My first reaction to hearing about the DivaCup was probably fairly typical. I was skeptical, and a bit preoccupied with what I imagined to be the “ick” factor. “Really?” I remember saying to my friend. “You stick a cup in your vagina, and then when it’s full of blood you dump it out? Isn’t that, um, messy?” I think “yucky” was the word I was looking for, but I didn’t want to offend her. “That’s great if it works for you,” I told her. “But I think I’ll stick with with my tampons and panty liners.”
I’m not afraid to admit it – I was wrong. So wrong. Probably the most wrong I’ve ever been in my whole life.
A year or so after that initial conversation, I found myself getting fairly frequent yeast infections that seemed to revolve around my menstrual cycle. My gynecologist was prescribing all kinds of antibiotics, but it seemed to me that this approach was treating the symptoms, and not the cause. I had always known about the chemicals that were in tampons and pads, but I didn’t really think there was a better alternative that I would be comfortable with. However, under the circumstances, I decided it was time to try something different.
Switching to the DivaCup solved my problem all right – but it did a lot more than that. It solved a whole bunch of problems that I had every month. Problems I had gotten used to and just accepted as part of being a woman. I didn’t think there was any other way. Well, like I said before, I was wrong.
Because I am an organizational junkie, I’ve made a list. This list includes just a few of the things that don’t happen to me now that I have my DivaCup. Put your hand up if you experience at least one of the below every month:
- Getting your period and go to the bathroom, only to realize that you’re out of tampons. YUCK.
- Going to the bathroom at lunchtime to change your tampon, only to open your purse and realize you forgot to replace your back up. YUCK.
- Going out with friends and having fun, but worrying in the back of your mind because you need to get yourself to a washroom within the next half hour or you’re going to have a serious leakage problem. YUCK.
- Serious leakage problems. The kind that destroy underwear. YUCK.
- Changing your tampon in an unfamiliar house (your boyfriend’s parents’ place, for example), wrapping the used tampon in a huge wad of toilet paper and then shoving it to the bottom of the trash basket with the hope that it will remain undetected. YUCK.
- The gushing feeling that inspires instant panic. C’mon, you know what I’m talking about. YUCK.
Turns out, tampons are WAY more “yucky” than the DivaCup, and not just for the above reasons. The DivaCup is reusable, and this makes a lot of us Diva converts feel great about being kinder to the environment and our bank accounts. But it also means no last minute dashes to the drugstore with toilet paper stuffed into your underwear! No more begging tampons off of friendly female coworkers! The DivaCup also requires way less frequent changing: I empty my DivaCup first thing in the morning and right before I go to bed at night, and I don’t even think about my period at any other time of the day.
Honestly, I could go on about the DivaCup for hours. I can think of a dozen benefits I haven’t even touched on. But I’ll end with this – if you’re considering trying out the DivaCup, do it! I did a lot of research before making the switch, and what I found was overwhelmingly positive reviews. Yes, there’s a learning curve, but remember how awkward you felt putting in your first tampon? Take it from the skeptic – after using tampons for ten years, after just one period with DivaCup I knew I was never going back!
Alison is a twenty-something, yoga-loving city gal who lives a busy life and likes it that way! When she’s not out with her friends you can find her curled up on the couch with her dog and a good book.