Thanks to Twitter, I know that it's International Women's Day. It's also that time of the month for me. I considered these two facts good enough reasoning for a blog post to rave about menstrual cups. Ever since I bought my Diva Cup about four years ago now, I feel like I've been a walking, talking advertisement for anyone who shows the slightest bit of interest.
First of all, just in case you don't know what a menstrual cup is, it is an alternative to tampons and pads. The one I have is pictured here but they come in similar styles from other brands and also come in disposable form. Although, the disposable ones defeat any green purpose you might be going for with the cup. Since Diva Cups are reusable, there's no waste and that was one major selling point for me. I'm not incredibly earth friendly at all times but I do like when there's a convenient green alternative to a more wasteful practice.
Is anyone still with me at this point? I hope so.
I know that menstrual cups may not be for everyone. I remember sitting in my dorm cafeteria having dinner with some friends when one of said friends decided to throw out the fact that I use a Diva Cup (the topic came up somehow) and the girl we were sitting with wasn't bothered that we were talking about it while we were eating but she was bothered by the thought of having to deal with the cleaning the cup, etc. And I get that, but it's not an issue for me.
The cup itself is made of medical grade silicone and can be boiled for cleaning purposes or simply using soap and water will do the trick. I use soap and water on a day to day basis and then the boiling method at the end of each period. This makes the most sense to me as far as cleaning goes.
I never have leakage issues and you can leave them in while you sleep. You can leave them in for up to 12 hours and I find this to be a huge selling point as well. I don't like to have to think about my damn period for any more time than necessary. I pop this baby in and I don't have to think about it, worry about it or deal with it for up to 12 hours. Nice. If you have a heavier flow, obviously this may not be the case for you.
The Diva Cup comes in two sizes--one for women who are under 30 and have not had children and one for women who have either had children or are over 30 years of age. Diva Cup says this:
We recommend Model 2 if you are 30 or over 30 years old, because as we age, our hips naturally widen and the vaginal muscles lose elasticity. Because the vaginal muscles hold The DivaCup in place, it is important to use Model 2 if you are over 30, even if you have not had childbirth.One time my cup did get stuck. I guess it rode up too far and I had a hell of a time getting it out... I actually considered getting the boyfriend involved but I ended up getting it out. That only happened one time but I felt it warranted a mentioning, if only so you can laugh at me.
So to wrap this up....
- Environmentally friendlier than tampons or pads
- Can leave it in for up to 12 hours, including overnight
- Easy to insert (it does take getting use to at first, I remember)
- Can be boiled for cleaning purposes
- One time buy
- If you do have to change it in public, that can be a pain but Diva Cup says most women only need to change it twice a day.
- Has the potential to be messy if you aren't careful
If you do have to empty the cup while in public, lots of women have said that carrying wipes in their bag was useful in a quick cleaning (because let's face it, you're not going to want to be standing in a public bathroom at the sink washing your menstrual cup).
Hope this post was helpful. Diva Cups are available online from Drugstore.com for 32.49 (seem to be on sale right now, not sure that's the normal price on there) Lunapads.com for $39.50. Canadians can get them from Well.ca.
If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment and I'll answer to the best of my ability. I've been using this guy for years now so I know the ins and outs.