Disclaimer: I am not being compensated for this review – I found a product and fell in love and I’m sharing my experience with you candidly, and DivaCup was nice enough to let me include a giveaway with this post.
I first heard about the DivaCup, a reusable silicone menstrual cup, through a few friends that have used it. I was kind of interested, but unsure because I had no issues with my tampons. Toward the end of my journey with tampons, however, I started to dislike them due to the fact that my lady parts had started to get irritated from the string, and by the end of my period I felt sore feeling inside and out. And pads were out of the question, they gross me out.
I decided to try it in August 2011 and I am so glad I did!
Upon opening the packaging, I was surprised at how big the DivaCup was and I got a bit skeptical. I was also bit nervous to try it out because I had read online that some women had issues learning how to put it in properly, and some said the instructions that came with the DivaCup didn’t clearly explain how to fold it. I read them over, though, and had no issues with insertion – everything was 100% clear to me. I even found that I didn’t have to perform the second step (once inserted, rotate the DivaCup 360 degrees to ensure a tight seal) because once the DivaCup expanded, it was perfect.
To remove the DivaCup, all you have to do is use your vaginal walls to push the DivaCup down, pull gently on the stem, and then pinch the base of the DivaCup to release the seal. Then you just pull it out, keeping it upright so you don’t spill anything (which is very easy to do since it’s pretty tall). Empty the contents into the toilet, wash theDivaCup, and reinsert. If the stem is too long you can trim it a bit, but I have no issues with the size at all. It is definitely easier and cleaner than removing an Instead Cup, which tends to spill during removal in my experience.
The company also has a specially made cleaner called DivaWash that you can purchase (about $10.00 for a 6 oz. bottle), or you can use a natural, non-fragrance soap and water. I really like the DivaWash, though, because it’s made specifically for this product. If you do have to change it on the go, the instructions are to empty it in the toilet and use toilet paper to clean it up, re-insert, and clean better when you’re in a position to. If I’m at home, a good rinsing is fine and I don’t need to use the DivaWash every time I empty it.
Once inserted you don’t feel anything – even more so than with a tampon. And the DivaCup is literally so big that unless you’re dealing with a super heavy flow, you only have to change it in the morning and at night, in the comfort of your own home. The DivaCup holds one ounce (30 ml). The entire average monthly flow is around 3 to 4 ounces (90-120 ml), and the company says that once in the morning and once in the night is the average, which I found to be true for me. The most I’ve filled it with a heavy flow is 1/2 – 3/4, and I’ve never had an instance of it leaking. I don’t worry about it during the day at all – love it!
There is no issue at all with physical activity either. I’ve run, done Insanity and other intense cardio workouts with no leaking, no movement of the cup at all.
When your period is done, you clean the DivaCup thoroughly and store in the cute cotton pouch that comes with it until your next cycle. I read that one woman bought two so she could have one at home and one with her in her purse, and you can put it in the day your period is expected to avoid any mishaps.
I’ve been using the DivaCup since August 2011, and I can safely say that I will never use anything else. It is super easy to use and not a mess at all – another one of my worries going in. I can’t feel a thing, there’s no irritation, and you don’t have to worry about concealing tampons for changes throughout the day. One of my favorite things is that there’s no disgusting garbage to clean up later. I was always very clean when it came to disposing of my tampons, but there was always a lingering smell and I ended up emptying the garbage just so I didn’t have to worry about it (or have my husband deal with it). I used to buy tampons in bulk when they were on sale – after a month with the DivaCup, I sold all of them to my sister and I haven’t thought about them since!
I also like the green benefits of the DivaCup:
“Women, on average, experience a lifetime menstruation span of 41 years (11-52). From use of disposable feminine hygiene, an estimated 12 billion sanitary pads and 7 billion tampons are dumped into the North American environment each year (1998). More than 170,000 tampon applicators were collected along U.S. coastal areas between 1998 and 1999. Our revolutionary, reusable product is a modern, viable alternative to disposable tampons and pads.
“Do your own math…Multiply the number of pads/tampons you use each month by twelve. Then, multiply that figure by 41 years – the average woman’s menstruation span. For argument’s sake, let’s pick the figure of 4 tampons/pads per day, for 5 days. That’s 20 disposable products per cycle. Twelve cycles per year equals 240 tampons/pads per year. Okay, now if you menstruate for 41 years…that’s close to 10,000 tampons/pads you’ll use in your lifetime! Using The DivaCup eliminates almost all of this waste. That’s something you can feel good about – even when you’re crampy and moody.
“Most tampons and pads contain surfactants, adhesives and additives. To us, that sounds like a bunch of stuff you don’t want near – or inside! – your body. In addition, most pads contain polyethylene plastic whose production is a pollutant. Also, dioxin, a known carcinogen, is a by-product of the bleaching process of tampons containing rayon. In landfills, many of these substances can leach into the environment (groundwater, streams and lakes) causing serious pollution and health concerns.” (Source)
I did my own math to see if this was true. The Playtex brand tampons I was using is $6.99 for 36 count from Target – I use about 10-12 tampons per period so let’s say that box lasts three periods and then I need to buy another. That comes out to about $30.00 a year for tampons. I bought my DivaCup in 2011 for $27.09 on Amazon.com and I also bought a DivaWash for $10.99 – so a $38.08 investment. I also had to buy a second DivaCup in 2012 because my cat decided to use it as a chew toy after I left it out drying after washing, so I’ve spent $65.17 total. If I were using tampons, I would have spent $120.00 on tampons since I’ve switched, so I’ve cut my cost in half so far, plus imagine all of the trash waste I’ve saved!
My second DivaCup purchased in 2012 is still going strong, and I’m just about to the point where I’ll need to get another bottle of the DivaWash. I only use a little drop when I clean my cup so it’s really lasted a long time.
The DivaCup comes in two sizes: Model 1 is for women under 30 years old who have never delivered vaginally or by caesarean section, and Model 2 is for women over 30 years old and/or for women who have delivered vaginally or by caesarean section. The DivaCup averages about $20.00-$30.00, and the DivaWash sells for about $10.00 for a 6 oz. bottle. You can find both online (I bought mine from Amazon.com) and the company offers a store locator on their website if you’d rather purchase locally.