As someone who has experienced periods for almost two decades, I can proudly say that switching to a reusable alternative of the Diva Cup is most certainly one of the best decisions I’ve made. Trust me when I say that there are many incredible reasons to ditch the pads and tampons. I know, I know — you’ve got questions, you’ve got concerns. Well, I’m here with experienced-based responses to some of them.
Let’s get started!
What is the Diva Cup?
The Diva Cup is a type (brand) of menstrual cup. It’s a reusable alternative to pads and tampons, it’s small and flexible, and made out of medical silicone. Where tampons and pads absorb your blood flow, the cup collects it. Basically, it supports your natural flow which makes it a much healthier option.
What are the benefits of using the Diva Cup?
There are so many amazing benefits to ditching disposable pads and tampons for a reusable option. Here are my top five favorite reasons for making the switch.
Let’s face it, we have a huge plastic and waste problem. Opting for reusables is more important than ever before. Think for a moment about the number of menstrual cycles we collectively experience in a lifetime, and then think about all the landfill waste that is produced as a result of it.
The menstrual cup supports our periods while supporting an eco-friendly, waste-free and sustainable lifestyle. The question is, why wouldn’t we make the switch? I am proud to say that since buying my diva cup over four years ago, I have not used a single pad or tampon. It is one small way to make a huge change that supports the planet at a much-needed time. Check out our previous blogs if you’re interested in other ways to reduce your plastic consumption. [LINK: a blog about plastic-free life]
One menstrual cup can be used for up to 10 years. For some women, this price equates the amount they spend on sanitary products on a single cycle. So, while the purchase may feel a bit pricey initially, you’ll be saving a lot of money for years to come.
Using a diva cup saves time, money and space. Think about traveling and always worrying about forgetting your box of tampons and pads. Think about all the space it takes up. You can carry the cup inside your body when anticipating your period so you are well prepared while traveling, or you can easily fit in your purse.
The cup saves you time as well. With fewer visits to the pharmacy and local stores and the cup absorbing your flow, you won’t need to account for multiple changes.
The cup is healthy.
Pads and tampons are often filled with toxins and chemicals that are harmful to our health and overall wellbeing. Tampons especially can cause Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) and can stick to the vaginal walls, causing dryness and even abrasion. The cup, however, is made from medical silicone which is completely safe and healthy to use. It supports the body’s natural flow and is completely worry-free.
You get to know your body.
This one’s a personal favorite. It may even weird you out a bit at first but give me a second to explain. For so long, our periods — something that’s very natural, beautiful and part of human biology, has been seen as taboo. It’s been viewed as something we can’t speak about in public. I’m sure that I’m not the only one who has stealthily shoved a tampon in my pocket to avoid anyone finding out. Even those of us who experience it seems to want to run away from it. Using the Diva Cup has given me the chance to really get ‘in touch’ with my period — to see it, to recognize my flow, and to appreciate it.
If you’re yet not convinced about the wonderful benefits of the cup, then check out this list.
How do I use the Diva Cup?
The menstrual cup is made from silicone, which makes it super flexible and easy to insert. As someone who has been using one for so long, I have a few pointers to help you out:
- Always make sure you’re relaxed, as it makes insertion easier. The same applies for when you take it out. If you’re a newbie (welcome!), then why not insert the cup for a trial before your period just to make sure you get used to the feel of it? This way, when your period knocks on the door, you don’t have to worry about insertion. (Disclaimer: I am not suggesting you leave a menstrual cup in when you’re not on your period. Just a little play to see how it feels).
- When you start out, you’ll keep checking your cup to make sure there are no leaks. It’s natural. Once you’re more accustomed to the concept, you become a lot more familiar with your body and your flow, so you know how often to check, empty and re-insert.
Check out this video guide to help you with all your questions about inserting, folding, and emptying the cup.
How do I clean the Diva Cup?
First things first: wash your hands! Afterward, simply take out your cup, empty it and wash it under the hot tap. Once cleaned, you insert again. After your cycle and before using it again, it is highly advised to wash it with the DivaWash or a mild, unscented, oil-free soap. You can also boil it for 5 to 10 minutes. Make sure you store it in the cotton bag it comes in, away from perfumes and make-up.
What if I am in a public bathroom?
It may be a tad awkward to run to the sink to empty and wash your cup in a public bathroom. In that case, make sure you wash your hands before taking it out, then empty the cup in the toilet and use toilet paper to clean the outside of your cup and re-insert. Once you’re home, wash it fully to ensure it’s clean.
Does the Diva Cup hurt?
A lot of people ask whether the cup is painful. If inserted correctly, you should feel NO pain. In fact, you shouldn’t even feel anything at all. The best part is that your body heats up the silicone, making it a lot more comfortable to use. When you’re on your period, your flow will create lubrication. If you’re using it before your period and feel that it’s a bit dry, then simply run it underwater.
Does it get messy?
I’ll be honest, I’ve heard some horror stories about the mess and the splish-splash of the cup. For some people, it requires getting used to. For others, it’s about making sure the cup is inserted correctly and most importantly taken out correctly. Give yourself time to adjust and I promise you won’t regret it. In the first few months, give the restroom regular visits so that you don’t run the risk of having a very full cup and leaking as a result.
Why are there two sizes?
The Diva Cup comes in two different sizes and models: pre-childbirth and a post-childbirth model.
Can I sleep with the Diva Cup?
Can I exercise while wearing my cup?
Hell ya! The cup will take you from your yoga class and a Bootcamp session to a run in the park and a swim. If inserted properly, it’s completely leak-proof and comfortable.
As someone who has been using the menstrual cup for over four years, I can easily say there’s no turning back. It’s saved me so much money and it makes me feel good about having waste-free periods. But of course, every single body is different and what works for me may not work for you.
These are some of the questions that have repeatedly come up in the conversations I’ve had with different people around the Diva Cup. I’ve combined them with my own personal experience to write this post. I hope you find it helpful and informative.
If you have any unanswered questions, be sure to let me know below. And if you’ve used the cup before, then make sure you share your experiences with us and others.