This post is part of my series, “Kickin’ It Old Skool: Why and How We Are Old-Fashioned” or KIOS for short. If you’re new to the series, please read my disclaimer before continuing on. I’m keeping a table of contents to this series here so you can see what I’ve already written about and what more there is to come.
Today, I’m featuring two guest posts written by friends of mine who both love using the DivaCup, which is a reusable alternative for tampons. I haven’t used the DivaCup myself and I wanted to give you their perspective about a reusable option other than cloth pads. They’ve both written fairly extensive posts so I’m going to publish them in two parts.
Many thanks to them both for taking the time to write their thoughts for us!
Here’s the second one, from Katie:
OK, ladies, some of you may be a little squeamish talking about something this personal, but I’m a nurse so talking about personal things is my job!
Onto the merits of the DivaCup…
If you’ve never heard of it, the DivaCup is a silicone menstrual cup; it is a cone-shaped device that sits in the vagina and replaces pads or tampons. It is reusable – you simply remove it, empty the contents into the toilet, rinse it out, and replace it. It is meant to be worn only during your period and should be emptied every 12 hours.
Before I move on to the reasons I love it, some of you may be reacting to the thought of a reusable menstrual device. The idea has actually been around since the 1920’s, but women’s hygiene products became disposable with everything else in the mid-century. I promise it’s not as gross as it sounds.
Reasons I love it:
- It’s good for the environment – I love the fact I’m not sending mounds of used tampons to the dump any more.
- It’s good for your body – pads and tampons are full of scents, weird fibers, and other synthetic things that are no bueno for your body. The DivaCup is made of medical grade silicon and the chances of your body reacting to it are much less than with tampons.
- It’s good for your budget – you can buy a DivaCup on Amazon for $30 and it’s recommended you replace it every year or so. Much cheaper than disposable products!
- I never have to worry about remembering to bring tampons with me. It always used to be a worry – do I have tampons, do I have enough tampons etc…since the DivaCup is attached to your body, it’s impossible to forget.
- You can measure your menstrual flow – the cup has milliliter markings so you can get an accurate measure. This is important especially if your flow is heavy. Normal flow is 30-40ml (around 1 oz.), and this offers a way to know where you stand. Heavy flow puts a woman at risk for iron deficiency and anemia so this is valuable information. Tampons and pads can’t offer a reliable estimation of flow because there are so many different absorbencies and sizes.
- It doesn’t leak and you can go much longer in-between changes than with pads/tampons. If you have a normal flow, you will not need to empty the DivaCup more than once every 12 hours. If your flow is heavy, you may need to empty it one additional time during the day.
- It doesn’t smell! Nuf’ said!
- You may be wondering if it’s sanitary. Besides rinsing it when emptying, the company recommends boiling it at the end of every period to sanitize it fully. They also sell special soap if you really feel like you want more than water to rinse it off. You can’t use regular soap because it will break down the silicone.
- You may be wondering if it’s comfortable. When worn properly, you don’t even realize it’s there. I would compare it to the feeling of wearing a tampon.
- You may be wondering if it will disrupt the hymen (i.e. you are a virgin). I was a virgin when I started using the DivaCup, and it was a bit painful to put in and take out the first 2-3 times. It didn’t hurt at all once it was in, and after the first couple times, it was no biggie. According to the company it is safe for women of all ages to wear and will not completely disrupt the hymen. You can’t use lubricant to put it in or take it out because lubricant will break down the silicone.
- You may be wondering what you do if you are not near a sink and you need to empty it (e.g. a public bathroom with stalls). In this case you can empty it and replace it without rinsing. Just rinse the next time you empty. (Awful story: I once was emptying my DivaCup in a public restroom so I didn’t have access to a sink, and I accidentally dropped the DivaCup IN THE TOILET! I am now very careful to not drop it in the toilet!)
I think that’s the end of the DivaCup love manifesto. If you want to know more you can visit the website: www.divacup.com. You can buy them on Amazon or at Whole Foods, but they are less expensive on Amazon.