My Thoughts on the Diva Cup

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I am simultaneously a brave, adventurous person and a careful and nervous one. When opportunities come my way and I am on board, full steam ahead. I may have concerns, but I try to put them at bay and have a new experience, such as going to Paris by myself when I was abroad or going to a party I don’t think I will enjoy. Other times, I am more hesitant to take risks. New things often leave me skeptical. What if I don’t enjoy it? What if I’m miserable? What if it’s a waste of my time? What if what if what if…

You may be wondering: how does this apply to the Diva Cup?

As someone who didn’t really understand tampons for most of her menstruation career, the idea of a Diva Cup seems equally unnerving, if not more so. Embarrassing moment: I only started feeling comfortable with tampons in the last six months. I am 21 years old. This seems like nonsense, but I know of people who still don’t like tampons. That is their choice, just as I definitely prefer pads to tampons, but at least I now know I could use a tampon if it was my only option.

Recently, I have been seeing more and more information about more sustainable alternatives to the tried-and-true pads or tampons you see in the usually hidden aisle of “feminine products” at Target. Ingrid Nilsen made a video earlier this year about different period products to try. My friend Emily also wrote about her positive experience with the Diva Cup, and I knew I wanted to try it but I was scared.

For those who don’t know, the Diva Cup is a brand of menstrual cup which is inserted into the vagina to collect menstrual fluid. It’s made of silicone, so it’s durable and reusable unlike pads or tampons that are designed for single-use, and thus must be thrown away afterward. Also, you only need to empty and clean a menstrual cup every ten to twelve hours. As long as you clean and use it properly, a menstrual cup should last for several years, which is both more sustainable and less expensive than typical period products are for people who menstruate.

Given all this information, I was sold. It seems perfect. But I was still hesitant. In fact, I am still hesitant and a little bit scared.

The idea of sticking something all up in there made me nervous. It seems like it wouldn’t fit or just wouldn’t work. Getting it in and out and being able to clean it between uses in public places seems awkward. It sounds messy and uncomfortable and maybe a little bit gross, though, as a girl who has had more than her fair share of nosebleeds, my own blood does not freak me out (much). Even though I have looked at the diagrams over and over, it looks painful. It is also different. Different doesn’t equal bad, but weird gives it an undertone of new=weird=bad=NO ABORT ABORT ABORT. 

Mostly, it’s something completely new for me that I am really unsure how to approach. I have stared at the box with the new Diva Cup in it since I got it. It’s just standing there as if to taunt me with my own fears of something as silly as a silicone cup. I have read the instructions in far more detail than is likely typical. This Diva Cup and I have made the equivalent of eye contact for many moments, but I am still nervous. (I was also still waiting for my period to start.)

However, I am also concerned with the environmental impact of using pads and tampons. In any given period, a person who menstruates on average uses three to five tampons or pads per day, for somewhere between three and seven days every month. I am not a math major, but that’s a lot of rubbish. When I started hearing about more sustainable options like the Diva Cup, I was all on board for the idea but didn’t know where to start.

I am hoping this Diva Cup will be my place to start. It will be my first try at something with a little less plastic and little less constant fuss than the dozens of pads I go through in a given year. I hope to step out of my comfort zone soon, so I’ll get back to you when I do.

To be continued...


Image Credits: Jenna Wendler, Diva Cup