not to be a virgin anymore, I might have never used a Diva cup (I am definitely far far past the average age for a person – male or female – to loose their virginity). I don’t think I’d strongly recommend it to a virgin who hasn’t used tampons before (as I have), but there is no reason the average virgin cannot use one.
You can buy them at wholefoods
[…] and gynecological health, reusable cloth pads and menstrual cup products have found new appeal to the short-on-cash demographic, offering a great way to save on monthly […]
I love the idea of the Diva Cup. I have one and have used it a couple of times. Insertion is easy and I have no problem with leaks. I have been having a tough time getting the thing to come out when I’m finished, which is a little freaky. I guess I just have to persist and get used to it. If not, there are always my cloth pads. I LOVE my cloth pads so much! But I want to be able to use the Diva Cup too, so there you go.
They recommend the larger Diva cup for women over a certain age and/or who have given birth, though that didn’t work out for me (I’m 36, though childless). Once I switched to the smaller cup, monthly bliss returned. The larger cup leaked, maybe because it would not open fully or something. I had no problem shelling out again for the smaller version – I bought a “Keeper” way back in ’97 and used it for 7 years, stopped only when it sucked out my IUD the day after I had it put in. I can never imagine going back to pads or tampons again now that my IUD is a thing of the past and I can use the cup again!
Beautifully written, as usual. If you can make this subject fun to read about you can do ANYTHING, you’re a writing superhero! Thanks for the info I will pass it on to the only menstruating woman in our household…. I had a hysterectomy 2 years ago and could not be more relieved that I don’t need a cup or any other fem product. Since then I have lost 56 lbs and for the first time in… maybe my life… I can wear a size 6 bathing suit any time of the month and feel great.
“I was honestly skeptical at first”
My quote would have read like this…
“I was honestly skeptical at first, second and third!”
It does have it’s place, it can be convenient and healthy, but for me it is not an all-in-one tampon replacement. I do use it, but it does take a bit of getting used to, but you need not be scared of trying.
I’ve never thought of using the Diva Cup because I also shared the concerns and issues previously mentioned. I did, however, make the switch to reusable cloth pads after looking around for a more “earth friendly” (and Naughty-Bits Friendly) alternative to Kotex, etc. I’m very pleased with the cloth pads, it seems that my cramps aren’t as bad as before and I haven’t had any issues with the adhesive sticking to me or any other uncomfortable issues that come with the disposables.
After camping while on my period, and dealing with wads of used items in a ziploc, I vowed to get the Diva Cup. Pleasantly surprised! No more leaks, no more changing tampons every two hours (heavy flow) and no more packing bags of tampons with me every time we travel. Tomorrow we leave on a 7 day wilderness backpacking trip. And guess who got her period? No running water for a week and I will be fine. Before the cup, I would have had to cancel this trip.
[…] informative and I read them over and over as I tried this out last month. Very useful. I also found this article to be quite witty and offer way too many puns on the subject-but it was very fun to read and is […]
Ok I bought a cup an I love it because it gives me more freedom and saves me money. I have never found tampons comfortable but my small ladycup is super comfy. I then bought the bigger lady cup for my heavy days. I find that I can only wear the big cup on my heavy days because my cervix rides high on those two days. I think there are quite a few cup users out there that use two different sizes in once cycle. I do use a disposable pad to work as a backup on heavy days, but that still dramatically reduces my pad usage from 18 pads per cycle down to 0-4. 0 if my heavey days are non work days.
reasons I love my cup
less time in the bathroom changing stuff
I can sleep all night long
I can sleep naked
I can swim and do other sporty things
I can swim longer with out leaking
I am more comfy with out a sticky pad
I don’t have to carry around exta pads and tampons
I don’t have to by alot of pads and tampons
Is nicer to envirement
Is nicer to my wallet
the cup is easy to clean with plain soap and then boil in microwave in a clean jar (that I use for the purpose) for about 5-8 minutes. Or I just wipe it down with rubbing alchol. Easy, comfy, saves time and money.
I have been using the Keeper for almost ten years. Number eleven should be traveling. I have used it traveling and has save me lots of awkward moments and the environment tons of waste. While traveling in Nepal we had to pack ALL of our garbage out. ALL of it. No worries for me. I wa.s sold and have sold many friends over the past decade. Glad to see someone talking about this taboo subject.
[…] [photo source] […]
I’ve seen these around, thought about using them, but am afraid that my flow is too heavy for the cup to be practical. Any advice/comments for a 6 time mom who typically goes through 40+ super plus/ultra(yes, OB makes an Ultra size)tampons PLUS 20-30 regular pads per cycle? (dreaming of all that money saved for my kids…)
I am new to Squawkfox and am loving every piece. I have never heard of menstrual cups before today. I, too, dislike the “not being able to doing anything during my period without using a tampon which is painful and irritating” aspect of my monthly cycle. I also very much dislike the high cost of sanitary products, although couponing and sale shopping have helped. I am very excited to try the Diva Cup. I am a nurse, so if I can handle other peoples’ bodily fluids, I should definitely be able to handle my own! Thanks for the product info 🙂
You’re supposed to buy a new one every year?! I’ve had the same diva cup for 4 years now and NO complaints! Seriously! I boil mine at the end of each cycle to sterilize it and keep it clean…no problems at all!
