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Thinking Outside the (Tampon) Box

With all the recent interest in becoming more eco-conscious, I’ve found myself learning about all sorts of new ways to start living the green life, which is how I was reminded of the DivaCup. It's a a contemporary and environmentally-friendly menstrual cup that's made from silicone. As an alternative to tampons and pads, the DivaCup collects the menstrual flow as opposed to absorbing it. To find out more about its similarities and differences from tampons and pads,


  • The DivaCup is inserted into the vagina, with the rim of the cup cradling the cervix similar to a diaphragm.
  • It should be removed and emptied typically two to three times in a 24-hour period, which for many women is less than with tampons or pads.
  • However, it must also be cleaned with hot, soapy water. Of course, emptying it and cleaning isn't something most of us want to be managing in the work bathroom, but in those cases, it's safe to wipe it down temporarily, until you're able to wash it at home.
  • Just like with tampons, once it's properly inserted you should not be able to feel it and there are no restrictions when it comes to activities.
  • It can be worn in conjunction with the NuvaRing, but it should not be worn during sexual intercourse and does not act as a contraceptive.

Though menstrual cups can seem a little, well, gross, I do like the idea of an eco-friendly alternative to pads and tampons. Like birth control, feminine hygiene is all about finding the product that works for you, so it's important to be knowledgeable of all the choices available.

