10 years ago, I changed my monthly routine. Yes, we're going to get a little personal here: I'm talking about my period. It's been 10 years of freedom from having to stock up on pads and tampons; checking the clock to make sure I can make it to a bathroom before a leak; and all the waste that comes along with it. How, you ask? The Diva Cup. An alternative to pads and tampons, The Diva Cup is a reusable menstrual cup that has made my periods so much easier. Here are three reasons why you should try one too.
1. You can wear it for 12 hours. Yes, you read that right. Depending on your flow, you don't have to even think about it for 12 hours. That's why I love it for travelling. Tampons have to be changed every few hours regardless of flow because of the risk of toxic shock syndrome. Menstrual cups don't have that same concern so you can be as active as you want all day and not worry.
2. Silicone is better than cotton and plastic. Conventional tampons are made with cotton—one of the most pesticide intensive crops. Conventional pads often contain fragrances (which may include carcinogens and hormone disruptors) and petrolatum (a petroleum product that can be contaminated with carcinogens). The Diva Cup is made of medical-grade silicone. According to the website, they are “free of latex, plastic, PVC, acrylic, acrylate, BPA, phthalate, elastomer and polyethylene, colours and dyes. Silicone products have been shown to be biocompatible (i.e. accepted by the human body without adverse reaction), durable, flexible, and easy to sterilize.” They are also manufactured and tested to avoid leaching of any molecules from the product into the body.
3. Save time, money, and materials. The Diva Cup pays for itself in a few months. The manufacturer suggests replacing it every year, or what you feel comfortable with. (This was news to me! Let's just say I've used it a lot longer.) Think of the extra trips you’ve had to make to the drug store, all the packaging you’ve thrown away or recycled, and all the resources that go into something to be used for a few hours then discarded. There’s so much to be saved by switching to a reusable alternative! Even though pads are compostable in some municipalities, the plastic parts still get skimmed off and sent to landfill. It should be noted that silicone is not yet readily recyclable so the cup would go to landfill when you’re ready to replace it – but the amount of waste pales in comparison to disposable pads or tampons and their packaging.
Changing your routine will save you time and money and is better for you and the planet. Like any changes, it will probably take some time to get used to. But I encourage you to give it a try. Like many new things, it may take some time to get used to. There is some trial and error involved in figuring out how best to insert and remove it. Check out www.divacup.com for an instructional video, user’s guide, where to buy, and other great info. If it doesn't work - don't give up! Keep practicing for a couple cycles. Trust me, it will pay off, and before you know it you won't know how you got along without one.
I did not receive compensation for this review. There are other brands of menstrual cups that you can try as well – my only personal experience is with the Diva Cup which is why I’ve specifically referenced here.
Emma Rohmann is a nature-lover and city-dweller who strives to live green within her means. Her green living journey started over 10 years ago. In 2015, she started Green at Home, a social media and blog campaign to provide thoughtful ideas for making your home more green. She now offers personalized green living services such as in-home walk-throughs, action plan implementation, product shopping lists, and renovation consulting.