It is important for women to be fully aware of what goes in and on our bodies. Consider traditional pads and tampons: these products are not required by law to have their ingredients listed, but as Naturally Savvy recently exposed, these items (used by millions of women each and every month) may be made of toxic materials. Not only are these potentially toxic materials being put in and on our bodies, but the disposable nature of these products means that they end up in landfills, harming the Earth as well. While choosing organic cotton pads and tampons is the first step in reducing this toxic burden, women are not limited to disposable products to manage their monthly flow. Diva International reached out to us at Naturally Savvy to review the Diva Cup, sending us both models and the Diva Wash to try. I must admit that after over 15 years of using pads and tampons it was hard to imagine getting used to anything else. One cycle with the Diva Cup however, and my mind had completely changed.
The Diva Cup is unique in the world of feminine hygiene products. Made only from medical-grade silicone, it is a reusable, bell-shaped cup that collects rather than absorbs liquid. Silicone softens with body heat, meaning the Diva Cup will comfortably conform to the shape of your body, and if inserted properly will be free from leaks. It can safely be worn for up to 12 hours at a time, making it an incredibly convenient alternative to tampons, which hold less fluid and mustbe changed at a maximum of 8 hours due to the risk of developing Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS).
Each Diva Cup has measurement markers to indicate the volume of liquid which proves to be quite interesting and educational. To see the actual amount of fluid expelled throughout the cycle (unlike a saturated pad or tampon which cannot provide an accurate estimation of volume) helps a woman familiarize herself with her individual idiosyncratic flow. The lifespan of this product will vary depending on factors like a woman's particular vaginal pH, how well it is cleaned, and what is used to clean it (try the Diva Wash, an all-natural, unscented and pH balanced cleanser designed to protect both the silicone and your body). Replacement is recommended after one year, however this is at the discretion of the user. Retailing at $39.99, this is a fraction of what a woman would typically spend on a year's worth of pads and/or tampons ($100-$150/year).
The Diva Cup is great for the sports player, traveler, outdoor enthusiast, and other active women. Since it comfortably expands to fit the shape of the vagina there is no need to fear the leakage that may come with pads and tampons during physical exertion and body movement. There is no string to hide while swimming, traveling need not be interrupted every few hours to find a suitable place to change a pad or tampon, and it easily conforms to the 'leave no trace' practice of outdoor adventure. Just be sure to use potable water when cleaning the Diva Cup outdoors or in the developing world.
Reusable menstrual cups have been around for over 80 years but fell out of fashion with the rise of disposable products. Now that many women are becoming more conscious of their environmental impact and their chemical exposure, there is little doubt that this effective, comfortable, and convenient method of containing menstrual flow will continue to increase in popularity. For those of you who wish to reduce your toxic exposure and environmental impact and are looking for a cost effective way to manage your period, consider the Diva Cup to revolutionize the way you manage your menstruation.