Great article. 🙂
Great article! I love my diva too!
I bought a Diva Cup, brought it home and took it out of the package. I can’t imagine trying to insert something that large into my vagina. I’m 50 years old, no children, and that thing SCARED me. No way, no how.
@Susan I understand your fear. 😉 You need to fold it before, um, inserting it. 🙂
Just landed here at the Squawk. I’d like to point out that the cleanliness of this would be highly subjective. For instance, I’d never let my daughter use it. I’m afraid it would never get clean, and I’m sorry, but I’m not doing it for her! You think that it would be self evident to clean it, but some people make me wonder.
@Susan… that was my reaction at first… I was so decided until I saw it… I standed in my drawer for 2 months! Then at the beginning, I was learning to put it on, and was terrified… But I hanged on and it took me like 3 cycles to get used to it…. NOW I LOVE IT! I have been using it for 2 years and I wish I knew about it since I got my first period!!!!!!! I don’t know how I lived without it… seriously!
I love my Diva Cup. I’ve been using one for 10 years now! Since I was 13. I actually only replaced it once in these 10 years… and the only reason I replaced it is because somehow it got lost when I moved. I had to get another! I don’t think replacing it annually is necessary as long as you keep it clean…
Menstrual protection is a very individual thing. I could never get the hang of tampons, not to mention that despite its seven day length, my period just isn’t very heavy (a scary accident when I was younger proves this, but I will spare you the details!). I resorted to cloth pads in my late teens/early 20s out of sheer poverty and the result is bliss. No more irritation (no fragrances in cloth), no more pulled pubes from the adhesives and no need for “wings”. It’s the adhesives themselves that necessitate the use of wings – rectangular cloth pads just sit there and move with your body so they don’t bunch up and you don’t get the same leakage as with conventional protection. I used a conventional pad just the other day and despite being about 30cm long, it still leaked!! Even with wings!
You have made me a believer!! I heard about the Diva Cup 9 or 10 years ago. I looked at the lady like she had six heads hahaha. I keep hearing good things about it though and like so many other I was so frustrated with Tampons plugging up the natural flow. Not to mention the waste and cost involved with disposables. I spent last night researching and then I found this article. So I went to a local health food store and dropped the 35 dollars it cost there to buy it. I have only had it in for a coupe of hours and already I am in LOVE with my Diva Cup. I took my time learning to insert and remove it a couple times and ended up trimming the stem just a little. And VOLA, comfy and can’t feel a thing. I recommend menstrual cups to all women!!
Happy you went there! good to know and I think I will have to try this soon!
I am 15 years old and I have a diva cup and I really love it. I originally bought it because I have a really heavy flow and I always had so much trouble with leaks at night so I was desperate to try anything to fix it so I decided to try one out. I really actually like it but I absolutely hated it for the first cycle that I had it. It hurt so much and I just hated it but I quickly got the hang of it and now its already my 2nd cycle with it and I use it all the time. Its really good and it holds a lot more so I like that as well. I love my Diva Cup
Wonderful blog! My favorite part is #2. I just got my Diva Cup this year, and I feel kinda bad for the 15 years I’d look at the trash bin and think, “Is there REALLY no better way to manage this??” Instead of dwelling, though, I’m talking to every woman (and some men, believe it or not!) that I can about menstrual cups. I love my Diva Cup, but I’m careful to talk about other brands, too, just in case the the Diva isn’t the right fit. LunaPads and their Pads4Girls campaign is also on the table.
Kerry, my dear, your cost estimates for being in menstruation are “wayyyyy too low”. The average box of sanitary pads now in Canada costs $8 to $10, and tampons $6 and up. More women than ever, due to the presence of various hormones in food and water supplies, are suffering through 5-10 days of “flow” per month, some quite heavy. If only these had existed when I was battling endometriosis and going through … wait for it… 5 boxes of tampons and 5 boxes of sanitary pads every month!!! I was spending $50 or more a month the last 8 years I had a “period”, basically because it never really stopped. These cups would be a real sanity-preserver for any woman who has this life-threatening disorder, which can only so far be “cured” with a hysterectomy. (Feel free NOT to post this comment if this is TMI for you and your readers – I will understand.
One more VERY important reason this is a great product: NO LATEX. Many–actually MOST–commercially available feminine hygiene products contain latex. Those of us with latex allergy have very few alternatives.
