This is my rave about the Diva Cup, a reusable menstrual product. If you are squeamish, please feel free to skip this post.
A few weeks, Mel posted about the Diva Cup. This product has seriously changed my life, and I felt so compelled to write about it.
The Diva Cup is a reusable menstrual product. It is a silicone cup which sits inside you and collects menstrual fluid.
Yes, you have to pull it out and dump your blood out. I guess this is why people are grossed out about it. For me, the pros FAR outweigh the cons. I've had my period for over 15 years, and handling menstrual products is just a way of life.
There are several similar products out there, but this will be specifically about the Diva Cup since that is the one I use.
I get asked a lot of questions when I tell people I use a menstrual cup. Here are some of the questions I get asked, and my answers:
Q: When did you start using the Diva Cup?
A: I have been using the Diva Cup for 4 years.
Q: What made you decide to buy one?
A: 2006 is the year that I started working at a job which required me to spend months at a time in China. I knew that most of my female colleagues brought boxes and boxes of pads/tampons with them on these business trips since they wanted to use a product they trusted. Not knowing how many months they'd have to spend in China meant bringing A LOT of products with them. I did not want to have to bring that much with me, and so I started researching online for an alternative.
I also disliked that little box in the corner of any ladies' room (including my bathroom at home). Used menstrual products start to smell, and I really wanted to eliminate that from my home.
Q: Isn't the cup expensive?
A: I found the Diva Cup online for about $35. I know you can find it cheaper in the US. Tampons are fairly expensive in Japan, being about $8-9 for a box of 30, which I go through in less than one month. The Diva Cup paid for itself in less a few months.
Q: How do you get it inside you?
A: The Diva Cup comes with instructions, but I really suggest you do your research online. There was a livejournal community which was very active (here's the link) which had a lot of tips on insertion methods. Just find one that works for you. I use what is called the 7-fold method.
Q: Isn't it messy?
A: I really recommend practicing. Unlike tampons, it is perfectly safe to do dry-runs with a cup, that is, to try them out when you are not on your period. This is a great way to figure out how to insert/take out your cup without risking getting yourself into a mess.
Q: Doesn't it hurt?
A: If it is properly inserted, it shouldn't hurt. This is the same as using a tampon. There are a lot of tips/tricks in case the stem is too long for you. Again, try a few dry-runs.
Q: How do you clean it?
A: I wipe it down with a paper towel every time I dump it. I also wash it every day in the shower. I boil it at the end of every period to sanitize it. Yes, it will still stain. I personally don't care too much.
Q: Is it safe?
A: Unlike with tampons, there are no reported cases of TSS with menstrual cups. You can leave it inside of you all day. How frequently you need to take it out depends on the amount of your menstrual fluid, and you'll be able to figure out a good frequency after a few tries.
Q: Does it leak?
A: Not for me. If it does, this link has a ton of info on what you can do.
A lot of the menstrual cup companies like to give out info... which may or not may not work for you. This is a great link which has a lot of opinions.
Finally, what I wrote above is purely my own opinion. All women are different and what works for me may or may not work for you. I am not being paid by the Diva Cup to make this post. It is rare for me to find something which I absolutely adore, so I really wanted to share it with you!
Here some other great links which may be of interest to you!
Wardrobe Oxygen (this is one of my most favorite blogs!)