Wednesday, June 06, 2007

The Menstrual Cup: What Will They Think of Next?

Just when I think that I am pretty well "in the know" about all things related to caring for my feminine needs, I come across something that blows me away.

I had always thought that tampons and pads were the two ways to take care of things during that time of month, but apparently there is an alternative - and an environmentally-friendly alternative at that.

It's called the DivaCup™.

From the website: "The DivaCup™ is a dependable, internal vaginal alternative to pads and tampons. It is perfect for an active lifestyle. Feel free to travel, swim, camp, as you would any other day of the month!"

Basically, you stick this thing up there, it catches the flow, you take it out when it's full to dispose of the liquid, and then you wash it out and reinsert. Easy, eh?

The way I see it, the DivaCup has a few advantages. First off, it holds one full ounce of liquid, which means you'd only need to empty your cup a couple times a day. Not bad. Secondly, it's washable and reusable so it's environmentally friendly. No tampons in the landfills. And finally, it comes with a "discreet drawstring carry bag" AND an exclusive Diva pin with silver accents (to wear proudly in support of this amazing product). Yep, pretty good deal for $32.50.

But before I buy one, I guess I have a few questions for DivaCup - and please, if anyone has used one, let me know if you have the answers to these questions:

1. The website says that the money-back guarantee does not cover "damage caused by accidents." Hmmmm. So what kind of "accidents" are we talking about here? This gets me a bit nervous.

2. You say that it is "highly unlikely" that the DivaCup could get stuck in there. Can you give me a percentage likelihood? I just want to be really clear.

3. Let's talk spillage. Convince me that I don't have to worry about this.

4. Since there's no string involved, I'm just a bit concerned about the retrieval process. Thoughts?

5. Are you really serious about the pin? Really?

So, I'm a little torn on this one. I like to be environmentally conscious, but I'm worried about the whole concept of catching my menstrual flow in a cup. Maybe I'm just being silly. Would YOU try this? Anyone out there a DivaCup fan? Let me know! Yay or nay???

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Blogger Pumpkin said...

Lol....okay, I thought I'd heard of everything!
Now, for me, I'd have to to the buying and using of the cup. The thought of having to....pull this thing out, empty it, wash it and re-insert...well it seems that it would be a longish process which with my wee one isn't practical...and I have to makes me feel a wee tad...icky...for the lack of a better word...I'm such a woose!!!
So for me,it's a no.

1:17 AM  
Blogger Mel said...

You can put me firmly into the "Bleagh!" category on this one.
I'm all about the minimal handling of - refuse - when I'm menstruating, if you please. Yech.

3:46 AM  
Blogger Mary-LUE said...

There actually used to be something similar on the market years ago. Basically it was a giant diaphragm. I tried it but it was so huge I couldn't use it. All this of course may fall under the heading of Too Much Information. I think I'm done experimenting. With any luck, I'll have earlyish menopause and I can be done with the whole thing altogether!

3:58 AM  
Anonymous sam said...

I heard of these about 6 years ago. The school I went to was an environmental college of natural resources; this was something they were offering to students as an alternative. Guess it's gone to market.

I still find it as disgusting as I did then.

5:17 AM  
Anonymous Izzy said...

Awhile back, in the early days of Props and Pans, I reviewed a different brand of menstrual cup and it wasn't favorable. I had a hard time getting it to "suction up" even though I've had plenty of experience with using a diaphragm.

And I, too, was a little scared that if I DID get it to suction up, that it would never come off because once my diaphragm got stuck and my boyfriend had to go in after it.

I know. Eww.

5:30 AM  
Blogger metro mama said...

I think I'll skip this one!

6:12 AM  
Anonymous Andrea said...

Read those two entries (including the comments -- you'll be laughing your ass off at the same time as getting information from people who've experience with the menstrual cup phenomenon) and you might get more information than you wanted to know, but you'll be more in the know.

Not to mention the entries themselves are just freakin' hilarious.

6:15 AM  
Blogger Celebrate Woo-Woo said...

I think I really prefer my menstruation products to absorb my fluids rather than gathering them in a cup for me to later dispose of. Haven't and won't try the Diva Cup or any other cup that might be available.

6:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think I could ever use one, just because I'm immature and think it's icky! LOL. But I have read of other bloggers who love them! And I know one blogger who sells them, she swears by them!
she has a link on her sidebar, except I just looked and her's arent the Diva Cup, it's the Moon Cup.

7:12 AM  
Anonymous Andrea said...

Actually, it appears I didn't start you with the right entry on that website I recommended.

Start here for the beginning of the story.

8:16 AM  
Anonymous Andrea said...

And this

This one is the funny one.

God, I'm all over the place, aren't I. Start with this one and the others will make sense.

Sorry to be so flighty.

8:18 AM  
Anonymous Karly said...