Wish I had of known about this years ago. Now am passed that season of life and now into the leaky bladder season. Lots of pads. Does anyone know of something else to use for that? Love your news letters and all the great ideas you have posted. A million Thanks!
So I heard about these years ago and i said bravo but… I will not be able to use it. I have never been able to use tampons as i find them extremely uncomfortable. guess i am stuck with pads
@Callie: I, too, have always hated tampons. Believe me when I tell you that the cup is NOTHING like a tampon! 🙂
@Jessica actually it is not a hate it is more uncomfortable having one in and painful sometimes will it still work?
@Callie: Tampons were uncomfortable and sometimes painful for me, too, but the DivaCup is working perfectly. The difference is that tampons are stiff, straight, and made of absorbent materials while the DivaCup is made of flexible, non-absorbent medical grade silicone. I’ve rolled my eyes at all the times I’ve heard, “You won’t even notice the tampon if you put it in correctly,” because I DID always notice it. With the cup, I really don’t notice it. I did the first time I put it in, but it quickly lost my attention as it adjusted to my body, rather than forcing my body to adjust to it.
I used the divacup last month, knowing the risks of use while having an IUD. I only used the cup for the first 8 hours before the strings to my IUD were longer and I felt the plastic of the “t” sitting low in my cervix. The darn thing sucked right down my cervix! It had nothing to do with my strings … and apparently everything to do with the suction. What’s more, my IUD was working hard for three years before this happened. Cautionary Tale of Cups.
I live in a very small town on the east coast of Canada & I’ve seen them at a local health food store.I can’t remember if it was the Diva Cup or another brand.I was complaining to my husband last week about the price of pads,anywhere from $5.00 for store brand to $8.00 for name brands!I’m new to the site & find it very helpful!
I think I’m going to have to cave in and try one of these. I bleed a lot — thanks to the blood thinners I take since my artificial heart valve was put in. It never bothered me that much before, but now I have at least two nights a month where I wake up and having to change everything and occasionally even jump in the shower. No fun and kinda disgusting.
I’m hoping something like this would work for me. I worry, though, since they only seem to come in two sizes and I’m super tiny.
What the hey, right? It’ll be worth it if it works. Thanks for the informative article!
@Sarah: Let us know what you think after you try it! I’d say, “I hope it works out for you,” but I’m too confident that it WILL. ^_^
@Jessica: I got my cup the day before I started this month — I cracked up a little that the box was marked “time sensitive materials.” Its been in use for a full 24 hours now and I have to say its AMAZING!
My first night every month is always a nightmare, especially the first time I stand up and the “gush” happens. This time, I woke up twice with no incident, emptied, cleaned and reinserted the cup while I was still half asleep and went back to bed. No leaks, no mess, just blissful rest. If it weren’t for the cramps, I wouldn’t know I was even having my period.
For other small ladies out there, I have to say you should give it a try. I’m 4’8″ (I did say I was super tiny) and it fit just fine. I did have to trim off the entire stem, but I can still reach it without any issues. There is a learning curve, as everyone says, but it is so, so worth it.
I’m going to tell all the women I know!
@Callie: After trying this, I gotta go with Jessica. Tampons were uncomfortable for me too being as small as I am. Especially the ultra sized ones I had to use for the first two days (I’d go through one of those in about 2-3 hours). The cup is way more comfortable since its flexible. The silicon is actually very soft. It looks huge, but fits just fine.
I can tell it’s not going to be the right thing for everyone, but boy, oh boy has it already changed my life after just a day. It feels weird to say that, but after living through years of mess, hassle and expense its just so much better.
This post is going to be on the earthy side!
I’ve been using mine for years. I’ll never go back to tampons or disposable pads. I think part of the reason I suffer fewer cramps with the Cup is at least in part to where my cervix is sitting. I hated tampons, because depending on where I was in my 9-13 day cycle, I could feel it jabbing my cervix, and it hurt! The Divacup doesn’t do that, ever. I’ve had a leak once or twice, but those I blame on user error, when I thought I had it in right, but really didn’t.
I love my divacup. I bought it in August of ’09. Used it for 15 months but threw it away cause I was worried it would one day just quit working. To save costs around christmas time i used pads and tampons! Gross!! I ended up having to do 2 boxes of tampons cause i just couldnt feel comfortable with them. So I bit the bullet and bought another. Locally it came out to almost $45 however, my husband said it didnt matter as long as i was comfortable. I even have a few friends thinking about making the switch!
[…] For a great blog post on the top ten reasons to use a Diva Cup visit: Squawk Fox […]
the best invention ever – i havent bought a pad or tampon in years (41 years old) and the only thing I have to say is I wish I would have found one of these suckers at 16…….I got headaches from the tampons – hated pads …..whoever isn’t brave enough to try Diva cups …I feel sorry for you.! 🙂 Environmentally friendly…..and can do anything I normally do 🙂 yes…EVERYTHING.!
