My name is Jenny Grace, and I’m a DivaCup convert.
For the uninitiated, the DivaCup is a menstrual cup, which is a bell-shaped silicone cup used to collect menstrual fluid. During my period, instead of using a pad or tampon, I insert a menstrual cup, which collects rather than absorbs liquid, so I empty it (in the toilet), clean it (in the sink) and reinsert it (into my vagina).
What led me to try the DivaCup? I don’t like tampons because I just don’t. I think they’re uncomfortable and prone to leakiness. Pads are okay, but the whole thing is kind of gross and overly moist, and I feel yucky for my entire period if I use them. I have a couple friends who are passionately in love with their DivaCups, so much so that I’ve had multiple conversations about a silicone ladycup. I decided to give it a go.
For me, there was a learning curve for the use of the DivaCup. It comes with detailed directions, but it took me 3-4 periods of committed use before I really felt I was really able to use it easily, and that I wasn’t going to bleed everywhere. It is definitely possible to insert the cup and not create an effective seal, and bleed everywhere. I know, I’ve done it. Gross, right? But now that I know what I’m doing, I’m solidly converted, and so glad that I finally figured it out.
Advantages (by order of how important they are to me):
- I think it’s comfortable, and I don’t fret about leaks. This is really the big point for me, worth about ten other points, and the reason that this is my lady time tool of choice. It’s more comfortable, and I find that I’m not as worried throughout the day.
- No bloody bathroom garbage.
- Less risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome, and cups can be worn for up to 12 hours.
- It’s more discreet in that I don’t have to truck pads and tampons around with me.
- If it’s the day that I’m supposed to start my period, I can insert the DivaCup and not worry about it for the rest of the day. If I start, I’m covered, and if I don’t, it’s no big deal or discomfort.
- It’s cost-effective. I only need one, and I don’t have to repurchase or stock up.
- There is less waste, and it’s more environmentally friendly.
Disadvantages (by order of how annoying they are to me):
- It sort of weird if you have to empty and reinsert the DivaCup when you’re not at home. Public restroom stalls don’t typically have a sink in the stall, and it grosses me out to just reinsert it without rinsing it first. This means I have to be strategic, and know where available single occupancy bathrooms are.
- At the end of your cycle, you are supposed to boil the cup in water to sterilize it. I do, but this is an annoying step.
- I feel like a hippie weirdo. I’m embarrassed to discuss it with my friends.
- Blood is always gross.
The DivaCup comes in two different sizes, with specific guidelines on their site. It retails for around $30. It comes in a tiny drawstring pouch with flowers on it. If you are dissatisfied with your current Period System, I think you should definitely look into a menstrual cup of some kind.
Jenny Grace has been back in school for a year, raising her son for five, and growing up for twenty nine. She’s not quite done yet. Raised amongst goats and chickens on a ranch in the California countryside, she was sent off to high school at a Hindu yoga center, and spent her youth working at her family’s nightclub and bar. No really, Jenny grew up completely normal. Well, normal for a kid raised by hippies that is. Shrugging off her patchouli steeped roots, Jenny went on to get a Bachelor’s of Arts in Linguistics and a Master’s in Library and Information Science. Now she’s working on her Master’s in Accountancy. Don’t let degrees fool you though; she wastes most of her time with wine and crosswords. Jenny is a cunning linguist, honest beyond reason, and incapable of keeping her mouth shut. You can read more from Jenny Grace on her blog, Miss Disgrace.