In my opinion, using tampons is the equivalent of using paper plates. Why continue to spend money and waste resources on paper products when you can purchase one item that will last so much longer? I enjoy being “green,” but beyond that, I thrive on being thrifty. I would guess that the Diva Cup, which cost me about $45, has saved me over $60 in the last 18 months. And there's no end in site! The makers of the Diva Cup recommend that it is replaced after one year, but then they go on to say that if it is cleansed properly, appears to have no defects, and causes no irritation, the consumer can decide when to replace it. I've read of women using the same cup for years without a problem.
The website for the Diva Cup has a great FAQ section, telling you about which of the two sizes you should choose, how the cup is inserted, how and when you remove it, etc. Having read through all of that before I made my purchase, I can tell you that you really do need to just go for it and give it a try. You will learn along the way. You may need to wear a liner for the first couple cycles, just to make sure you don't leak while getting used to the way your body works with the Diva Cup. But once you figure it out, you'll be so glad you did!
Beyond being thrifty and green, it's much easier to be out when you have your period and never worry about running out of “supplies.” It also has a larger capacity than tampons and can safely stay in place for 12 hours, so it is much more convenient. (There are tips in the FAQ section that go into more detail about using the Diva Cup while out and about.)
The rest of my review gets kind of messy. So if you're really not feeling like the Diva Cup is for you, you should probably stop reading now.
Or if you don't want to read about a woman's body or menstruation, well, make the first available U-Turn and get out of here!
If you don't even like the word “tampon”... Please stop now.
This is your last warning. It gets personal after this. And messy.
The Diva Cup does affect your other body functions. The cup sits against the urethra and often slows down the flow when I need to urinate. It also sits against the rectum, and occasionally I will feel the need to have a bowel movement immediately after inserting the Diva Cup.
To make sure the cup is properly in place and to remove the cup, you will get your hands messy. If you are not comfortable putting your fingers on or in your vagina then you will not feel comfortable using the Diva Cup. I went from using o.b. Tampons (less waste than the typical tampon) to the Diva Cup, so I was a great candidate to use it!
When it is properly in place, I cannot feel the cup. If I can feel it, it means that it isn't secure and I'll probably end up leaking. So I go back and fix it. The best way to test it is to put it in and then push as hard as you can, as if you were having a bowel movement. It should be fully ballooned out and stay inside you. If it is not, you'll need to try again. My technique is to fold it into a U-shape, as described on the FAQ page, partially insert it and then let it open and fill with air. I push it the rest of the way in and push on the side of the cup to let a little air out. This way I know that it has properly ballooned out. When pushed by your vaginal muscles, it should stay resting against the lip of your vagina. If it doesn't, just push it in a little further and give it a twirl around. It should settle into its spot nicely.
Now when I see women buying tampons in stores and I feel kind of sorry for them. I can't really just walk up to them and start telling them about the Diva Cup. But I'm so glad to be able to tell you!
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While you're greening your period, head over to my review and giveaway of the GEM Cloth reusable menstrual pads for mama!
The manufacturer of the Diva Cup has graciously offered to send a Diva Cup to someone in the Green Grandma community who would like to give it a try after reading Wanda's review. I will have a drawing (using Random.org) on Monday, January 24. All you have to do to be entered in the drawing is post a comment below indicating that you would like to give the Diva Cup a try. No hoops to jump through here...just post a comment! Of course, it would be nice if you became a follower of the blog and/or a fan of the Facebook page : )
To read more about Wanda, visit her blog Wanda Whoopie Cushion