Thank you to the Diva cup GODS 🙂
Love, love, love my Mooncup UK!!!
1. Much easier to deal with heavy periods.
2. Much easier to deal with field work/outdoor activity.
3. Never caught without supplies.
4. Much, much cheaper.
5. Don’t need a liner as backup as I did with tampons.
A couple tips for those who have trouble with cups.
1. try and sit down for a bit after insertion. it seems to help it get into a good position.
2.never insert/reinsert immediately before bed. it violates tip 1.
3. empty/reinsert in the shower–cleaner and easier.
4. rinse well – soap can cause problems. boil before and after period.
I love my diva cup tooo. 😀 Getting it in just right and not worrying about it through the day is alone worth the upfront cost. I keep pads around for when I’m not sure if I’ve got it in right, though after the first few cycles, that’s gone and I can tell now.
Love saving money, love saving time (ten minutes twice a day to clean & reinsert is nothing compared to tampons a few times a day), love saving on waste!
Go us. 😀
I ordered one a few days ago.
My bf is kinda creeped by it and says it looks huge.
I want to add that there are reusable pads out there too, basically you insert how ever many cotton (I believe) layers into the pad, and then you can wash it with your laundry, either after your period, or during it to keep it going fresh and avoid having to buy as many.
(for environmentally, cost effective, feminine hygiene products for those that do not like inserting items, or have personal or religious reasons against it)
I’m really into organic things, so I was looking at Minky pads when I came across these. At first I was completely grossed out at the idea of, ahem, storing the blood… But your article just might have me convinced to give it a try! Thanks!
umm yeah. no. I’ll stick with pads. Not putting a cup up there. It grosses me out thinking about it. I’ll have to save money some other kind of way.
I hate pads. I have really sensitive skin and I get a rash and itching every time. But I think I would not be able to wear a menstrual cup. I’ve never been sexually active and I can’t even tolerate a tampon. If I have discomfort wearing a tampon, is there any hope a menstrual cup might not be as bad?
gg, is that conventional or cloth pads? Conventional pads irritated my skin no end, no surprise really, most of them are fragranced! If you haven’t already, switch to cloth. Irritation was one of the reasons I switched, and I rarely get it now.
Wow, this article peaked my interest. I was looking for a way that would make periods LESS annoying. I’m going to buy one because I’ve got a while until menopause hits. Thanks for the information. I’m going to buy one this week.
And one more: no more of that gooey-diaper feeling. Have to say I was dubious, but desperate. Five years later, I still suggest the Dive Cup to every woman I know well enough to discuss it with. And I’m as perplexed as you, but no more or many less cramps, headaches, and feeling like a slug who’d rather be under a rock. Cheaper, easier, and I can use a white towel straight out of the shower any time of the month!
Conventional pads. I have thought about cloth pads as well except washing them is kind of gross. Plus the start up cost is a bit expensive. I know over time they definitely save you money though.
gg, FWIW, I originally resorted to cloth out of sheer poverty, and the pads I’m using 15 years later are still going after costing me nothing. True, they’re not ideal, but they don’t have to cost you anything. Especially if you aren’t sure about them, just cut some rags or old clothes and fold them up – done! Experiment with them, and if you don’t like them, well, they didn’t cost you anything, did they?
You might like to know that I’ve used conventional pads a few times since converting to cloth and as soon as I do I regret it!
I think I know something about that cramp situation. Maybe since it is so high up and let’s nature take it’s course closer to the subject (how’s that for beating around the bush..lol..) then cramps may be relieved from that. I think a lot of cramping comes from the uterus being unable to expel when the flow is heavy.
Unless you are trying to get pregnant, there is no real need to menstruate. Get a continual birth control perscription instead. I’ve been on depo-provera for a while now and I NEVER have to think about things like this!
I’m a 40yr old mother of six. I did lots of research before deciding on which cup to use. I finally decided to go with the model 2 lunette because it’s a tad bit shorter & I’m only 4’10 with a short canal. My periods are extremely heavy for about 3 days & then I have another 5 days of regular flow. My cycle was getting heavier & heavier as the years went by. It was controlling my life! For the first few days, I had to change every hour (& that was doubling up & sleeping on a towel) so a good night’s sleep was impossible. This is my first cycle using my lunette cup. I’m elated! It took a couple of tries the first day & it’s been great ever since. I got 4hrs of sleep in one stretch the first night. I know that doesn’t sound like a lot, but it really is a tremendous difference. No leaks at all. In fact today is day 4 & I’m so confident, I’m not even using a liner. It’s so comfy, I can’t even feel it. Those big tampons are painful. I emptied & cleaned it at 10am & then again at 10pm. I love this. I’ll never go back. No more canceling plans because of my cycle, no more sleepless nights. All women should know about this.
