Review: The Diva Cup

This is an unpaid, unsponsored review of the Diva Cup, a silicone alternative to tampons and pads.

If you are interested in buying the Diva Cup at the end of this post then please consider using the Amazon.com link for the Diva Cup so that I can get a referral commission. Thanks!! :D

Please skip past this post if you are squeamish, not thinking about your period whatsoever because of the pill and/or a man who doesn’t have any interest in feminine problems.

Moving on.

If any of you ladies out there are waffling back and forth between trying it, the short answer is: DO IT.

I bought one when I went back to Ontario and now, I am one of those (annoying, I bet) converts who are here to sing the praises of the Diva Cup.

INITIAL REACTION

When I first bought the thing, I was thinking: How the heck am I going to get it in there?!  

The cup is unusually large at first glance.

Don’t kid yourself, the Size 1 is large, and the Size 2 for women over 30 and/or who have had kids, is even larger.

INSERTION

I bravely soldiered on, bolstered by tweets about how I should trust everyone because it was fabulous. 

I was also repeatedly told to use the strategy of bending it into a U before insertion.

You will read all about how to insert it once you buy it — the directions are pretty clear and quite good, except for the part near the end about not letting the stem stick out?

Okay, seriously how am I supposed to judge the umm.. barrier.. for which the stem should stay flush with?

I am not exactly built like a cut and dry box. There are soft, fleshy bits down there, people!

Ahem.

In general, insertion is easier than removal. The only hard part is where you have to finish off by twisting the cup inside of yourself in a full turn to make sure it’s properly inserted and has a good seal to avoid leakages.

USING IT ON A DAILY BASIS
 

Note: I am on the pill, so my periods are extremely light. We’re talking, STUPID light. 

As for cramps, I have never gotten them past a slight discomfort for about a minute or so. (I know, how did I get so lucky?).

When I was not on the pill before, my periods were truly awful. I had to change my super sized, elephant tranquilizer-like tampon every 2 hours without fail or else I’d be leaking all over the place. It was a pain in the butt and annoying to always be walking around in fear.

10-12 hour duration

I love, love, LOVE that I can wear it up to 10-12 hours without fear of Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS). 

Since my periods are so light, it’s great that I can go so long without having to change or check on it, although to be fair, if they were heavier periods then I’d be changing every 3 hours. But still.


No pain, discomfort or weirdness

It was comfortable. 

I slept with it inside and I almost forgot I had it in until I checked the time. And since it is good for up to 10-12 hours, I slept through the night without having to set my alarm and wake up at the 8 hour mark to go to the bathroom and change. (I am not a pads-wearing kind of girl, it feels too diaper-ish to me).

No leakages

With tampons and pads, you ALWAYS, no matter what, have that sort of sinking feeling: 

@ Work
“Should I go and check? Maybe it soaked on one side and is leaking right into my very expensive pair super cute panties right now and staining it RIGHT NOW!!”…. But why you would wear supercute expensive panties on those days is totally beyond me.

@ Home
Before, I’d always be worried that if I slept in one position or a weird position all night, I’d be soaked on one side, not the other, and would end up leaking ANYWAY, just on the day I happened to forget to sleep on a towel or something.

With this, NO LEAKAGES happened whatsoever (but I wore my black underwear just in case).


REMOVAL

Removal is the weirdest bit of all. 

No little string to just pull, but you have to reach in there (be careful!), grip the stem, feel your way to the base and pull it out slowly, at an angle to remove the suction cup feeling.

While you’re maneuvering all that on heels, you also have to remember to hold the entire cup up right so that it won’t er.. spill its contents all over your nice white pants you have around your ankles.

But once you get past that, empty the contents in the toilet and re-insert, it’s great.

I am wondering how that works when you’re at work or something in a public bathroom. Do you walk out of the stall with a bloody cup and nonchalantly wash it while other women gawk at you?

Anyway. It lasts for 10-12 hours. I’m kosher. But you crimson tide surfers may have to deal with finding a quieter, less crowded bathroom to do the deed.


THE DOLLAR$

It won’t be big savings, but I mean, if you wanted to know.. I did a pretty detailed breakdown, of general prices I am Googling of the same products I used.

Of course, there’s a chance I could have spent less (getting great deals, clipping coupons, using points), but there’s a chance I could have also spent more, just from underestimating how many times I changed a day.
 
