Skip to content

Tampons *are* EW!!

April 7, 2008

In the interest of making menstruation a normal part of conversation I just want to take this moment and recommend the Diva Cup for all you lovely ladies out there.  (Sorry Boys!)

I was having all sorts of discomfort from using Tampons.  With bonus “What’s the dog chewing on?” moments.  So I heard about the DivaCup and I went to whole foods and bought one. It is a plastic cup with a stem on it that you wear internally.  It forms a seal and keeps all the fluids in it until you empty it and rinse it off, and re use it.

It was about 30 bucks (but keep in mind you’d probably spend that on sanitary products in a few months .)  The guy rang it up and was all ‘Uhhhh this doesn’t look like it costs 30 bucks let me do a price check.”  I stopped him to prevent having my menstrual products price checked… because that’s always embarassing.

It was intimidating at first, this reusable plastic thing in the cute daisy cloth bag.  (It even came with a “Diva” pin) But ultimately was actually kindof fun trying a new product.  All these new experiences, learning the best way to insert and remove it, when I need to insert and remove it, etc actually made my periods kindof interesting.  (Which they haven’t been for a Loooooooong time)

Plus there were lots of benefits.  Here is my quick analysis.


  • Expensive
  • Kindof a grody idea until you get used to it
  • Needs some customization to fit different Vaginas (Different cups work better for dfferent ladies)
  • Not for people who can’t handle the sight of blood.  (Are there really women like this though?  i mean.. you just have to deal with it.)
  • Big learning curve.  Insertions and removals require a little practice and getting familiar with yourself.


  • No smell!  Seriously, the gross tampon smell was gone.  I felt like 10X cleaner than normal.
  • Reusable, Green, all that stuff
  • More comfortable (for me at least)
  • I only needed to “change” mine about three times a day, which was a big improvement.  And honestly “need” is not the word.  I did so because I didn’t feel comfortable not cleaning it that much, but I probably could have done with just once a day.
  • Less disgusting smelly trash cans
  • No “what’s the dog chewing” moments
  • No danger of TSS

Anyway, there is a whole live journal community devoted to these cups, so if it sounds like something you might be interested in I encourage you to read there for more info.  I am very happy with my decision to switch.


From → Uncategorized

  1. Diva cup love! I’ve had mine for… oh wow, 4 years almost now. I’ll never go back! And yes, the learning curve is a bit steep – practice before you have your period, is my advice!

    More pros: perfect for traveling, especially to foreign countries where you don’t know if you’ll have your product of choice. Takes up less space than even a day or two’s worth of other products. Fits in your medicine cabinet. Can be sterilized, if you’re germaphobic (it’s silicone!). It’s kinda cool to see all the different “stuff” that comes out of you, if you’re into that sort of thing.

    More cons: can make the toilet look like a murder scene, so may require two flushes. Also, I find that I have to pee a bit more often with it in, but nothing unreasonable/uncomfortable – usually I forget it’s there entirely.

  2. I use a MoonCup (same concept, different brand) and I love it! I agree with everything said here and would add that one thing I had to adjust to was changing it at work or in public restrooms–gotta remember to bring wet wipes or something so’s to get it all cleaned up. Other than that, it’s fabulous.

  3. Con: cleaning it in a public bathroom.

    Pro: it’s just so, so, so much better.

    More diva cup love here!

  4. Miriam Heddy permalink

    I, too, love the Diva Cup. It’s an awesome device, and if you can manage to put a tampon in, you can work a Diva Cup.

    As for cleaning it and traveling with it, if you carry a small bottle of water in your purse, that works well for rinsing it out in the bathroom toilet.

  5. So far I haven’t even had to clean it in a public/work bathroom. I’m sure my run of luck wont last forever.

  6. Jen permalink

    If there’s no risk to TSS I’m in! I’ve always been leery of that warning on the side of the Tampax box and only put one in if I’m wearing a dress or swimming. I’ve always been a pads girl but dammit, they leak! 😦 My periods (were?) uber heavy when I had my IUD in. I’m still waiting to get my first one without it. Sorry for the TMI but great post.