I wish I had known about this 15 years ago. I can’t believe how clean feeling it is. Worth the money. I also read it can last up to 10 years… Not sure if it’s safe past 1 though? Bought a few reusable pads as well just for the really heavy days, so hopefully I am set to never have to buy disposeables again! Goodbye massive wastes of money!
YES YES YES!! I discovered Diva Cup while browsing Drugstore.com a couple years ago and I’ll never go back to regular tampons/thick pads again! I love that I can wear it all day and night with no risks of TSS, very few leaks, and that I’m cutting down so much on expense and paper waste. Plus, I’ll never have to be embarrassed by a tampon falling out of my purse in public again! All I ever need is my Diva cup and panty-liners. I forget it’s even there sometimes! 😀
Okay, yeah. My friend’s been trying to convince me to switch for a few months now but I just barely started using tampons. (It was a psychological thing I had with putting somethin “there”), but I recently got married and am a little more comfortable with it. This sounds like a perfect alternative to sleeping on towels! I do have an IUD, though. Has anyone had any trouble with Diva Cup and paragard?
Hi- I’m so glad that the word about menstrual cups is spreading, but I came across this article today and was a bit shocked by the fact that Diva Cup has changed its stance from a Diva Cup lasting for 10 years down to only one year. I bought the Diva Cup in 2008 and at that time, their website definitely advised that one cup could be safely used for up to 10 years as long as no abnormal tearing or shape changing occurred. MoonCup, the UK equivalent of the Diva Cup, which has been around for much longer, also says that menstrual cups can be used for years and years.
From the Moon Cup website:
“How long will my Mooncup last?
With the advised cleaning and storage, the Mooncup® will last for years and years, if there is any change in the material of your Mooncup if it splits or becomes sticky, or there is any change in the shape of your Mooncup then it will need replacing. There may be some natural staining that occurs over time which does not affect the hygiene or effectiveness of the Mooncup. If you choose to remove the staining, soak the Mooncup in diluted sterilising fluid (used for sterilizing baby equipment and available in chemists), follow the manufacturer’s dilution guidelines, and soak for the minimum recommended time, then rinse thoroughly with clean water.”
The only thing I can think of is that Diva Cup is trying to increase their profits by making women believe that they need a new Diva Cup every year- this is not true! Mine is nearly 5 years old and still works perfectly with no irritation or other problems. When it is time to replace, I will buy a Moon Cup this time- I have no tolerance for companies that lie to buyers to increase profits!
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.
I could be mistaken, but I do believe that this is the case.
I have heavy periods. I can wear a super tampon and pad and can still have an accident in an hr. So how much does the diva cup hold?
@melissa: This video should help answer that question! 🙂
I’m wondering if you can use the cup if you have an intrauterine device (IUDs) implanted. The wires do stick out of the cervix, don’t they maybe puncture the cup? Or move the IUD overtime during to moving the wires into the cup so much? Would like to know!
I have a relative who has an IUD and uses the Diva Cup with no trouble.
Thanks for your reply, I’m now off hunting for a cup. To bad it doesn’t come in GOLD 😉
Great article! I just bought mine and can’t wait for it to come in the mail. You might want to update and discuss how to purchase the Diva Cup. I found you can only get it on a site like Amazon.com or very few health food stores. If you go to DivaCup.com you can do a search to find store to buy them, if you don’t want to order online.
Greetings. I am a teacher and taking care of periods with a class full of 10 year olds can be hard! I started it this past period and woah! LOVE IT! At first I would try really hard to get it open after I inserted it by twisting it which hurt. Then yesterday in frustration I just stood up and walked around. It opened all on its own. So now I just insert it and go for a mini walk and it opens on its own. I just love it!
Today was my first time trying the Diva Cup and already I’m in love. I put it in this morning, wondered all day whether I was actually on my period, and removed it this evening, delighted to find a little collection pooled in there. It feels like I’m not even bleeding. And maybe I’m getting ahead of myself, but I agree about the no cramps thing. Usually my first day is super crampy. I hope every day with the Diva Day will be like today.
[…] cups. A friend of mine had been using them for a while and she filled me in (pun intended) about the perks of menstrual cups. The DivaCup (Via: […]
I’m about to start my 2nd cycle with my Diva Cup and I cannot love a product more than this. My last cycle I went to Whole Foods and bought the size 1 as I’m in my 20’s with no children and with the livejournal community and all their great tips I was able to use it my whole period with no leaks! There was a few blood spots on my underwear ONCE but that was probably due to residue. I will say if it’s your first time inserting do not try to do it in the shower with the water on, it makes your hands slippery and hard to keep the fold until you insert far enough in.
The three tips I have are watch youtube videos for fold methods!!! The punch down is my favorite.
