The Diva Cup is not disgusting, despite what my mom told you

The Diva Cup seems to cause a lot of controversy for a one ounce piece of silicon that collects menstral blood. Since asking for one for Christmas, I’ve gotten mixed feedback from family (my mom was so grossed out I had to ask my brother to buy it for me) and friends, much of it skeptical and critical. That’s why I was eager to finally use it and be able to tell them from personal experience how effective it was.

The Diva Cup is a cone-shaped, shotglass-sized alternative to tampons and pads, and it is inserted into the vagina to capture blood during a menstral cycle.

Because it isn’t made with any toxic chemicals, there is no risk of toxic shock syndrome; because it is reusable, it saves money and reduces waste.

But the eco-friendly, money-saving, only-have-to-change-twice-a-day Diva Cup is just too “gross” for some people to handle. After day one, I’d like to address some of the concerns that go along with the Diva Cup:

1. Yes, you have to get in touch with your inner self — literally. If you’re used to tampons with applicators or maxi pads, then you probably keep as far away from anything menstral as humanly possible. Women in the U.S. are usually socialized to feel that a period is dirty, shameful, and disgusting. But, it’s blood — everyone’s got it, and you’ve probably come in contact before.

The only concern I’d have is using the cup in a public restroom, but because you can wear it for up to 12 hours without a problem (unless your period is heavy, most likely), you probably won’t run into the public restroom problem often if at all.

2. Yes, the cup sits in your vagina and holds blood until you take it out. This is not different from a tampon, which sits there and holds blood until you take it out. My mom especially finds this gross, which makes little sense considering the blood just sits there whether you’re wearing a cup, tampon, or pad.

My mom also expects it would lead to infection but, while it’s sitting there, the cup won’t give you toxic shock syndrome. Tampons absorb any liquid, not just blood, including the normal flora and bacteria in the vagina. These bacteria and mucus specifically actually prevent infections, but high-absorbancy tampons — especially when left in for too long — absorb these infection-fighting bacteria and leave room for infection. The cup is neutral and doesn’t introduce any toxins or make it easier for toxins to multiply.

3. Yes, there is a learning curve to figuring out how to insert it properly. It’s pretty much the same as when you first use a tampon for the first time — you worry about losing the string, you don’t put it in far enough, you don’t get the hang of putting it in right away. But you probably didn’t give up on tampons, and the cup is the same way.

4. No, it won’t overflow if you change it according to your flow. If you have a heavy flow, you probably can’t get away with only changing it twice a day, but anyone with a light to medium flow could. At least you could wear it to sleep if you have a heavy flow, which is really convenient because having a heavy flow is awful when it comes time to go to sleep. The cup holds one ounce, and the average woman menstrates a total of one to 1.4 ounces each cycle.

After using it for just one day, I am finding that my only concern is getting it to fit correctly and adjusting to the fact that it is a little bit messier than dealing with pads or tampons. But it’s really nice to just change it twice a day, and I feel really good about not throwing away any garbage in the entire process.

I don’t want people to think The Diva Cup is disgusting because it’s actually really convenient and makes more sense then constantly buying more and more cotton products like tampons and pads — which are bleached with chlorine/release the carcinogen dioxin when bleached– and putting them near or inside your body.

Not only is it safer, but you don’t have to pray that you remembered to put a tampon in your purse, or that you can find someone who has a tampon, or that the restroom you found has tampon or pad machines.

I still can’t grasp what makes the cup so much more disgusting than anything else — perhaps the fact that the blood isn’t absorbed so we have to deal with the fact that, yes, we bleed once a month. Regardless, the menstral cup is not really gross, it’s easy to use, and it’s better for you, your wallet, and the environment.

Although I’m sure my mom told you something different.

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17 Responses to “The Diva Cup is not disgusting, despite what my mom told you”

  1. Jesse Groff Says:

    Cathy, Please refrain from ever talking about period blood again, especially online in a public forum. This is discusting because it had to do with period blood. Why god….. Why!

  2. Erin Says:

    Cathy menstral “blood” actually contains very little blood it is the lining of your uterus shedding…duh…lol

  3. Catherine Says:

    i really wanna use dive cup but my mom won’t let me she says that i’ll lose my virginity. So i keep on using pads!

    • noella Says:

      Catherine, actually anything you insert into your vagina can break your hymen. So your Mom is actually right.

      • Nika Says:

        Just because it breaks your hymen does not mean you lost your virginity. You only lose your virginity when you have consensual sex. People are so ignorant…

  4. Nadia Says:

    Catherine- your virginity is ‘lost’ when you have sex. Not when you lose your hymen. And any good guy who doesn’t live in the 1950s will understand that.

  5. Catherine Says:

    Nadia- I hope my mom would understand that when I tell her. thnx! 🙂

  6. frankie Says:

    I would like to try thE diva cup.but where can I purchase one.i never knew of the menstrual cup.so never thought to look for them..

  7. noella Says:

    The most disgusting part is having to wash the bloody cup in the sink. I’ll stick with old-fashioned reliable pads.

    • liz Says:

      You can rinse it with a bottle, letting the rinse water flow into the toilet if that bothers you so much. But consider this: you spit into the sink when you brush your teeth. Your mouth is much filthier than your vagina. You’re putting more bacteria and gunk in the sink that way. Your squick factor is not rational.

  8. Ceecee Says:

    I said this in another blog… I wonder if anyone packages and saves their menstrual flow with help of this “cup”. I bet there’s more than few that do. Why the hell would you want to see your period crap in a cup, are you gonna like….drink it? Is the liquid look of it visually appealing to you? If so stay away from my children….

  9. Replying to my mom’s concerns about no-cost birth control « i, sandwich Says:

    […] for providing a mainstream, moderate voice to counter my oftentimes liberal voice (you may remember reading about her disgust at my using a menstrual cup). So if word on the street is that women just need to do a better […]

  10. Isabel Says:

    I use it it’s fabulous! I was expecting it to be more disgusting but it’s not!

  11. Maddy Says:

    There is actually a risk for toxic shock syndrome with a diva cup. TSS is caused by a bacteria, not “toxic chemicals”. A form of staff infection causes TSS, and since the bacteria is found just about anywhere around us, the insertion of a tampon, inter-vaginal device or even cotton to stop a nose bleed can lead to a TSS infection.

  12. catfusious Says:

    Wow. I can’t believe some people actually are still conforming to the societal belief that periods are “dirty” or “disgusting” or “shameful” and that breaking your hymen means you’re not a virgin and that menstrual cups are disgusting. Periods are a part of life and menstrual cups are logical tool to use to be hygienic.
    any way, I’m thirteen and i want to use menstrual cups and i’m a virgin and I’ve never used tampons (my mom would never let me). the second day of my cycle is super heavy and pads just don’t cut it. So I want to know how can i ask my mom to use menstrual cups.

  13. Jennifer Junniper Says:

    I will not apologize. This is the most disguisting thing I have heard about. Gee, which pot in the kitchen do I want to use to boil it so it’s sanitary? Mom, whacha cooking? On nothing, just boiling my periond container. Or Gee, lets wash it out in the bathroom sink where everyone brushes their teeth.
    Come on women, God forbid sitting on the toilet in a public bathroom and it falls on lands on your pants. Menstual flow can be slimy because of blood clots and this whole things makes me sick.

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