The Diva Cup – Ditch The Tampons!!
I’m shocked that I didn’t hear about The Diva Cup (or other menstrual cup) sooner than I did! It was actually thanks to The Polivka Family that I first saw it mentioned, had no idea what it was and was quite surprised to learn about it. I had been more and more concerned about what I was possibly being exposed to with the personal hygiene products I’d been using – conventional tampons and pads. The organic tampons and pads just did not work well for me and were QUITE expensive. I picked a Diva Cup up the next time I was at the health food store.
What is a Diva Cup / Menstrual Cup?
I had a lot of mixed emotions even purchasing this thing much less using it for the first time. Like the name says, it is shaped rather like a cup, a foldable, squeezable, cup-like, BPA free, medical grade silicone. The Diva Cup comes in two sizes. Model 1 is for women under the age of thirty who have not delivered a child. Model 2 is for women over 30 who have delivered a child, whether vaginally or by C-section. I decided to not overthink it and actually just simply follow their instructions. Rather than opting for tampons and pads containing chemicals, bleaches, fragrances, etc, the cup catches everything. You can still use the bathroom regularly with the cup inserted and only empty as you need to. For most people, this is apparently 2-3 times daily. For me that was not the case but I’ll get there!
The Diva Cup’s F.A.Q. section didn’t address anything that calmed my anxiety as to whether Model 2 was made for women under the assumption that those women are still having the sexual relations that led to the ensuing childbirth or not, if that mattered whatsoever, etc. Thankfully, despite that, their instructions were very clear and precise. This made it less intimidating than it would have been otherwise. When you fold it, as instructed to insert it, it is not much larger than a super size tampon. I found it to be much more comfortable!
I typically have a lot of back pain and…. crotch pain….lol….for the first day or two of my period if I’m using a tampon. I usually bleed too heavy to go without a tampon AND pad for those first few days. It doesn’t seem possible but having the cup in is really not that noticeable, as in you don’t really feel it when it’s in there correctly. No leakage, not a lot of mess. Pretty impressive!!
Day two was not quite as easy breezy. Day one went sosmoothly that I didn’t bother with a pad or anything as I normally would until I noticed some leakage. Not a lot but some. By that evening I had emptied the thing, which was very full, 4 different times and it had still been leaking. I was tired of worrying about it and admittedly reverted to the newly bought organic tampons I’d purchased prior to the Diva Cup. They really didn’t last long and, more determined than ever to make this Diva Cup work, I tried again. I thought I remembered reading that it should be enough to hold the majority of what is released during an average woman’s entire menstrual cycle but figured I must have read it wrong. Overnight it had apparently filled again, so good thing I was opting for wearing a pad too at this point.
It’s actually the end of day three as I write this. I just finished emptying it for the….3rd or 4th time? When I got home today I went back to the instructions to review what I’d read about how much bleeding is normal. Here is what it says about how often it is necessary to empty The Diva Cup –
The Diva Cup conveniently holds one ounce (30ml).
The entire average monthly flow
is approximately 1 – 1.4 ounces (30-40 ml).
To say the least, this experience has opened my eyes to one possible reason I have been low on iron in the past. I do believe I’ll be increasing my dosage of Spirulina, yet again! From what I’ve researched, losing 80 ml + of blood during menstruation qualifies as menorrhagia – abnormally heavy periods. Mine has far exceeded that and I will be looking into the issue further. From what I have looked into, it seems that my leakage issues are due to this issue. Even with, especially with, women who have heavier periods, this product is popular because it allows them to have more time between “maintenance” times.
Reasons to Avoid Tampons
Although the amount of dioxins in tampons is reported to be quite small, I personally would feel more comfortable not inserting products containing it into my body when I read things like this –
Recent research on monkeys has linked dioxin exposure
with increased risks for developing endometriosis,
a painful disease (that) frequently leads to infertility.
One study found that 80% of the monkeys
exposed to dioxin developed endometriosis.
Two of the monkeys in the study died of endometriosis.
Yes, the FDA requires tampon manufacturers to monitor dioxin levels in their products. No, they are not required to make those results available to the public. Yes, studies still show detectable levels of dioxin in tampons, even those that are 100% cotton.
In this previously cited article, Dr. Philip Tierno explains that –
…even trace amounts of dioxin are cause for concern
because tampons come in contact with
some of the most absorbent tissue in the body.
The effects of dioxin are cumulative
and can be measured 20-30 years after exposure.
The average woman may use as many as
16,800 tampons in her lifetime.
To Sum It Up…
The Positive –
A Diva Cup / Menstrual Cup can save you money and reduce your exposure to harmful ingredients that are in most tampons and pads. It definitely reduces the frequency of your required “maintenance.” That, in turn, results in less trash bags used too! Always a plus! It is comfortable while inserted and does not dry you out. I will say that after I used the tampon it was harder to get the cup to fit correctly for the next couple times. A Diva Cup / Menstrual Cup reduces waste and gives you a better understanding of your body, if you’re losing the right amount of blood or not, and so on.
The Negative -
A Diva Cup / Menstrual Cup, at least for me, is still a bit tricky on getting out comfortably, but for being three days into it, I’m not too concerned. It’s definitely been worth it and I will continue to use it! That’s really the only negative I’ve got on it!
I just wanted to share in case any of you, like me until recently, had not heard of this and might benefit from knowing about it!
Thanks for reading!
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