Girl Talk: The Diva Cup

Alright boys, some of you might want to check out the archives today. Because today, we’re talking about periods. You’ve been warned.

Period news has been coming across my social media feeds lately. Some of the stories are inspirational, like getting feminine hygiene products to women in countries where they can be hard to find. Some are terrifying, like the girl who lost her leg to TSS. Some are just ridiculous, like the one saying a menstrual cup is a feminist issue.

No matter what the direction of the article is, if it’s about periods, some one will bring up the Diva Cup. Now, for those who aren’t aware, the Diva Cup is a brand of menstrual cups. And what a menstrual cup is, is a silicone cup made to catch all your period blood. You dump it out, wash it off, and reuse it. And I can hear what you’re thinking. “Ew, gross.” And as someone who uses one, I agree. It kind of is.

In every comment section someone says “Ew gross” and then they get called all kinds of bad things. Because one of the big feminist points right now is “periods aren’t gross.” Which, they are. Other’s people’s blood is gross. It’s why if you’re at a public pool and you see a band aid floating around you get away as quickly as you can. (And how many of you shuddered at that image.) Lots of things about bodies are gross. Snot is gross. Other people’s hair in the shower is gross. Sweat is gross. So your initial reaction is, well, normal.

But after the initial “ick” factor, when you stop and think about it, concept behind these things are kind of awesome. As I said, I use one. And as is the Pure Geekery way, I’m going to tell you why I love it.

Better for the planet. Let’s get this out of the way first. A reusable Diva Cup is way better for the environment than throwing away a ton of pads and tampons every month.

Better for your vaginal health. When I wear a pad or a tampon, everything gets a little irritated. My skin just doesn’t like the materials or something. I’ve tried all kinds of brands (even the organic ones) and it doesn’t help. The Diva Cup doesn’t give me those problems. I’ve also noticed fewer yeast infections (knock on wood), and I have to wonder if it’s because something in tampons was upsetting my internal chemistry.

Infrequent changes. One of the awesome parts about using a menstrual cup is they can hold way more liquid, and because you don’t have the bacteria breeding ground you change it less often. I have a pretty heavy flow (since I use the non-hormonal IUD Paragard), and on my worst days I only have to empty it four times. When I wake up. At lunch. After work. And before bed. And on the other days, I can skip the lunchtime one. I used to have to change a tampon every few hours, and wear a tampon and pad to bed. (I still do the latter for peace of mind, but I don’t have to.) It’s amazing to be able to go to concert and not have to worry about changing my tampon at the icky venue bathroom (or porta-potty).

But that being said, there are some downsides too.

They can leak. It seems everyone wants to tell you they won’t leak. They will. But not really anymore than other methods. It can happen when you’re just starting out and don’t get the placement right. Or if your flow is heavier than expected and you overfill. Or the surprise that happened to me, if someone flips you upside down in the pool.

They take time to learn. I don’t care how familiar you are with your vagina, there’s still a learning curve. Heck, I still have one day every cycle it seems the stupid thing doesn’t want to go in correctly. I usually wear a pantyliner the first hour I have one in just in case. Seems to prevent any accidents.

Dogs love them. Seriously. If they’re a place where your dog can sniff it out and get to it, they will. My dog has eaten two (also, gross).

Overall, I love the cup and I don’t see myself regularly going back to pads and tampons. It just works better for me. Although I still do carry a few tampons on me. Some “just in case.” And some, because I’m pretty sure it’s in the girl code that you should always have an extra for girl in need.

Note: I got no compensation for writing this post. But if you buy a Diva Cup from the Amazon links above I do get a cut.

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