About a month ago, a friend of mine posted about how much she loves her Diva Cup. The first time I even heard of a Diva Cup, I believe, was 2010 during a Pregnancy Support Group session. The class leader was pretty “crunchy granola”–telling us about organic crayons and stuff–and that was my first exposure to someone who felt so passionately about the environment and being organic. At the time, I was of the mindset that all that stuff was just weird. Plus, since I was pregnant, and my next period was months away, I kinda tuned her out. Then forgot about the Diva Cup for the next 4 years… oy. Mistake. Cuz the Diva Cup is awesome.
Warning: this is a lady-type post about periods, tampons, vaginas, and all that. It might contain TMI too. Just warning you.
If you don’t know what I’m talking about at all, obviously check out the link above, but it’s a silicone cup that’s inserted in the vagina. It creates a seal and it collects the blood that sloughs off. It can be worn for 10-12 hours straight, and doesn’t need to be replaced for years if you take care of it. “Taking care of it” simply means to boil it in water to get it nice and sterilized. Hot water from the faucet would also be OK in between, and if you’re camping or something, just some potable water will do the trick.
Here’s my quick comparison of Pads/Tampons Vs. The Diva Cup:
1. Comfort: Pads/Tampons–can be comfortable. Can also be really uncomfortable. Pads pretty much feel like a diaper, and tampons can be painful if they don’t correspond with flow (i.e. too dry, or overly saturated). Also, I never realized until my friend brought it up that tampons contain chemicals (just a random article I picked when googling “tampons contain chemicals”). Chemicals that you put up your vag. Gross! Then there’s the toxic shock syndrome stuff too… Not cool. The Diva Cup–generally couldn’t notice it’s there. It did rub a little at the opening but otherwise felt fine. I did several runs, plus stretching, in it and had no issues. Which brings me to…
2. Leakage: Pads/Tampons–nothing worse than leakage, am I right ladies? Pads… definite opportunity for leakage. Tampons, yep, same. I basically just avoid wearing white pants while on my period. Too risky. The Diva Cup–Took it out for a spin the first morning… a 4 mile trail run. Not one spot of blood. For the next 4 days… nada. I did several runs, stretched, tossed and turned in bed, the whole 9 yards. And no need for any pantyliner because it never leaked. Pretty sweet!
3. Frequency of changing: Pads/Tampons–change them too often, and it’s like throwing money away but feels cleaner. Change them not frequently enough… gross. And a potential for leakage. And smelly. Yuck yuck yuck. The Diva Cup–Can be worn 10-12 hours. Holds 1/2 oz, which doesn’t seem like much, but you’d be surprised how little is actually in there. I emptied it upon waking up, then in the evening 12 hours later. Only messing with it twice a day was waaaaay easier than the 6-8 times a day with pads/tampons. Plus wearing it at night was less stressful, since I’m always worried about leaving tampons in too long at night (toxic shock syndrome…) I didn’t have to mess with it once at work, which was very nice. Which brings me to…
4. Logistics: Pads/Tampons–must be carried in pocket or purse to the bathroom when not at home, and in enough supply to last all day (or for a trip, to last the whole trip). If you happen to be out and about without anything, you’re at the mercy of whatever you can find. The Diva Cup–comes with a cute little satchel. Can stash in your purse or pocket easily and can’t tell what it is from the outside (unlike a tampon or pad, which is very easy to recognize as a tampon or pad… work with a bunch of guys and you’ll know the best ways to smuggle them to the bathroom!) Just dump the stuff down the drain and flush along with your other waste. Easy-peasy. Only need 1 Diva Cup vs. many many many pads & tampons. Which leads me to my final category…
5. Price. Pads/Tampons–I just googled this and came up with $5.49 for a box of 40 Tampax tampons, or about 14 cents each. Each woman is different, but I’ll guess-timate and say I use 6 tampons per day x 5 days. You can do the math on your own situation. I’ve never really kept track. So that box would last me 1 period, with 10 left over. In a year, I’d use around 30 per period x 12 periods per year = 360 tampons! That would be $49.41 (plus tax and the gas/effort to get to the store!) And I’m not even going to include pantyliners or varying absorbencies (if that’s a word?!) If I think about paying for tampons/pads for my entire life, that’s a lot of money to be absorbing blood, getting smelly, then heading for a landfill. The Diva Cup–I didn’t know where to buy, and Google led me to believe my local Target would have it (sadly, they didn’t). So I ordered it on Amazon for $30. The instructions say it can last for 1-2 years, but this article about girls in Africa using menstrual cups (really good article!!!) said they can last for 10 years! At a minimum, I’d spend over $500 in pads/tampons over 10 years (plus having to store them at home and stash them in the car, in my purse, in my locker, etc). Diva Cup = huge cost savings!
Note: The Diva Cup comes in two sizes. I’m a size 2 (for post-child). I didn’t have any issues getting it in or out. I’m not going into the details on it because the Diva Cup website outlines that very nicely. It felt awkward the first two times, then I was a pro. Literally that easy.
I feel awesome saying that I will never use tampons or pads ever again! (unless of course, I happen to not have my Diva Cup with me). A friend of mine said that the Lunette is better, so I might try that out and compare. But I’m a satisfied convert to the menstrual cup & so thankful that my friend told me about it! I’d encourage you to give it a try too! Let me know if you have any questions 🙂