Published on May 20th, 2013 | by Andrea Bertoli
Companies we Love: The Diva Cup!
The Diva Cup is a reusable, silicone cup that makes it easy to ‘green’ our monthly periods. Green Living Ideas was recently sent a Diva Cup to review from the company and I was super excited to try this great invention (I do love my job!). Here is our Diva Cup review.
The Diva Cup is one of so many ways for ladies to keep our lifestyle as green as possible and it can help foster a healthier connection with our monthly cycles. Not only do tampons and pads cost money each month, they generate a good amount of waste that is either flushed into our water systems or thrown ‘away’ with the rubbish. Aside from being wasteful, a lot of research has found that pads and tampons contain chemicals and other unhealthy ingredients. The Diva Cup website notes that:
- Most tampons and pads contain surfactants, adhesives and additives which is stuff we should keep away from our bodies!
- Most pads contain polyethylene plastic, which is toxic to produce.
- Traces of dioxin (a known carcinogen) and rayon (a synthetic fiber) are also found in tampons. Dioxin is a by-product of the bleaching process in the manufacturing of tampons, and rayon can leave residue in the vaginal wall, leading to possible risk of infection and overall discomfort.
- Once in landfills tampons and pads can leach these substances into groundwater, streams and lakes causing serious pollution and health concerns. And how much waste do we make..? Almost 10,000 tampons for the life of your period! That’s a lot! And the amount of waste is even higher if you use pads rather than tampons.
So not only is The Diva Cup sustainable, it’s a healthier option for your menstrual cycles. On their website, they explain that the silicone used in the Diva Cup has been used in healthcare applications for over fifty years, and it does not contain any latex, plastic, PVC, acrylic, acrylate, BPA, phthalate, elastomer and polyethylene, and it is also free of colors and dyes. Silicone is a great material because it is biocompatible, durable, flexible, and easy to sterilize (either by washing or by boiling). If you are grossed out by all of these toxins (and if you are feeling a bit crafty!) you can also make your own reusable pads and tampons with cotton and hemp too!
Caring for our bodies with compassion each month– and making healthful choices for the planet too– can help us look at our periods in a different way. These ladies are all about having a positive menstrual experience, removing the stigma against our monthly visit from Aunt Flo, and educating ladies about their cycles and their anatomy. If you have a young (or older) lady in your life who would like to learn more about all thing period, check out their super informative page here. Francine, the founder of the Diva Cup works with her daughter in this business. Of her company, Francine says, “After years of experience and research [my daughter and I] designed The DivaCup, a reusable menstrual cup that encourages a more positive period experience. I wake up every day excited to share The DivaCup concept with young women, and those a little older, who are not only looking for a better product but also a new relationship with their menstrual cycle!”
For many years I had heard my friends sing the praises of the Diva Cup, and I was seriously shocked at how many excited responses I got on Facebook when I asked my lady friends to comment about their experience with the Diva Cup. Many of them, including Becky, replied simply: Love my diva cup! Read more about Becky’s experience with the Diva Cup here on Ecolocalizer. And are you ready? Here are some other responses from my ladies:
Stacey, a two-year satisfied Diva cupper, says, “I have been using the Diva Cup for nearly three years and it has aided in my connection to this natural process us ladies go through on a monthly basis. I feel so much better without bleached cotton going in and out into this world, boxes at a time. It is better environmentally, economically, and for your health; it seems to me. I will definitely get another when this one has run it’s course.”
My girl Kelsey in California says: I love that The Diva Cup is reusable and has such a lower impact on the earth. Also I love feeling like the power of my hygiene is in my control, rather than feeling dependent on finding/buying tampons or pads. Love the lower risk of TSS, love the name (!), and I love feeling like I’m not going to leak every time I twist or bend!”
My friend Joan, who lives in Indonesia, says she’s used her menstrual cup for over ten years and has been happy to take her Diva Cup around the world! She writes at length:
“I’ve had a menstrual cup for over ten years and have used it on and off during that time period- depending on many factors. I’ve always found it easy to insert. If it’s uncomfortable or can be felt than its not in correctly; it’s also perfect for swimming too. I don’t have super heavy flows, but it’s never leaked unless inserted incorrectly. I usually just rinse it out every time I pee. It’s a great invention. However, I have found that it’s often easier in places like Indonesia and Turkey where there’s always water available close to the toilet. It’s so easy to empty it into the toilet, rinse and reinsert. In the United States I have found it convenient at home, but not so much when out and about. There is always the possibility of needing to clean it in a public toilet where the closest water is outside of the cubicle. So I often make sure to have a pad with me so that if it needed to be emptied I would just clean it at the sink and put it in my bag. Additionally, I love that using a menstrual cap means creating no waste. Imagine how many pads and tampons worth of solid waste are created globally each day, let alone each month or year! I have also tried reusable pads as a green option, but they require rinsing, soaking, washing, drying- lots of steps and unless you have a lot of pads, you may not have enough even for one period. They pads also eventually need to be replaced, whereas I’ve had my Diva Cup for over a decade and it still is clean and usable!
Madeleine, a Naturopathic doctor and Midwife, sings the praises of the Diva Cup more than anyone I know. Here are some of the things the good Doctor says about her Diva Cup:
“I have been using the Diva Cup for about 8 years now and I love it. I would never go back to menstrual pads and tampons. I began using this product because of the environmental benefit, but I kept using it because of the convenience, cost saving, and ease of use. I only need this one product ever and it lasts for years. Also, I appreciate that it’s comfortable, unlike a tampon. Once you learn how to use it correctly (I suggest giving it a least 3 menstrual cycles before you form any conclusions), its presence is not even noticeable. The cup holds an ounce, which is quite a lot. The benefit of this is that you don’t have to change it frequently. This is very helpful if you find yourself in a bathroom that isn’t convenient to rinse it out in between uses in. I just wait until I get home and it never leaks much or has accidents. The nicest thing is that in the decade that I’ve been using these collectors (I used the keeper for the first couple of years) I’ve spent less than $60 on my period. Not only that, I never have to worry about whether or not I have pads or tampons. I just throw The Diva Cup in its little pouch and carry it in my purse when I know my period is coming soon. Another cool benefit is that my cycles are shorter when I use The Diva Cup. Previous I had a 7-day period, and long cycles and immediately after beginning to use the cups, it changed to 4 days. I though maybe it was just a normal change as I got older, but once about a year ago I has an unusually early period while traveling and didn’t have the diva cup and ended up borrowing tampons and my cycle went right back to being 7 days. As if the tampons somehow drag the length of the period out? I’m very happy with my diva cup and will continue to use it for the foreseeable future.”
There are of course some criticisms of the Diva Cup. I personally didn’t love it (which encouraged me to ask my friends for help with this post!). It felt really large and was difficult to insert, and didn’t feel ‘right’ once inserted. But as Madeleine says, it might just take some time, so I will be trying it again next month! Also, my lady Courtney said that it can be a bit messy, especially if you are not at home. My other friend Heidi says though she loves the environmental aspect the Diva Cup, it’s not comfortable for her. She says it, “puts pressure on my bladder and increases my cramps, and I have to pee five times as often when using one, so I generally avoid using it. When I do try it out again, the bladder pressure and cramps are gone instantly when I remove it.”
There are so many reasons to choose a reusable menstrual cup! Not only does it limit our exposure to potentially toxic chemicals, it decreases our waste, saves us money, and can make our periods easier! Thanks to the Diva Cup for a product sample! And many thanks to my friends who created the awesome content for this post!