Diva Cup Review
In a world of pads and tampons, the Diva Cup, a brand of menstrual cup, is a wonderful feminine hygiene alternative; one that makes you feel like you aren't even on your period.
Women begin using menstrual cups for many reasons. Some do it to save money, as the Diva Cup is reusable and guaranteed for at least 1 year. However, many women report that their Diva Cups last upwards of 5+ years. As long as there are no rips or tears in the material, you're good to go.
The average cost of pads or tampons is around $5/month, or $30 for 6 months, or $60 for a year. The Diva Cup, however, is under $25. After 5 months of use, you begin saving money.
Other women begin using menstrual cups for health reasons, as most pads and tampons are chock full of strange chemicals which can leach into the body. On the other hand, the Diva Cup is made out of medical grade, non-absorbent silicon.
With regular and proper cleaning, it shouldn't cause irritation. If for any reason any product causes irritation, discontinue use immediately, and contact your physician if the problem or symptoms persist.
Regardless of the reason, once many women begin using menstrual cups, they often give up pads and tampons completely. This is because the Diva Cup and its similar counterparts, offer a freedom not found with pads or tampons. In many ways you almost forget you're on your period.
Before purchasing a menstrual cup, I researched the heck out of them. I finally settled on the Diva Cup, mostly because of its large capacity. In March, 2011, I began my journey as a Diva Cup user.
I thought I was prepared. I knew that there was a learning curve when it came to using menstrual cups, and a I thought I had armed myself with enough knowledge to handle the task, but boy was I wrong.
Where most women have difficulty inserting the Diva Cup, I had difficulty removing it. So much difficulty in fact that after a ton of frustration, and some tears, I woke my husband up to try to get him to help, and when that failed, I decided I just had to learn to remove it, and somehow it popped right out.
Then, I was concerned about putting it back in. Would I have the same difficulty removing it as I did the first time? I certainly couldn't handle breaking down into tears each time I had to empty the cup. However, in the end, I decided that I just had to have some faith, and I tried again.
Luckily, that was the worst of it and by the middle of that first cycle, I felt like I had mostly gotten the hang of it. However, it wasn't until several months later that I really felt like I knew what I was doing.
Fast forward to today. I love, love, LOVE my Diva Cup. Before, I used to use pads because tampons had a tendency to leak (and I could always feel them, no matter what I did). When wearing the Diva Cup, I felt it at first. It wasn't uncomfortable, just constant. However, after a few short months I no longer felt it at all.
I also find that I'm fascinated with my own blood. It's interesting to see how much blood I actually shed during my period, and how my cycle changes throughout its duration. It's really enabled me to learn a lot more about my body. And, it's amazing that it doesn't really smell. (I'll admit it, I've smelled it out of curiosity.)
What's more, I love the fact that I'm no longer wearing pads and sitting in wetness all day. Even if you change your pads frequently, you're never really dry. With the Diva Cup, its just me and my underwear. Couple this with not feeling the Diva Cup when it's in place, and some days I even forget I'm on my period.
As far as messes go, I've only had the Diva Cup leak on me once, after I left it in for 15 hours without changing it. Outside of this, the only other mishap I had was early on when I went to empty it, and I tilted it the wrong way. Luckily, I was changing into my pad for the evening, and instead of spilling on the floor, it spilled on the pad, so no harm, no foul. It could have been much, much worse however. I definitely got lucky.
One thing I don't do (yet) is wear my Diva Cup 24/7 while I'm on my period. Somewhere along the way I got it in my head that my body needed a break from it, so I wear a pad to bed, instead of using my cup. However, I think I'm going to start wearing it all the time now, because I've been having some shifting and messiness occurring at night lately, and I'm just tired of dealing with the mess.
If I had to grade it, I would give the Diva Cup a solid A. It has given me a freedom I didn't know was possible during my period. I honestly don't understand why they don't sell these at every retail store and corner market. Maybe it's a racket propagated by the pad and tampon manufacturers. Who knows. One things for certain, in the long run I anticipate no longer having a need for pads or tampons at all. My Diva Cup has me covered.
- The Diva Cup has one of the larger cup sizes available compared to other menstrual cups, with the small Diva Cup holding 27.5 cc's (1 oz.), and the large Diva Cup holding 30 cc's (1.01 oz).
- Holds up to three times more fluid, compared to tampons.
- You have to empty your Diva Cup less frequently than you have to change tampons or pads (depending on your flow), which means you're dealing with your period less.
- The risk of TSS is greatly reduced.
- You can leave your Diva Cup in for 12+ hours (depending on flow).
- Made of medical grade silicon that has an extremely low allergy rate.
- Does not contain any harsh chemicals or dangerous fibers.
- No embarrassing odors. Menstrual blood only smells when it's exposed to air, and since the Diva Cup keeps everything contained inside the body, there is nothing exposed until you go to empty it, almost completely eliminating the odor. (Unlike pads, which are constantly exposed to air and tend to emit a smell.)
- Works well even when you're extremely active, such as with sports, jogging or other activities.
- Easy to clean. During your period, just wash with water and a mild soap. If you want to deep clean it after your period, boil for a few minutes in some water. Dry thoroughly and store.
- You get to know your body. Many women, myself included, have a tendency to look at the Diva Cup before emptying it, to see how full it is which helps them gauge their flow. However, by doing this you come to learn how much fluid you actually dispel during your period, leading to a greater understanding of how your body works, unlike with tampons and pads which just absorb into a jumbled mess.
- You have to get up close and personal with your intimate parts. If you're not comfortable with your body, you may have a difficult time with the Diva Cup or any menstrual cup.
- There is definitely a learning curve.
- Messy hands, particularly if you have to adjust how your cup fits.
- After removing, it can be easy to spill the contents on the floor if you're not careful.
- Your cup can overflow and leave a big mess.
- Lots of hand washing (before, after, and occasionally during if you're adjusting) can leave your hands dry.
- You have to (or tend to) look at your blood, which isn't good if you're squeamish.
Tips & Tricks
- Be patient with yourself, especially in the beginning.
- There are 2 sizes of cups, A and B. A is for younger women, or those who haven't given birth. B is for women aged 30 and up, or for those who have given birth. Make sure you get the right one for your age and body type.
- Run your finger around the outside of the cup to make sure it is fully open and in place.
- If you have difficulty getting your cup to open properly, try different folds.
- If you see blood when you wipe, your cup isn't in place and needs adjusting.
- If you feel poking or irritation from the stem, trim it. You can even remove it completely, if needed. (I removed mine completely after a few uses because it was stabbing me.)
- Remember to break the suction before removing the cup, so that you don't damage your insides.
- Until you know what your flow is like, check your cup every few hours. After a while, you'll learn when you need to empty the cup so that it doesn't overflow.