  7. Kay permalink

    Another pro: Hooray for no string-chafing! 😀

  8. libbyblue permalink

    for cleaning it in public restrooms: just pee on it. seriously. all that’s needed is a rinse job. urine is sterile. the cup is silicone. you’re already going to have to wash your hands after emptying the cup, after all. i have add like nobody’s business, so needing to remember to carry extra stuff around just doesn’t work for me. fortunately, i don’t need to.

    i had to trim the stem on my diva cup a little to make it fit comfortably, but beyond that tiny little modification, it’s been fabulous. i also wear a new moon reusable cloth menstrual pad on my heavy day (or on super-light days when using the cup feels faintly ridiculous), on the off chance i’ll forget to empty the damn thing.

  9. notblueatall permalink

    DivaCup has changed my life! Everything you said is true. AND it’ll last around ten years! Hellz Yeeaahh! I’ve only been using mine 3 months, but I love it! I bought it about 9 months ago and tried and tried and tried to get it to work, but no dice. I was so sad, but determined that one day I would get it workin’ for me. I did! I only need to take it out in the morning when I get up and at night before bed. It’s awesome! I have had zero leaks! I used to go through super tampons like there was no tomorrow…the DivaCup has freed me from the horrible things we all hate about our periods! (mess, smell, waste, touching those public restroom tampon trashes, not having a tampon when you need it, having to shove one in your pocket or take your purse to the restroom (like everyone doesn’t know what that means)…No More!Encourage all your friends to buy them! They have ’em at the Elephant Pharmacy, too. I got mine online. There’s also a coupon code in BUST this month…look for the jade pearls ad (i think).

  10. Yay for Diva cups! I love mine, I’ve had it for eight months now, and I really really don’t plan on going back to tampons. Like you, I feel cleaner, and the problems I sometimes had with tampons are gone. These things should be introduced in school to teenaged girls, like tampons are.

  11. Pet~ permalink

    More Diva love here. 😀 I’ve had mine for about a year now. As far as cleaning it in a public toilet, I’ve found that I can just wipe it with a baby wipe (I keep some in my purse anyway), dry it off with tp, and it’s good to go.

  12. Piffle permalink

    It sounds interesting, how do they do at night? I envision this tipped over glass leaking everywhere…

    Been thinking about reusable cloth pads, for the whole greeness thing.

  13. Piffle,
    It creates a seal inside of you, so you can stand on your head, whatever, as long as you don’t break it. I have heard of some women having a little leakage at night and wearing a cloth pad while they sleep. But I haven’t had any problems sleeping with it.

  14. RoseCampion permalink

    Sometimes I feel like the only woman in the world who hates the diva cup. I bought one. I think it was too big or something (they come in two sizes and I probably should have gotten the smaller). In any case, once I got it in, it suctioned itself in but good and that mother hurt like the dickens. And I couldn’t for the life of me get it out or even get a grip on it to get it out. A bit of google searching and I was finally able to get it out. I threw that thing out. No way am I taking the chance that it’ll cause me that kind of pain again. So, I use tampons and won’t apologize for it. They never pinched me in the lady bits.

  15. Rose: your experience sucked, sorry to hear it. :/
    Piffle: I sometimes have leakage problems in the first night, but far less so than with tampons (where I usually had to get up during the night). I just wear a pad that first night plus the cup.
    What I really like is that I have a better concept of my period now, than with tampons, you know, of how much fluid there is etc.

  16. Laura permalink

    a caution for ladies using IUDs: I used a Diva Cup for one period but sent it back (money-back guarantee from the company). It was much more comfortable than using tampons, and by the end of my period I had gotten the hang of removal, until I realized that the thing I kept feeling when removing the cup was my IUD string. Apparently the string hangs down much lower during my period and I became very concerned that I was going to accidentally pull my IUD out during cup removal. There are many stories out there of women who lost their IUDs in that exact same way. I’d love to go back to using the Diva Cup, but only when I no longer need no-baby protection.

  17. smileeanne permalink

    i have a keeper, and it’s the same concept, except it’s made from natural rubber, and not silicone.

    when I decide to get a new one, I’ll probably get a diva cup because you can boil it to sterilize it, which is good if you drop it somewhere, or have a yeast infection, or just feel like getting it uber clean.

    i’m glad more people are talking about this…

    even if it doesn’t work for everyone (rose, i’m sorry about your experience!) I really would like to encourage to talk to more people about this openly. we need to not be ashamed of our menstruation, and especially around young girls especially those who are pre-pubescent. They should TOTALLY be talking about menstrual cups in elementary and highschool health classes, and i’m might pissed off that I only found out about it through a ‘radical’ friend of mine.

    not disposable = radical? i hope that changes in the future.