Um, wow? Never heard of that before! And, also? EW!

8:31 AM  
Anonymous Janet said...

My feelings on this is if you are washing it and reusing, what about infection up there??

10:50 AM  
Blogger Shelli said...

I just can't do that. lol

11:14 AM  
Blogger Celebrate Woo-Woo said...

I am so open to persuasion tactics because now that I've read the posts on jonniker's site that andrea mentioned, I'm not so incredibly put off by the idea...tampons are definitely gross, too;>

1:41 PM  
Blogger Jodi said... way.

6:06 PM  
Blogger steph! said...

Right. Like I'm not having enough problems hiding tampons when my 4 and 5 year old boys decide to join me in the bathroom when I have my period...let's just say that I'm not ready to explain why mommy just pulled a cup of blood out of her hoo-hoo yet...

no magic dixie cup (or whatever it's called) for me!

7:51 PM  
Blogger Mama's Moon said...

Hmm, this sounds awfully similar to something I tried about ten years ago. Same concept: flexible cup, held a pretty hefty amount of liquid, and promised to make my periods less 'cumbersome'. Here's what I remember from my experience with the product (and, I apologize, I can't recall its name):

1) I HAD to be perfectly sure that Iplaced this thing in the perfect position; if I didn't I would suffer even more cramps than I was already dealing with,plus its 'catching' purposes would be useless and I'd have accidents.

2) This too had no strings so whenever I was ready to dump I spent some time having to dig it out - which, I'm sure you can imaging, was pretty uncomfortable in its own right.

The one you've mentioned seems to be of the same school of thought with a more 'sophisticated' look to it. Personally? I've over it. I wasn't a big fan.

9:09 AM  
Blogger kgirl said...

Well, anyone who knows me won't be surprised that I use one of these. they are easier, more comfortable, more ecologically responsible and safer to use than any tampon, or any bleached pad. Maybe it's just me, but I don't want the toxic chemicals in the commercial products anywhere near my yoni.

10:41 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Yes. That's what I wondered too. HOW do you get it out of there. Ick. And when you do take it out, how messy is it? What if it slips out of your fingers? Gah.

11:30 AM  
Blogger Mommy off the Record said...

kgirl: Thanks for commenting. I was hoping to find someone who had actually tried this. Interesting that you find it easier to use...

I actually think it's great that you use one and respect why you'd choose to. I don't think I'll be getting one - but basically because I am a sucker for convenience and I'm still not sold on the idea that this would be MORE convenient than a tampon. That said, I do feel guilty about the landfill issues and the toxic chemicals thing is also a concern. But I think this is one area where I'm going to be less safe, unfortunately!

11:52 AM  
Blogger Celebrate Woo-Woo said...

I somehow convinced myself to try one. I've ordered a Mooncup UK. Whether or not I'll actually feel it necessary to blog about it after I try it should be a fun decision to make;>

6:23 PM  
Anonymous jonniker said...

I'm just saying that dude, it's totally worth it. SURPRISINGLY WORTH IT and not at all crazy.

I also must hastily add, as a person who received the chronicles of far too many personal first-hand experiences with the menstrual cup, the DivaCup isn't as popular as the Moon Cup, and more people report...trouble with it.

That being said, I'll never go back to tampons again, i do not lie.

7:30 PM  
Anonymous jonniker said...

Also, um, seriously, I'd be glad to answer any questions. I was exactly, and I mean EXACTLY where you are - I hated it, hated the idea and laughed my ass off at it. And then I tried it and I was...shocked.

That being said, I certainly am not horrified by those who are less than enthused by it, unlike some really overzealous users I've encountered.

7:32 PM  
Anonymous jonniker said...

Okay, um, now I've read your entry again, and have a few comments, if you didn't find them elsewhere:

1) Accidents, oh dear sweet Jesus, i've no idea.

2)The likelihood of it getting stuck up there is pretty much nil. It doesn't go that far - AT ALL. I swear to you, it doesn't. You can always touch it, reach it and find it, but you can't feel it.

3) Honestly, I had one spillage accident, and it was my fault. I didn't break the seal first by sticking my finger around the rim and releasing the suction (that sounds way worse than it is). And even with the spillage, the damage was MINIMAL, I swear. So minimal, and easy. Other than that, spillage is so incredibly unlikely.

4) Retrieving it is a snap - it's not that far up, and it does have a stem that is as easy to grab as a tampon string. For real.

5) Dear God, no. The pin is the reason I bought the Moon Cup, honest to God.

7:43 PM  
Anonymous jonniker said...

Also, it's NOTHING like that diaphragm thing people are referring to. I tried that product, and oh my God it sucked. IT SUCKED.

7:44 PM  
Blogger Mommy off the Record said...

Jonniker: thank you for your comments! You have actually convinced me to (maybe) give it a try. I am not above giving anything one shot. Maybe I'll be surprised and actually prefer it to tampons like you do. Who knows -I could be singing its praises on someone else's blog months from now!