Join The Conversation
Kimpossible Kimpossible 9 years
I was so disappointed tonight. I went to Whole Foods for a few items and they don't carry the Diva Cup (I even asked a clerk, she said they don't carry it yet :-( ) I really wanted to try this and my cycle is starting like tomorrow or the day after lol. I'll just have to order one and try it for next month.
jillerin457 jillerin457 9 years
To the commenter who asked about donating tampons: YES!!!! Please do this! Women's shelters and teen/young adult group homes can always use them. I can't believe no one has mentioned this yet! And like another person said, this Diva Cup thing sounds great and all, but even better is never having a period - thanks Nuvaring!
pinkerbell03 pinkerbell03 9 years
It can leak, just like a tampon. But if you insert it correctly, and make sure it's sealed, you will not have any leaks. When I was using tampons, I had leaks w/ every single one I used, so I'm actually having less leaks now.
missbanana missbanana 9 years
wait. it can spill in your pants? like it can accidently leak out? thats scary! :(
geoniff geoniff 9 years
I really like my Diva Cup. In fact, I have two (because I thought that I lost the first one). It comes in two sizes: 30 years old or younger and pre-child birth OR 30 years old and older or post-child birth. I find that it is easy to insert, though I did have difficulties when I first started using it. It is inserted by folding twice, inserting into your vagina where it should pop open (maybe slowly) then rotate it once or twice, it shouldn't extend beyond your labia. I really like using the Diva cup because: it reduces landfill wastes, I can't feel it when it is in, it rarely leaks, I can wear it for 8 hours or more and not have to think about it, it is cheaper than buying pads or tampons (though I still buy panty liners) and I can wear it swimming or any other physical activity without worries. It is easy to clean (boil for 5 mins) which I do once a cycle. I don't have to carry extra pads or tampons. Check out the website I wish that I had known about this a lot sooner because the cup is so much more hassle-free than pads or tampons. This might be TMI, but I have two cervix (cervices) and I use the Diva Cup without any problems. I highly recommend that you try it.
pinkerbell03 pinkerbell03 9 years
brittanyk- I don't know where you read that it only last 2-3 hours, that is incorrect. You should empty it 2-3 times in a 24 hour period. On my lighter flow days, I empty it when I get up in the morning, and then again before I go to bed. A lot of women wear a pad when they're first starting out, so if it doesn't seal properly, at least you're not staining underwear. sweetkisses- Um, I don't think I'll ever get used to the netti pot!! This is so incredibly different, you can't even compare. It's worth a try, if you try it and don't like it, the Diva people will refund your money. lilwildone- it would definitely help your budget! You would never have to buy tampons again...EVER. And about the soap, I would NEVER use anti-bacterial soap. Yuck. I have a Dove bar at my bathroom sink, works just fine. I used to get yeast infections after every period. Haven't had one since I started using the Diva Cup.
Calimaryn Calimaryn 9 years
Sorry! I missed a few responses. MissBanana, You do not feel the cup or the fluid it holds when it is inside you. When the cup gets full it does sit lower and is more obvious but when it is empty or barely filled it is unnoticeable. Exercising doesn't bother the fluid or me. Though like anything you should not do inverted yoga poses while menstruating. Isabella531, Yes you can use it with an IUD, check out that Livejournal community or the Diva site for information. Brittanyk, Cups hold 1 ounce of blood. This gives you a very accurate picture of what your body is doing during your period. Though, if your flow is very heavy you will empty it more throughout the day. But you would also be doing the same thing with tampons or pads! If you have a light flow you don't need to empty it out that often.
Calimaryn Calimaryn 9 years
I have used a Keeper menstrual cup for eight years. It can be intimidating if you are embarrassed about your body or your own bodily functions but once you break through that it is the best product available. If I recall correctly the Keeper has been around for 50 years! Imagine for a moment you are planning a trip. The day before you leave you start your period. Now you have to pack tampons and pads into your already full suitcase! With a menstrual cup you might want to bring along a few pads or panty liners but thats it. No more going to the store and spending $5 a box for 20 tampons. No more bloody waste in your bathroom trash. No more carrying that little pouch full of supplies from your desk at work to the ladies room. When I need to change my cup, which is frequently as I am a very heavy bleeder, I simply need a few paper towels with me in the stall at work. Since you are already sitting you just reach in, break the seal by pinching the end, pull it down / out and when it is clear of your body you simply turn it upside down to empty it. You are not balancing it on your nose, just removing it and dumping it in an easy smooth step. It can be hard to insert but it is soft malleable silicone or latex and can be folded easily and conforms to your body. Lubrication helps with insertion, either water or something water based. You can also leave it in during light flow days for twelve plus hours with no risk of TSS. I bought my Keeper 8 years ago for $28.00 online, with shipping! This has saved me so much money, so much waste and not to mention embarrassment. A menstrual cup is an awesome product. Sure you can spill it on your pants, but tampons and even overfull pads can too! So give it a try, find out if it works for you.
brittanyk brittanyk 9 years
I don't think I could use this. I'd be too paranoid. I also don't like that it only lasts for 2-3 hrs.
isabella531 isabella531 9 years
ok i don't know if this has been covered or not but can you use the Diva Cup if you have an IUD, because i don't think that you can. TIA! other than that it seems like a really smart idea.
SweetKisses103 SweetKisses103 9 years
I'm still skeptical.. Everyone said that I would get used to the Neti Pot but I still haven't managed that one. :) I'm all for saving the enviornment but I think I'll wait on this for now.
Kristinh1012 Kristinh1012 9 years
MISS JAX........THANK YOOUUUUU........... I was reading down really fast just skimming over the responses to see if I was the ONLY ONE who read that.....I don't even know what to say!!!!!!!!
amybdk amybdk 9 years
Have had a Keeper for years... LOVE it. I convinced 3 of my girlfriends to give it a try, also fans!
lilwildone1202 lilwildone1202 9 years
i dont know... im not compeltly against it-- actually i was scared of tampons for the longest time until finally i was going on vacation with a boyfriend was like meh ill need an alternative to pads. would be a little concerned having my finace walk in on me cleaning it-- he gets grossed out by pads and tampons to start with. would consider it--but am not running out to go get one now. maybe in the future.. on the pill-- know exactly when my period is coming...and only use about 7-8 tampons (hmm does that seem right... usually i only have my period for about 3 days...) so i dunno if this would hurt or help my budget (i know i know it would help the envoironment)
missbanana missbanana 9 years
did my comment get flagged? i was asking if the fluid would swish around when doing exercises... or is it made so that the it doesnt touch you? that was my concern... because i am interested but im still trying to grasp the idea
ErieIndiana ErieIndiana 9 years
Oops, no last 3, that was the question I was answering.
ErieIndiana ErieIndiana 9 years
The one thing I disagree with on the video is the use of anti-bacterial soap. That is a NO NO. That could do harmful things to your body BIG time. You should use a mild soap a la Dove like doctors do. To answer previous questions: 1)You pull on the stem, pinching the base and pressing down with your PC muscles. Super easy. 2)I still wear a liner on the first 2 days of my period sometimes and especially if I think that I didn't seal it correctly and I don't have time to re-do it. 3)You can clean it just fine by wiping the inside (and out if you want) with tissue paper and re-instert it while in a stall. Just wash it the next time you can. I take mine out 2 times a day (morning before work, night before bedtime) so I have no need to change it out at work. 3) If you have to empty it every so often, you can just wipe it clean right? Like I wouldn't have to take mine to the sink at work to rinse it out right?
hightechlipgloss hightechlipgloss 9 years
I totally agree with reeeka. i love the idea and after reading comments, i am more for it, although, i am curious as how you empty it...
reeeeka reeeeka 9 years
youtube has great videos on it...I found one in particular.
snowysakurasky snowysakurasky 9 years
I can't believe how many people are weirded out by this! I have this , haven't used it in a year as i was pregnant and am now breastfeeding. My first 2-3 months with it were tough (getting the position right, and taking it out can be quite tricky) but it got easier. my man thinks the idea of it is gross for some reason. i think a lot of people need to get over their weird fears of blood and stuff! Another thing which was great about this that i didn't anticipate was the freedom from packing pads/tampons, buying pads/tampons, pad garbage, pad/tampon packaging garbage. So aside from its financial and environmental benefits, this is a product that will help you simplify your life
reeeeka reeeeka 9 years
It seems a little odd...I can't figure out how you'd get a cup of blood out of your vag without spilling it on the way out!...Is there anywhere online that you can get an animated example of how to put it in and take it out? I've thought about it but it seems to awkward especially if you have to empty it at work...ARGH
czyblonde czyblonde 9 years
At first I went...ewwww. Gross! But then I started reading comments and I think I would try it. I might be a little squeamish about "dumping" it out. But who knows. Tampons are sometimes super painful depending if your flow has suddenly lightened. Anyone know any websites? How much do they cost?
Kimpossible Kimpossible 9 years
I've heard of these before, considered trying them but decided not too (out of fear I'm sure lol)... but I'm going to go ahead and try a Diva Cup. Thanks to all who provided more info.
Lambsauce Lambsauce 9 years
I guess the only way it would be more "gross" than tampons is because it's reuseable... but I honestly don't even see the problem with that, it's easy enough to sterilize... 10 minutes in boiling water (some people add vinegar... the LiveJournal community pinkerbell linked to, , has a HUGE wealth on cups, everything from different methods of insertion, which is what she linked to, to different ways you can clean it) is how I usually do it, and I haven't gotten sick at all after 2 years of use :) There are different types of cups out there... if I recall correctly, each cup has a somewhat different shape, so a different one than the Diva might work best for you. I strongly suggest you check out that LiveJournal community if you're interested! The cup sits really low, so it won't get lost (it almost pokes out--the stem sometimes actually does poke out, which is usually what causes the discomfort; I found that just rounding the edges of the stem worked beautifully), and because it sits so low, it's easy to get out. You just have to push a little bit. As for leakage... I'm just reiterating what's already been said, but the cup works through suction, so it really should not leak unless that suction breaks. Which, believe me, is REALLY noticeable!
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