What I used to spend on tampons/pads:

Pack of overnight pads: $30.84/year or $123.36 until I’m 30
$5.14 for 14 of them (Drugstore.com), or 2 weeks worth

Pack of all-day liners: $13.64/year or $54.55 until I am 30
$6.49 for 40 of them (Drugstore.com), or 5.7 weeks worth 

Tampons (night/heavy): $18.64/year or $74.56 until I am 30
$6.99 for 40 of them (Drugstore.com), using 3 a day for 3 days each week, or 4.5 weeks worth
Tampons (day/light): $18.64/year or $74.56 until I am 30
$6.99 for 40 of them (Drugstore.com) using 3 a day for 3 days each week, or 4.5 weeks worth

 

TOTAL: $327.03 spent until I am 30, or $0.97/day

As for the Diva Cup, I paid $45.19 at The Nutrition House for it. I am sure if I had searched online I could have gotten it cheaper, quicker…

I just didn’t think about it, and figured the hassle of finding it online, coupled with comparing prices with shipping included, then asking if they actually shipped to Canada at all, plus waiting for it to come through the mail was just not worth the hassle. I really hate online shopping in Canada. 

Not only that, all the places I Googled, found places selling them for around $20 USD.

If I use it once every month for a week until I turn 30 (that is when I have to upgrade to model #2) that is 336 times or $0.13 cents/day I use it, and that’s paying full retail and a big markup on what I could have paid for it, if I had just been diligent and patient in searching out the deals (Bad FB!)

But even with that, I can see a …..

….savings of more than 7.64 times the price of what I used to spend!
And this is even buying it this late in the game and nearing the age of 30.

The younger you are, the bigger the benefits you reap (much like saving for retirement).

By the way (and I do get a commission for this), Amazon.com is selling them for $17.16 USD per Diva Cup. That is.. way.. way, freaking cheap.

 
 

THE GREEN-NESS OF USING A DIVA CUP INSTEAD

 

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.

Most tampons and pads contain surfactants, adhesives and additives. 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: Diva Cup)

Plus, I should add that they bleach the cotton in those tampons and in the pads to make them seem whiter and therefore, cleaner and purer — who cares!!? It’s BLOOD!. It’s not exactly ideal…

MY PROS TO USING A DIVA CUP

  • No more pads
  • No more tampons
  • No more (possibly embarrassing) purchases of pads and tampons
  • No leaks whatsoever
  • No need to worry about where to tuck that stupid string while doing your business
  • Made out of silicone, but
  • Eco-friendly
  • Friendly for your wallet – this thing is $40 CAD (yes, tax included), but lasts a v. long time
  • Can travel with it, and it takes up less space than 2 weeks worth of pads, tampons and so on.


MY CONS TO USING A DIVA CUP

  • Feels freaking weird the first time
  • Will probably always feel a bit weird any time thereafter
  • Will have to stand up and squat with pants down to floor
  • Skirts/Dress may be a better option during this time


DO NOT BUY THIS ITEM IF YOU:

  • Don’t need to use any feminine products (IUD, Patch, Pill continuously, etc)
  • Have had Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) before
  • Are squeamish about blood (which would be odd for a woman)
  • Do not have dextrous fingers to get into small places
  • Are uncomfortable with having to …get your fingers in the pie for insertion/removal, so to speak
  • Are already having issues with tampons/never used a tampon (or the huge ones) before
  • Panic very easily — no, it cannot get lost up in there (even without a map) but it can be tricky

LAST WORDS

I hope I haven’t scared any of you off.

It really is a great product, and I am very, VERY happy I tried it out. I am now going to give all of my unused pads and tampons to my friends because I don’t have a need for them any longer.

I also do feel better that I don’t have to keep buying those items and flushing them down the toilet, causing contamination, or just waste in general. It’s also easier on the wallet.

STILL CAN’T GIVE UP PADS BUT WANT TO BE ECO-FRIENDLY?

IF! You want to be more eco-friendly, and save money, and use pads regularly, consider buying reusable pads. Much like reusable diapers, it’s better for the environment and possibly more comfortable.

Store: Many Moons sells ‘em for $50 for 6 pads and 12 liners of any size.

I AM SOLD! WHERE CAN I BUY IT?

Again, you can buy it from Amazon.com for a low price of $17.16 USD (and that makes me feel like a fool for not searching out a better price. Well, lesson learned. I’m going to really search for the best price for Model #2 in a couple of years).

I do get a referral commission off the link if you buy the item too. Win-win!

 
 

 

About the Author

Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver. I cleared $60,000 in 18 months earning $65,000 gross/year. Now I am self-employed, and you can read more about my story here, or visit my other blog: The Everyday Minimalist.