Although the thought of it still does gross me out.

But I would still be willing to try it. Just to see.

However, I think I'd skip the Diva Cup and go with the Moon Cup because of the pin too. LOL

Moon Cup people - if you're out there - send me a free one and I'll review it for you on my blog.

That is, when I get my period back in a couple years :)

10:23 PM  
Anonymous lildb said...

one word:


(and you know I'm all gaga over anything representing the green contingent. but this? noooo.)

10:55 PM  
Blogger Kyla said...

I think I couldn't do it. But I'm not disgusted by the thought other people use it. Nothing is pretty that time of month, but I think having to dump a cup of that stuff and wash it out of more than I can handle.

9:06 AM  
Blogger dodo said...

you're "torn on this one"?? there's reason not to use it right there!

11:52 AM  
Blogger kgirl said...

motr - easier because i don't have to worry about remembering anything!

12:11 PM  
Blogger Amanda said...

Ok, I want to know, do you leak when you sleep? I'm >.< close to trying it out, but I want some reassurance that I'm not going to have to sleep on a pad at night.

Also, I have heavy periods, will this still work? Anyone?

9:15 AM  
Anonymous jonniker said...

Amanda - I have a thyroid disorder, and have super-heavy periods too (and by "super-heavy" I mean, when my levels are off, I go through a supersize tampon every half hour, no exaggeration).

In the interest of full disclosure, I did have an issue once, during a thyroid episode where NOTHING would have helped. And it was during the day, and lo, it was embarrassing and awful, but truly, it would have been just as bad if I'd had a tampon in - in fact, it probably would have been worse.

The cup holds one full ounce, which is a LOT. Most people go through 2-3 ounces their entire periods. At night, when you're laying down, gravity will almost surely prevent any accidents. And speaking from experience, if you're having accidents like that with the cup very often - or anything, for that matter - you really should see a doctor. I had no idea it wasn't normal, but oh, it really isn't.

10:03 AM  
Blogger Stepping Over the Junk said...

I'd be concerned that it would slosh all over the place when taking it out or something. AND I would just not be able to deal with cleaning it out either. But it is a nice idea if you can deal with it. What if you are in a public restroom or something? Or a Johnny on the Spot where there is no water? Can you pee with it in there? Okay, I am sticking with the ol tampons.

11:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a Diva Cup, and it's great. It's so convenient, and I don't have to worry about a string getting peed on or whatever. It's no big deal to empty and wash. On the rare occasion I have to empty it in a public restroom, I take a damp paper towel in the stall with me, wipe the cup after emptying it out, and reinsert. It really is no big deal. The likelihood of it getting "lost" is pretty darn small. The cup sits low in the vagina. Infection is not an issue as long as you use soap and water to clean it daily, and alcohol at the end of the cycle. Silicone is very safe and inert. It's used in surgical implants. The vagina is clean, not sterile. Pads and tampons aren't sterile; they're just white. For your numbered questions: Accidents? Um, flushing it down the toilet, or your dog chewing it. (My dogs have chewed up a breast pump, so I keep everything out of their reach.)
Retrieval is easy. Spillage is minimal if you're doing it over the toilet. Just keep the cup as upright as possible.
I totally don't get the pin.

1:48 PM  
Blogger Mommy off the Record said...

Thanks, anonymous! I think I might actually try this when I get my period back (i'm pregnant right now).

2:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've never used the cup, but there is another green-ish alternative to Tampax. You can buy all-natural, eco-friendly tampons which function and look exactly like your Tampax. While they do get thrown away (obviously), they are completely biodegradable and made without any toxic or harsh chemicals. You can buy them at most natural food stores or sometimes even in the grocery store if they have an organic food or natural product section.

10:54 AM  
Anonymous sistersara said...

I tried these things and they were horribly uncomfortable. I liked the idea that they were reusable but they felt much more uncomfortable then tampons for me. My friend uses the disposable ones called "Instead"s and swears by them. She says they go further up and are more comfortable (and you can have sex with them in - GROSS). She keeps trying to get me to try those, but I think I'm done trying these new experimental products. Although last time my husband came back from deployment for 4 days I got my period and we had to deal with the mess. Maybe I'll try them if that happens again.

8:53 PM  
Anonymous carole said...

I received my DivaCup and and will never go back to anything else! South Coast Shopping has
them on sale for only $16.99! Diva Cup Model 1 and Model 2

10:16 AM  
Blogger BekkiFleming said...

I have a cup. I can insert and remove in the same time as a tampon emptying it takes literally as long as tipping the cup upside down into the toilet takes.

ive been a cup user for a year or so now . the only other thigns ive used are cloth pads and tampons and i wont be going back to disposables anytime soon

2:02 PM  

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