  18. Piffle permalink

    Thank you for your replies, I’m going to stick this idea in the back of my head for a while.

    I agree more people need to talk about menstruation. I was surprised to find out that it is normal for people to have longer and longer periods as they get towards forty. Mine has tailed out to about ten days now, from a reliable six when I was in my teens and twenties. As I passed forty it started being quite unpredictable in that it would start, then stop for a couple days, then start up again. I brought this oddity up with my OB because I was worried, and he said that’s normal too. When I’ve mentioned it to other women my age, they often, but not always, have the same story. You never hear the stories about how menstruation changes as you age, just that at some point it stops. I’d have been less worried if I’d had just that smidgen more information. I imagine this would be even more peculiar to someone who had used hormonal birth control until late in her thirties, going from a regimented system to these wierd fluctuations. I got moody and depressed on hormonal contraceptives (another thing I think needs more attention), so I’ve used primarily barrier methods during my life. Tubes tied now, and I love it!

  19. The Diva Cup is fabulous, but very ‘hands on’ so to speak. Definitely a plus for heavy periods and great for travelling (I used to hate not being able to get ‘the right kind’ of tampons in other countries). Most of the time, you don’t need to remove it during the day, but if you do a quick wipe will clean it enough for reinsertion and you can clean it up properly later at home. I don’t wear mine at night, but other than that, its saved me a fortune in tampons over the 5 years I’ve had it.

  20. I LOVE the DivaCup (before it I used those disposable Insteads, but in addition to the disposable factor, the shape actually wasn’t as functional for me–grab it wrong when taking it out, or shift the wrong way in my seat when it was full, and the seal would break and a FOUNTAIN of blood would spurt forth. Bright red stains spattered onto my khaki pants on one occasion when I was removing an Instead in the restroom at work, which to say the least sucked).

    But whichever product works for you–and as Rose pointed out, cups might not work at all for some women–but for people who can use them, I can’t say enough good things about the cleanliness factor that shinobi mentioned. NO smell, no sandpapery dryness and itching from “overly absorbent” tampons, for the most part no leaks (though leaks can occur if you get it in slightly wrong or if it shifts–usually a problem for me at night if it does happen, but I don’t think I have ever had a total containment failure like with the Insteads), blood-matted pubes, or soggy pads. (I have a fairly heavy flow and I can still easily get away with emptying it twice during the day/once first thing in the a.m. for the first day or two, then once during the day and once first thing in the a.m. thereafter.)

    I want to reiterate the cost thing too–if I went through a whole box of tampons in one period, which I often did, and they cost like $7.00 per box, the DivaCup pays for itself pretty quick. I’ve been using mine for about 6 months now.

    Insertion and removal took some practice for me. It’s easier now; I think (TMI) I ended up “stretching” my vagina a little bit over time since I find I need to fit more than one finger in there alongside the cup to successfully grip and remove it. (I think it’s possible to remove them less “aggressively,” but this is the method that seems to work for me.) In all honesty, incidentally, I think this has actually made sex more pleasant for me. YMMV (of course!)

    I do wear a pad with mine, because the flow that is already “in the pipeline,” so to speak, when I take it out to empty and clean it, will stain my underwear otherwise. But then I always had to wear a pad with my tampons or Insteads too, so this is hardly a drawback of the DivaCup itself.

    In conclusion: Yay DivaCup! I only wish the material were more resistant to cleaning products and disinfectants (and I kinda suspect the instructions might be a little CYA and it might actually tolerate peroxide OK, since it’s silicone, but I don’t want to push it). I soaked it once in OxiClean after my period and it came out looking as good as new (it can be a little difficult to keep the nooks and crannies of it totally clean using just soap and water). I was all excited about how sanitized and clean I had gotten it–the next time I was going to use denture cleaner, which I thought would be perfect. Then I recalled that the instructions said you weren’t supposed to do that, and I don’t want to risk starting to break down the material, which could probably create little scratches and fissures where even more germs could hang out. Boo.

    (I know you can boil them but my background in water treatment doesn’t allow me to feel confident that boiling is effective when the microorganisms might be hiding in little particles of grease or organic matter. On the whole I am comfortable with how clean I can get it with soap and water, but the ability to clean and disinfect it chemically would be a plus. Maybe boiling in soapy water would be a good compromise.)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: