Why you Should be Using The DivaCup
The DivaCup is a reusable menstrual cup. Used in place of a tampon, it collects rather than absorbs menstrual flow.
What are the benefits of using The DivaCup?
1. Reduce waste and save the environment
Have you ever stopped to think about how many tampons you use in a month? A year? A lifetime? Well, according to The DivaCup website, the answer is 9,600.
Choosing this more sustainable option allows you to do your part to reduce landfill waste. Imagine the impact we could make if each woman chose to ditch the tampon? Every little bit counts!
2. Avoiding xenoestrogen exposure + other toxins
Have you ever considered what a tampon is made of, something that’s put inside a very precious, porous membrane? If you’re concerned about what you eat, and the products you put on your skin, you should be equally as concerned with what you’re putting down there.
We know tampons are made of cotton, but do we really know what else is added? By law, manufacturers of tampons do not have to list the ingredients on the packaging due to the fact that they are classified as “medical devices”. Most tampons and pads contain a whole host of things you wouldn’t want inside your body, like surfactants, adhesives, additives, plastics, synthetic fibres, and dioxin, a known carcinogen.
Cotton uses more insecticides than any other single crop. One tampon may contain only trace amounts, but consider how many tampons you use over the course of a lifetime and that adds up!
In addition, most tampons are bleached so that they are a uniform white colour. Bleach is a source of xenoestrogens, man made chemicals that mimic the effects of estrogen. When absorbed by the body xenoestrogens are highly cancer causing hormone disrupters, contributing to conditions such as:
- Breast cancer
- Uterine cancer
- Fibrocystic breast disease
- Ovarian cysts
- Heavy periods
3. 12-hour protection
One of the greatest benefits of a menstrual cup is how much longer it can be used than a tampon. Most women have been told from a young age to change their tampons regularly to avoid Toxic Shock Syndrome. The rayon and cotton of a tampon absorb your vagina’s protective fluid, drying out and disrupting its normal pH levels, potentially leading to infection. The DivaCup can be left in for up to 12 hours, even safely left in overnight and will not dry out or disrupt the natural environment of your vagina.
4. Cost savings
Here’s a staggering statistic…
The average woman will menstruate for about 40 years. Making the grand total of money spent on pads/tampons a whopping $9,000!
The DivaCup retails for around $40. The general guideline is to replace it every year, but if you clean and care for it well it could last for many years. More money in your pocket!
The Awkward FAQ
How it works
One of the hardest things to get the hang of is the application. The Diva Cup website provides a handy step-by-step guide with illustrations to demonstrate the different folding options, how to seal it and also removal. Find the guide here.
It will take a few cycles to get used to using The DivaCup. During the first few months I would suggest packing an extra pad and/or tampon with you incase of emergencies.
Connecting with your body and cycle like never before
Yes, using The DivaCup may require you to become a little more intimate with yourself and your menstruation than you’re used to.
This is what scares most people away from The DivaCup. Pads and tampons make it pretty easy to disconnect from your cycle as soon as you throw them away. The DivaCup is empowering in that you gain a new understanding of your body and your cycle and a connection that makes “that time of the month” not so bad. If you’re going to be menstruating for 40 years, you might as well embrace it!
Out in public
Another drawback for potential Diva users is not knowing what to do in public. Again, this takes a little getting used to but it’s not much different from using a tampon.
Simply remove the cup (be sure to wash your hands before), dump the contents in the toilet, clean the cup with toilet paper and re-insert. When you return home you can go back to washing the cup with unscented glycerin soap.
Don’t give up on The DivaCup right away. You may run into a few problems and it will make the tampon seem like an easier alternative at first. Be patient and give it time and you’ll soon understand why once you go Diva, you don’t go back! Not only are you saving money and the environment, you’re also saving your health!
Rachel MacKay Certified Holistic Nutritionist