I know that this is kind of a weird discussion. I decided to add this post in this group versus doing a discussion in the general forums. But I have been reading a lot lately about the negative side of conventional tampon use and its a little scary. I never thought about my uterus being the most absorbant part of my body. I would like to change to a healthier alternative, especially since I had a cancer scare when I was 16, but theres no way I can afford to buy a box of organic tampons. So... I have been hearing a lot about the Diva Cup. It sounds like it could be a good experience but then again it sounds related to the whole applicatorless tampon. Has anyone ever used one? How was your experience? Not to get too graphic, but was it messy to put in or take out? I would really like to find someone who had used this in real life instead of just going with what the companys website tells. Because who knows if those comments are from real women or just the employees. I would appreciate any thoughts, experiences, and opinions.
I have been wanting to try these too. I got the sea pearls (tampons made from sea sponge) from a place onlone called Jade & Pearl. They give you two of them and a little vial of organic tea tree oil to clean it with. They are reusable but they typically last like 6 months to a year depending on how much you use them. I have yet to try those too, but they are pretty cool. The Jade & Pearl website is worth checking out too. They have organic body care and tinctures for all sorts of woman problems.
***Don't read if you don't want to read anything too graphic***
I cannot speak specifically for the Diva Cup, but I have used a Moon Cup for over a year and they are very similar products. Upfront it has been an experience getting used to using it and finding what works or feels most comfortable(I'll go more into this later), but regardless I will never go back to using tampons! But there are definitely things you should know before making your purchase....
1. It can be a little messy. (Here is the "graphic" part) There is a stem at the base of the cup (think of the string on a tampon) that helps you when removing, but you to actually pinch up higher on the cup to release the suction or it hurts. Insertion is somewhat similar to applicatorless tampons, in that you have to...help it find it resting place..which too can be a little messy. Don't be alarmed by "messy" I'm not talking about all over your hand kind of messy, just finger tips, which at home is not a big deal, but out in public or at school is, so I keep those little travel packs of Wet-Ones in my bag and just wipe my hands before leaving the stall.
2. Size...don't be scared! I was freaked out when I got mine because the thing looks huge especially compared to tampons. In the beginning it might feel a little awkward, almost like its too big, but that feeling goes away. I used to think I couldn't feel tampons, but I feel my cup even less.
3. Leaks...This is the best and worst part of the cup. IF you get it in right this is the best product for heavy flows. I am very heavy during the first couple days and I hated going out in public sometimes because I would go through tampons so quickly whereas the cup's capacity is amazing! BUT if its not in just right you will have some leaking even on lighter days. My suggestion have some liners on hand to use while you are adjusting to the cup, easy fix and still safer for you than tampons.
4. Going back to your comment about it being "related to the whole applicatorless tampon." If you are referring to insertion I hated app-less tampons because they kind of hurt, where as the cup is much easier because the surface is much smoother , so despite the size of the cup it is fairly easy, although it does take some getting used to. On that note, the diva may come with instructions and there are many forums online that give tips and tricks about ways to bend or fold the cup to make insertion more comfortable, but it does take some time to find what works best for your body.
I hope this helps, and please reply with any other questions you have!! I love sharing my "cup-love" because I really believe that pads are terrible to deal with and tampons are terrible for you!! Also, I'm not too shy about this stuff so if there are questions you have but would rather not post them in the forums send me a message! =)
I have never used these but after looking at the website they look kind of like an instead http://www.softcup.com/
I use these and love them. I hate wearing pads because they feel like a diaper, I can't always use tampons because I had an IUD and I didn't really have a heavy enough flow so I had the dry factor. These are small cup that look like a diaphragm. You insert it in and it collects everything. These are made to be disposable but if your in a crunch they can be rinsed out with warm water and reused until you can get more. The first few times you remove them can be a bit messy until you get the hang of it. You have to reach in and hook it with your finger... when you pull it out you want to pull forward and slightly up so it dumps out the back of the cup and not onto your hand. They are great for every activity and you don't feel them at all unless they were not put in right. Unlike tampons if you don't insert it correctly the first time you can pull it out and re adjust them. Not to get to graphic on anyone but since the fit in your body like a diaphragm you can safely have sex with one in. There is also the benefit of no string so you don't have to worry about it when you go swimming or wear short shorts :) I hope this helps feel free to ask any questions I may not have answered about these.
I LOVE my Diva Cup. I have had it for two years now, and I've had leakage problems maybe...three times? I can count the number of times I've leaked with it in on one hand. I don't know how about other cups, but the Diva Cup has four little holes at the top of the cup, and if you wash them thoroughly (I like to check and make sure I can squirt water through each one as I'm washing it out), it helps with the suction and keeping you leak free. The only times I've leaked is when I've been lax on checking the holes.
Jessicasomething pretty much hit all the key points, but one thing I would throw in is that it's easy to forget you are wearing it once you get used to it. The nice thing about it is you only have to empty it twice a day, I usually do it at morning and at night, but if you forget, and you're having a heavy day...things can get messy. And spilly. And gross. My point here is, DON'T FORGET TO CHANGE IT. I get so used to having it in and its complete lack of leaks that when I start my period, I go, "Oh, crap," throw in my cup, and then forget I'm on my period. The cup can only fill so much.
...Anyway. Perhaps that was a bit TMI, but the point is, the Diva Cup was one of the best purchases I ever made, I haven't paid for tampons or pads in two years, I haven't had a single negative experience with the cup, and I can't recommend it enough. The only bad part about it is if you're hanging with a group of girls and someone needs a tampon, you can't help them out. ;)
Yes! Switch to the diva cup! I have nothing but good things to say about this product.
I have had very few spills and I've been a diva cup convert 6 years now. I learned so much about my monthly flow (the book Taking charge of your fertility helped with that, awesome book, every gal should read it :) ) and feel good about saving the planet (bit by bit) by not filling the landfills with my discarded tampons!
I agree that pads are a good idea in the first while to get used to where the wonderful thing should fit inside ya (hint: if you can't feel it at all, you're doing it right) and I haven't had a problem with using it in public washrooms or anything, just grab some toilet paper and give yourself a little wipe up if you need to, but the mess is usually very minimal.
Good luck and have fun!
Love it-but I will mention that you might want to have a back up in case you have a time when you can't place it correctly. I think I had leakage problems 2-3 times in a period over 1.5 years. At one point I used a tampon because I was having placement issues, and afterwords I was totally grossed out because it seemed so unsanitary compared to the cup. I've used the sea sponges as well, and I wasn't a fan of them. You're supposed to wet them first, then squeeze the water out before you use them. Even though I rung mine out thoroughly, moisture still kept coming out the sponge. Just be patient with it and keep trying-you won't regret it.
man, thank you everyone for your replies. i think i have now officially decided i will be tampon free for my next ride on the crimson wave :). i will heed your advices about having a back up and being patient about getting use to fitting it properly. i knew my hoop city ladies would come through!!
I have used the MoonCup (like Jessica) for over 3 years now and I would not want to go back.
It takes a little time to getting used to it, as you have to figure out the best way to take it out with less of a mess... So, if you do not want to get your hands dirty this might not be for you. But it s comfortable to wear, it has to be changed less often than tampons and it is environmentally friendlier.
I use the DivaCup and I love it. It's cost-effective, environmentally-friendly, and comfortable.
Insertion is not entirely intuitive. I had to try different folding methods and positions (sitting, standing, etc.) before I got the hang of it. It took me a while to learn. However, I did not find it difficult in the way that I find applicator-less tampons difficult. It it more of learning what works for you. Once in, you won't even notice it (assuming the stem is trimmed). By the way, though the DivaCup instructions recommended the C-fold, I recommend the punch down fold because that allows for more gradual insertion. [Menstrual Cup Folding Guide]
I don't find insertion particularly messy, but your fingers will come in contact with fluid. Taking it out is messier, for me, because sometimes when I squeeze the cup to break the seal the movement pushes the fluid up and out as I am taking the cup out. Since I do this over the toilet, this isn't much of a problem. If I were in a bathroom stall, I would definitely bring something with me to clean my hands. Luckily, the capacity of the cup is such that I am usually able to time it so I don't have to empty it until I get home even on my heavy days. I've rarely had to take it out in a public restroom.
I second what someone said about having a back-up method. Though I do trust the cup enough to wear it alone, I have a few cloth pads around as a back-up, which definitely come in handy when you first learn to use the cup (By the way, for those who don't know, cloth pads are a lot more comfortable and more absorbent--at least the ones with the hemp core are--than the disposable kind.). One thing to make sure of is that the little holes on the cup are clean otherwise you won't get a seal no matter how you put the cup in and you will leak. Also, and this is probably TMI, but beware that the seal doesn't break when you have a bowel movement. I find that it rarely does, but I think I heard from another user that their cup popped out during one BM.
Also, for what it is worth, I would take the DivaCup instructions with a grain of salt. When I bought my cup years ago, the manufacturer said the cup would last up to 10 years and that you only needed to boil the cup for 2-3 minutes to clean. Now they say it lasts a year and that you should boil the cup for about 20 minutes. The consensus among cup users is that the cup companies are subject to political pressure from regulatory agencies and, of course, to their own bottom line and that these newer guidelines are a result of that. My cup is still perfect and i have had it for about 4 years now, and most users keep using their cups for way upwards of a year.