Two is do not be afraid to get a little pushy with your fingers! As long as it doesn’t cause pain the vagina is meant to stretch a lot, so if you need to reach up and pinch the bottom to release the suction to remove the cup just do it! Don’t feel like you are going to break yourself and end up taking ten minutes to pull the thing out 🙂
Three is when you are cleaning the cup after each removal make sure you use something to gently stretch the vent holes, either an unused clean bobby pin, or something similar and make sure there is no residue in the holes and sllightly move it around so you stretch each one, this is why some people find their cup losing suction after a year or two. Those holes are what keep the suction going!!
I wish the tampon pad business wasn’t so greedy, menstrual cups can literally change the world.
I just got my Diva Cup and used it for the first time this week. I LOVE it! It does take some patience at first, but it is so worth it! The first day or two I had to empty it more often, but after that I only needed to empty once when I woke up in the morning and once in the evening after work (up to 12 hours).
No more running out of tampons/pads.
No more wasting money on tampons/pads.
No more worrying about TSS.
No more adding to landfills.
Diva Cup = Freedom!
I love my Diva Cup as well!!! one thing I will mention tho… from most of testimonials of women who have been using the diva cup or cup similar, they can use the same cup for years, some for even 8 years already! so replacing it every year may not be necessary as long as it does not begin to deteriorate, which silicone usually does not do very much.
I am going to ask my doctor if i can have one. It sounds interesting. Espicallly because i play sports and im 15. Plus i have to get test taken cause my doctor said im losing to much blood. What to do?! i think you answered my question especially now because i play sports
I have a Diva Cup and I love mine! A great review on a product that I think is very worthy of praise. Thanks!
Doesn’t it figure I find out about something like this AFTER I’m in menopause. I will definitely recommend to my daughters, granddaughters, nieces, and in-laws. Thank you for posting such an informative article.
Chelsea – I’m more or less “on the brink” at 48 (although my GP says all my hormones are fully stocked and not at all peri-menopausal), but after buying one earlier this year I am HOOKED! I always hated my cycle; the mess was bad enough but the pain was horrible. Not just bad cramps, but nausea and an awful feeling of “gut-pulling” when I’d remove a tampon that was bad enough to make me whimper out loud.
The Diva Cup made such a difference that I asked my doc for some tests to prove a theory (I’m in Canada, it cost me nothing). It turns out my suspicion was right on: I WAS actually allergic to something in the tampons (bleach? fibers?) and my body was treating them as a toxin. Also, while I have no medical evidence to support this, but believe the extremely heavy flow I’d get after a day or two might have been part of the allergic reaction. That scary “flooding” has never happened with the cup.
In my case, at least, the monthly pain had a physical source that was actually CREATED by the products, so if a woman says she feels as if her pain and discomfort are lessened or absent, I’d tend to believe her.
The savings are secondary to me. If I can only use it for a year or three, that’s fine. Every month I don’t have to deal with pain and mess are worth every penny.
Thank you for an excellent article, Kerry. I plan to pass it on to every woman I know.
I have been using a Diva cup for three years now, and the only regret I have is that I hadn’t found out about it sooner!
ok im 13 i love the idea of using a diva cup. i have done my research on them and i am not squeemish about putting it in. i just dont know how to ask my mom. i have seen many people saying they wish they did it when they were my age so i dont want to have that same regret. also i have a VERY hevy flow and i am sick of going to the bathroom every 45 minuites. would diva cup leak?? advice plz!! thanks
Well done on taking those important first steps!
Here are some words of encouragement on the leaky issue: After switching to the cup, I discovered that my cycle isn’t nearly as heavy as disposables made me believe; the case may be the same for you.
On how to broach the topic with your mother, this website has a ton of good advice:
I love their Q&A forum:
And here are direct links to useful threads within the forum:
If your comfortable talking with your mother about these issues, I’d just lay the information that you’ve gathered out in front of her. It’s very responsible of you to look into these alternatives to disposables. You could start by asking her if she’s ever heard of a menstrual cup (at an appropriate time, of course), and she might be happy to learn from you. Maybe even show her BePreparedPeriod.com as an ice breaker?
I hope it all works out for you!
Foxy Girl, I’m so happy to hear of female as young as you taking your health into your own hands. Good for you! I happen to be about the size of a 12 year old (4’10” tall, 90 lbs)and have heavy periods, I have an article telling about my experience with the menstrual cup if you would like to read it (http://cleaningouttheclutter.com/2013/02/a-menstual-cup-is-a-girls-best-friend/). Just be honest with your mother. Give her the facts you have, tell her you want to make a healthy choice for your body, and explain that you believe it could help with your cycle. Good luck!
Thanks so much! I will look at those websites and hopefully get the guts to talk to my mom about it. and again thanks for those words of encouragement!
