When my friend first told me about the Diva Cup, I was NOT down. My first reaction was, Ewww, gross! followed by, It just stays stuck up there all day? This coming from a girl who refuses to use tampons after a slightly traumatic experience where one got lost and I had to send my doctor on a rescue mission to retrieve it. That combined with the (maybe illogical, but no less real) fear of Toxic Shock Syndrome (apparently it’s super rare and unlikely but still freaks me out!) made me a pad-only perioder.
But let’s be honest. Pads suck. They smell, they have to be changed what seems like every 10 minutes some days, and no matter how thin they are, they still feel like a diaper. Isn’t it so cute when you’re cuddling up to your man at night and he goes to playfully grab your butt, only to feel like he’s patting a baby on the bum instead? Even the coolest of dudes don’t find this sexy. Tampons are no better. TSS and the risk of them getting lost at sea aside, tampons are terrible for leaks. I’ve ruined some of my favourite pairs of underwear due to unexpected leakage because no matter how much you might try to keep track of your flow, at times it’s damn near impossible to be able to tell how frequently you will need a change.
Pads and tampons are like toilet paper”you don’t wanna cheap out on the stuff, but when we’re talking about a monthly occurrence that stays with us for days on end, it really starts to add up. Waiting until your favourite brand goes on sale so you can stock up isn’t exactly practical.
And of course, those horrible moments when you’re out in public and you feel that familiar drip only to realize you don’t have a pad or tampon in your purse. Especially when you don’t know anyone around you, having that Do you have a pad/tampon? conversation with strangers can get kinda awkward. Just hope there’s a vending machine in the bathroom and that you have a quarter.
The Diva Cup solves all these problems and more. It wasn’t until I started planning an extended backpacking trip through Southeast Asia that I reconsidered. All my research told me that finding (decent) pads/tampons in many of these third world countries would be difficult and expensive. Money is a prime concern on this type of trip so I wanted to be able to save where I can. But I didn’t want to have to carry nine months’ worth of period protection in my bag, since space and weight are also prime concerns, yet also didn’t want to get stuck in a foreign country futilely looking for some Always Pearl. So many female backpacker blogs swore by the Diva Cup that I finally decided to give it a go.
I’ve used it for three cycles now and don’t think I will ever go back. And here are seven reasons why you should consider making the switch too.
1. 12 hours of leak-free protection
So many pad and tampon brands claim leak-free protection but how many of them actually deliver, guaranteed, 100% of the time? NONE. And how many can you wear for up to 12 hours at a time? NONE. If inserted properly (which you get the hang of very quickly), the Diva Cup WILL NOT LEAK. It’s made from soft yet durable silicone that softens with your body heat, so it forms to your body and creates a tight seal that nothing will get past. And you can wear it for up to 12 hours! I literally only have to think about my period twice a day and this cup is so comfortable that if it weren’t for the cramps and crying and craziness, I would totally forget that I’m even on it.
2. You’ll save money
The Diva Cup costs about $40 and if you replace it once a year (although you could technically reuse it for longer at your discretion), you’ll be saving an estimated $100-$150 per year on your period, according to their website. It’s bad enough that we have to pay so much to deal with something that’s naturally occurring (OMG like imagine if they introduced that stupid tampon tax too?!), so saving a few bucks is definitely worth it.
3. You’ll help save the planet
Think of how many millions or perhaps even billions of pads and tampons get thrown into landfills every year. They definitely aren’t reduce-able, reusable, or recyclable so you know they are just sitting there contributing to our declining environment. The Diva Cup will help reduce your ecological footprint so we can get a little closer to saving our beautiful endangered planet.
4. It’s completely safe
A lot of people don’t use tampons because like me, they don’t like the idea of something stuck inside of them all day long. But the Diva Cup differs from tampons in that it carries no risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome. It’s made of natural unpigmented silicone, which is okay to safe to stay in the body for extended periods of time. Think of all those women with fake boobs who have it in them ALL the time”they’re just fine!
5. You won’t stink
I didn’t know this until I was reading on their website but menstrual flow only starts to smell when it’s exposed to air, hence the stank of pads. Since the Cup keeps everything nice and contained inside you, it’s completely odourless so you won’t have to wonder if you smell down there.
6. You’ll never get stuck without protection
Since you can wear it for up to 12 hours without worrying about leaking (it’s big enough to hold even the heaviest of flows), you won’t ever again find yourself in public looking for a fresh pad or tampon. Just remove, rinse, and reinsert. Be sure to wash it once you’re back at home and you’ll be totally fine (they offer Diva Wash for $10 but any natural fragrance-free soap will work). It also comes with a cute little carrying case so you can keep it on you when you know it’s getting close to that time of the month. No more awkward conversations with strangers, yay!
7. You will become more in touch with your body
I had never thought of this before but pads and even tampons are pretty impersonal, which is one thing that the founder of the Diva Cup didn’t like about them. You can’t really tell how much you’re bleeding (it’s wayyyyyy less than you think), which makes it hard to keep track of your period for health purposes. The Diva Cup comes with handy little measurement marks on it so you can easily record your flow patterns if needed. Also, having to insert and remove it will get you more familiar with your friend down south. Your vagina is the pinnacle of your femininity and you shouldn’t be afraid of it. I swear it’s not like a bloody murder scene every time you take the Cup out”it’s designed to keep everything neatly contained. What comes out of your body is natural so don’t think that it’s gross or disgusting! Help end period-shaming! Free the nip! Women’s rights! Girl power!