All About Diva Cups
Yes ladies (and possible gentlemen), I'm going there! We're talking all about why menstrual cups are so great and why YOU should be using one!
What Is a Diva Cup?
Diva cups are menstrual cups made from healthcare grade silicone containing no chemicals, bleach, plastic or BPA. When your period starts you simply insert the bell shaped cup into the vagina to catch the blood. It does not absorb blood.
Every 12 hours as needed you remove it, empty it into the toilet, wash it in warm water in the sink, and put it back in. After every cycle just boil it in a pot on the stove for about 10 minutes to give it a good cleaning.
Why Switch from Pads & Tampons?
I'm glad you asked!
The three biggest reasons I would say are:
Chlorine is used to bleach pads & tampons to give it that white colour. Those chemicals are just not supposed to be in and around your most sensitive body parts. The vagina is basically like a big mucous membrane. Do you really want chemicals infiltrating it? No! The Diva Cup just does not have any.
There's also no risk of TSS (Toxic Shock Syndrome) with menstrual cups. TSS, a nasty and sometimes fatal bacterial infection, has only been linked to tampon use.
The average woman uses 18 pads or tampons per cycle, and roughly 12,000 of them in her lifetime. All of that goes in a landfill. Half the population menstruates. Think of all that waste! Think of how long it takes to break down!
With a Diva Cup you only need to replace it every year or two. Creates way less garbage.
The Diva Cup costs about $40. On average a menstruating woman will spend about $120 a year on period products. You can do the math on that one. Think of the savings! That's thousands of dollars throughout your menstruating life!
Even More Benefits!
One really cool benefit that I like is because the cup is clear, you can see the amount of blood that you lose. It holds 30ml. The average woman loses between 30-60ml of blood per period. If you're like me though, and have a PCOS (Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome) or another condition that affects your flow, you may lose 80ml or more during your period.
The cup is practically leak proof! I say practically because, once again, if you have a heavy flow you may leak a couple times like I have. It's WAY less frequent than with pads or tampons though.
You can wear the cup all night long (up to 12 hours even!) and don't have to worry about sleeping on a towel, or being in an uncomfortable position to keep a pad in place, or wearing a tampon which isn't recommended for nighttime because of TSS.
Some people (me included) also say that they notice a decrease in cramps and heaviness of flow. Big win!
The Diva cup also doesn't mess up your PH levels in your vagina like tampons can. So no weird, nasty infections! And because it's non-absorbent you don't have to worry about dryness like with a tampon on a light day.
You can really do anything with the cup in. You don't even feel it in there. Exercise, sleep, anything...just not sex, but that's sort of obvious, just like how you wouldn't with a tampon in.
It's also safe to use if you have an IUD! I asked my doctor about it when I had the IUD inserted and she said it was safe to use. Just not during the cycle that it was inserted because the strings are too long and risk getting pulled out with the suction. Once they've coiled up after a month it's fine to use a menstrual cup again.
Isn't it Gross?
Friends, it's your own body. Sooner or later you will have to come to terms with that. It's not like a horror movie. You just wash your hands afterwards. It's really not a big deal.
If you're worried about being in public and cleaning it, if you really don't want to rinse it in the sink, wiping it with toilet paper will suffice until you can get to a sink. You'll be fine.
How Long Does it Last?
Some brands may say they last for multiple years but I think it's definitely best to cap it after a couple. General guidelines say a year or so just because it's a personal hygiene product. If it's starts deteriorating or smelling, it's time to get a new one! I've had mine for two years and a bit and just bought a fresh one.
There are so many different types of menstrual cups out there. I think Diva Cup may be the best (but that's the only one I've tried, and the first one I heard of), it's definitely the most popular/widely used.
I say, try it out! Find one, see how you like it, but give it a really good try, no half-assing. It took me just one cycle to get used to it. Now it's like second nature to me.
And there is no way I'm going back.