I showed my mom your article and she was so excited to try it herself!! (and me too) thanks so much for giving me the courage to talk to her about it. it sounds like it will be so much more convenient! cant waitt
<3 foxy girl
well now that its settled, any suggestions on which brand to choose??
Foxy – I’m glad you and your mom are going to give this a try. I think you’ll be pleasantly astonished at how much of a difference it makes. Here in Canada I’ve only seen the Diva Cup, but I’m completely satisfied with it.
One word of caution: “clean with hot water and re-position” means just that – no wearing it when it’s been used then left out, even for a short time.
I finished a cycle, washed with with hot water as usual, and left it on the tray I keep for it in my cabinet. The next morning I realized I needed it an extra day, so I re-rinsed it with hot water, re-used it … and ended up with a very annoying yeast infection. Ugh. It was “left” for less than 8 hours, but that’s time enough. NO problems when boiling for five minutes between uses, even when post-boiling it sits in its tray for 3 weeks. So I learned to follow directions the hard way.
I’m so happy to know you talked to your mom and y’all are going to try a menstrual cup! 🙂 I am also happy to hear my article helped you. Like I stated in my article, the Diva Cup and Lunette Cup both have the best reviews (based on all my research on Amazon and a handful of other sites). I use the Diva Cup and haven’t had any problems. I do recommend you getting some cloth pads. It helped me my first few cycles until I perfected putting the cup in and sealing it correctly. Now I only use them for the 2 or 3 days when I’m not sure when my period is starting, that way I don’t have to have the cup in until there is enough “liquid”. Good luck and don’t be afraid to ask for advice or to try different cups out.
thanks so much for the starting advice! I definitly wont leave it out then use it with out sterilizing. baaad idea, i definitly dont need an infection. should I get cloth pads or can i just use disposable pads? are there any more benefits of cloth pads besides just being reusable?
I have found that with cloth pads there is less smell than with disposable and they have better absorbency. Also, you don’t have to worry about all the chemicals.
I’ve used the same DicaCup for many years with no problem. An easy way to keep your cup very clean is washing with Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap (I use the peppermint). That soap, with some hot water, gets my cup nice n’ clear once more!
my cup came in the mail!! i have tried using it before my period started and it took a lot of tries before i could get it in. but now the problem is getting it out. when i took it out the first time it really hurt. and i know it takes some getting used to. have any tips for removing it?
I’m glad to hear you are using the menstrual cup. In regards to removing it, you will need to gradually squeeze the cup at the base and slowly move your finger hold up higher until your seal is completely removed, then pull down, while maintaining the break in seal (I touch the sides of the cup together). You might be able to pull it out a little at a time, but before anything can be removed comfortably you will have to break the seal completely. Also, make sure you don’t put it in too high. You need to have the tip of the cup right at the entranced of your vaginal cavity. It might stick out slightly, but it should be about even so you can sit easily without pressure. You also might need to use your vaginal muscles to push it out a little, similar to when you have a bowel movement. I hope these tips help.
I am so glad I came across this article. I bought my diva cup last month and it was just the best thing I have ever bought for myself!! OK, I must have had beginners luck the first time I inserted it because there was no hassle, no leaking, absolutely no discomfort. I was totally amazed! It did leak a few times afterwards though, but I realised it was because I was inserting it upwards instead of horizontally towards the spine, like the instructions say. Basically you really need to follow the instructions and I guess a bit of practice is need (I think a few days is enough practice). Thank you so much for talking about this and everyone for sharing their experiences.
I purchased the Diva Cup a few years ago, and gave it a try recently and thought it would be successful. While I was sleeping, I had awoken to severe crapping – something which never happens to me, since I do not suffer from severe crapping to begin with. I probably had the Diva Cup for about 4 hours. I waited it off, and tried going back to sleep but it was nearly impossible! So, I decided to remove it. The cup was practically full (sorry for TMI), but apparently you can keep it inserted for several hours, and I think I read something (cannot remember where) that you only lose a certain amount of ML during your period. Wondering how often one needs to spot check. I would hate to have to remove and insert when not needed to – for the fear of being paranoid.
I have not given it a try again, but would love to. I am thinking if I should purchase a new one, since it has been stored for a few years before using. Also, read online about cramping being due to the suction of the cup. So, it may be that I have it inserted wrong.
Great article, but “…The Diva Cup can be worn all night long, unlike a tampon.”
Um, tampons can be worn all night. That’s kinda one of the major selling points, since pads will bunch and leak. Pads can are fine for day use (personally don’t like ’em) but nights are tampon-only. Maybe you meant it the other way around?
@ Passerby, tampons are NOT supposed to be used at night. That is the official line, risk of TSS and all that. It’s just women do use them at night and have for decades. So yes, the article is correct.
Meanwhile I noticed something this week. Those monster, mega long pads are TERRIBLE. (I had someone give them to me.) They leak like nothing else. The flow just travels along the pad and onto your undies! One more reason to use cloth. 🙂 (Assuming I could find one that works for that 24-36 hour “heavy” part of my period.)
