A sustainable alternative to tampons.
1. Environmentally friendly compared to pads and tampons. There is nothing to throw away, and the minuscule amount of warm soap and water needed to clean it doesn’t even come close to matching the environmental impact of the waste produced by pads and tampons.
3. More sanitary than pads and tampons. No matter how advanced the dry-weave technology, you are still sitting on flow when you use pads. And the risk of TSS is always there with a tampon. Add to that the harmful health and environmental effects of the by-product dioxin, and really, no one should ever use a tampon. It used to be the only option, so I would just shrug and say, “oh, well.”
4. Less icky than pads and tampons. Yes, you have to empty the little cup a few times a day, but consider these differences: you are changing it two or three times a day, compared to six or more for pads and tampons; there is no icky waste in terms of wrapped-up pads and tampon applicators, which builds up in your bathroom and any male partners or guests do not have to deal with wrappers, waste, and odour.
5. You never need to worry about running out. It’s small enough to sneak into a purse or bag, so you will no longer need to pack the little bag of “just in case” supplies on every trip like I do. My cycle is a bit irregular so always having something on hand is a must. It’s a real space-saver.
6. Comfortable. Here its main advantage is over the pad. It fits so well and is so pliable that I do not feel it at all. I do not think about it, wonder if it’s in the right position, or have to check to make sure it’s not leaking.
7. Facilitates understanding your cycle and body in a way that is not possible with pads and tampons. The cup has marks so that you can measure how much flow you’ve had on a given day. It’s also necessary to understand how your particular body is shaped and put together down there in order to use it, and learning how to use it helps teach you. Your period is only the shed uterus lining telling you that you are not pregnant this month. The blood is what a baby survives on inside you – it is not horrible, dirty or yucky, it’s just your body telling you no baby this time!!!!! We need to learn to love ourselves – women’s bodies are amazing. Your period is where new life begins. Celebrate it.
8. You can use it when you don’t have your period. That means if you are expecting your period you can have it in already and not have to worry about soiled clothing. Tampons are a bitch when you don’t have anything going on in there. Also, if your period tends to have a long taper-off or may stop for a day and start again, like mine does, you can use it after you think you’re done just in case. The D.C. is perfect for this function. Also, if you’re monitoring the amount and consistency of your discharge for fertility-tracking reasons, it will collect and measure your output just like it does your menstrual flow.
9. You can do your other bathroom business with it in. You don’t have to endure a wet tampon string. I was initially uncomfortable with bowel movements because I thought I might push it out. It does move with your body a little bit, but if you’re pushing hard enough to push it out, you are pushing WAY too hard and are in for some nasty hemorrhoids. I got used to it—not a big deal after a day or two.
10. Nothing goes past your cervix. You don’t disrupt the controlled environment of your uterus and you don’t have to worry about anything getting stuck or lost.
11. You can do all the activities possible with a tampon (swimming, sports, etc.) without any of the waste or risks. You can also go longer, so an all-day hike during your period is possible and you don’t have to carry your pads or tampon waste around with you or tie it up in tree when camping.
1. There is a learning curve with insertion and removal. Fortunately, the instructions are very clear and the material is soft and smooth. It took me a day to get a hang of it, and another two days or so to become proficient enough that it wasn’t a hassle. By next cycle I’ll be an old pro.
2. If you insert it incorrectly you could have leaks. This only happened to me once. I’m pretty sure it’s because the cup didn’t open. Now I know how it feels when it opens so I don’t have any more leaks.
3. Logistics. When you change the cup, it’s nice to wash it out with warm water. Easy if you have a sink within reach of the toilet, so I can just twist around to wash it. But it’s a bit tricky if you have to get off the toilet to get to the sink. Work around this by taking a bottle of water into the bathroom with you. Or the worst case scenario when you are out, empty carefully, use toilet paper to tidy up and reinsert. You should be able to go for a lot longer with the cup than with a tampon and you will be able to organise your ‘warm water’ emptying to suit ie: When you get home.
1. While you’re learning, keep a few pads on hand to use at the same time just in case the cup doesn’t open and you have a leak. You shouldn’t have to do this for more than a day or two. You’ll know when you can stop.
2. Have a few tampons on hand for heavy-flow days (at the beginning) just until you get used to it.
3. When removing, you may have to bear down a lot more than you originally appreciated. Don’t be afraid to push. It’s not painful and it helps enormously with removal. It is uncomfortable to have to stick your fingers way up there and pushing makes it easy.
4. If you’re worried about it not opening, try this little trick: when it is halfway in, give it a little turn. It should pop open and then you can push it a little farther into place.
5. On my super-heavy days, I ended up changing it every five hours instead of the 8-10 on normal days. If you know you’re heavy check it a little more often, just like with any other product. I find that a full cup feels a bit heavy. Fortunately the shortest amount of time I have to go with the Diva Cup on a heavy day is the absolute longest I can go on a medium or light day with a tampon. It’s worth it.