I came across this post a few months back, and then went a-googling to see if there are any available in Australia (sadly, only one, and online and couldn’t find any reviews). I ended up getting the FemmyCycle and had it posted from the UK for a more expensive $85, but it has a lip-thingy that stops it from leaking as you take it out, and has a little ring-pull to remove it, rather than the stick. 3 months in, not a tampon used, but I’m still using light flow pads during the day as minor leak backup while I get used to it (can’t always just run to the loo), but even still, it’s gonna be loads more frugal in the long run. Especially as feminine hygiene products in Australia are charged a 10% GST (taxed-yes, taxed). If anyone is on the fence about trying one – I vote you try one!!
I absolutely adore my cup. Been using it for about 5 years now. I will never ever go back to tampons or pads.
Wow! How did I get all the way to menopause and never even hear that such a thing existed??? Fortunately I manage to always get pads and tampons for free with coupons, but still…..
You have an excellent blog, by the way. LOTs of good info!
I love my Diva Cup! It really is the best change I’ve ever made in this category for all the reason listed. I agree on every point and I can certainly tell that I don’t have anywhere near the cramping I had using tampons.
I’ve tried the diva cup as well,I found that after 2-3 month cycles it doesn’t work as well and will begin to leak. I then stopped trying to use it after 4 or 5 months and now I’m out more than $50 for this stupid thing! Good try anyways on an attempt to make womens lives easier every month.
I recently bought a Yuuki, which is a czech cup but you can buy it for about 23$ on amazon. It’s a bit shorter than the Diva and since I have a lower cervix I thought it would be a better choice. I have never been so happy with a product in my life, it’s amazing! I also have a “Green Donna” which is a chinese menstrual cup modelled after the lunette. I haven’t tried it during my period but I can say it isn’t as firm as the Yuuki and is more flexible. It would probably be trickier to pop open. Try the Yuuki though if your cervix is low, the Diva Cup is one of the longest cups out there.
I saw an add for 35 bucks and it last up to ten years? I can live with that.
They’ve been available at the ladies gym in Brantford (The Fitness Centre) for years. Baffled why you can’t find them at drugstores and big chains.
However, two sizes do not fit all. If I’m aware if its presence, it’s not working as intended. Darn it.
Christy – thanks for the tip on the Yukki.
Ughhh..I would LOVE to use one of these. I have friends who absolutely swear by them. As a medical anomaly with two cervixes (to go along with my two uteruses…yep) I get no reprieve from crappy and expensive pads.
Only a year? I’ve had mine for 7 years with no issues! Love it
I was so exited to try it until I read about the risks of using it if you have the DUI. I feel so sorry for me but I can not risk myself to get pregnant right now. I guess I
am stuck with nasty pads and tampons, lucky you girls!
I am presenting at our local petcha kucha and will be mentioning the cup to a large mixed audience.
I read in my research that women in the US yearly toss 12 billion sanitary pads (estimated).
Thank you for exposing to many readers to a great truth. I appreciate you blogging.
I find this such a good idea, but a little icky but then I had another thought.. its just like the disposable diaper/cloth diaper debate… which I had no problem with cloth…
I am going to take the plunge and then that extra $4000 ish a yeah acan hit my RRSP instead!
As convenient as this idea may be, I think it’d be better to just stick it out spending the extra money on pads and tampons. The supporting argument of buying it to save a trip to the bathroom every night (if you haven’t heard of overnight pads) is not worth TSS. There is no way that thing is sanitary enough to spend long hours in your vag without it being more dangerous than a tampon. Maybe lots of people haven’t heard of TSS, but I definitely wouldn’t risk that just because I’m lazy or cheap because I don’t want to change my sanitary napkin or just use cloth ones.
This isn’t just an “idea”. This is sustainable and anything but lazy. Please do a little more research before writing it off.
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 🙂 So thanks again for making this information public for me and others to find!
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!
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.
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.
AMEN Heather! We need to stop coddling men’s self-imagined revulsion to a process that enables their existence.
How do you take it out without spilling the blood?
@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.
Does anyone have experience using a cup immediately postpartum? How soon after childbirth before it can be used?
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.
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 🙂 Also, congrats on getting better wages! 😀
// random knowledgeable dudette
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.?
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 😉
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!
@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. 🙂
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??
Grace – That’s what I did, a day or two before my first period with the cup.
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.
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!
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. 🙂
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!
Thanks for this article. The idea of less garbage in the environment, and also saving a ton of money are intriguing to me. Next stop, diva cups-ville!
I love that there’s still comments happening on this old of an article! Clearly the subject matter has stayed relevant. 🙂 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?
Nice article. I use the menstrual cup for 4 years. love it. it makes me freely during the night sleeping.