Before we begin: Let me prefix the rest of this article by saying if you are women enough, keep reading. Men we will be talking about vaginas, bleeding, menstruation, tampons and sooo much more. If you can’t handle that then forward my article on so the women in your life can be enlightened.
I am always looking for ways to improve my health and my patient’s health. I was reading through some TBM (total body modification) manuals when I came across an article about how tampon use in women is linked to lupus. I was shocked. My first thought was “I use organic tampons and those are still bad? But why?”
The first time that I ever heard about a diva cup was a few years back in chiropractic school. My thought was how disgusting! You put a cup where, when you’re bleeding? And then you re-use that cup? Gross. Those hippies should go hug a tree or something and use a tampon! But after I hearing about the lupus connection was enough to make me think again about the diva cup.
The problem with tampons is that you never completely remove them. To easily see this, put a tampon in a glass of water and you leave it there over night. The next morning, you’ll notice that the water is no longer clear and pieces of tampon are left in the glass. When you put a tampon into your body it doesn’t absorb all of the blood. It leaves some behind and then it also leaves parts of the tampon behind too. That leftover material causes an autoimmune reaction.
I have used my diva cup for almost a year now and here are some amazing things that I noticed. Before starting on the Diva Cup, my periods were difficult despite supplements, treatments and eating well to make them easier. They lasted for about five to seven days, with quite a bit of cramping and pain during the first three. For the whole week, I felt pretty drained. It was the worst time of the month for me.
After the first cycle using the Diva Cup I noticed a huge shift. Cramping was minimal, and bleeding was notably reduced. But the best part? The whole thing was over in three days flat (roughly two days, plus a day spotting).
So, if you’re ready for your life to get better…
Where/how do I buy a Diva Cup?
Whole Foods usually has them in stock as do many local vitamin and health food stores. You can also buy a Diva Cup online via Walgreens or Target (at the time of this writing, Target is the cheapest option by $10).
You’ll notice a “Model 1” and “Model 2” option. Model 1 is intended for women under 30 who have never had a child. Model 2 is for women over 30 and/or women who have given birth. Even though I’ve given birth, I decided to go with model 1, and it’s worked well for me.
How use I insert the Diva Cup?
When you start your period, just use the Diva Cup instead of a tampon. Inserting the Diva Cup needs to be done sitting on a toilet. Fold the cup into a C like pattern, then fold in half again. Insert the cup as far as you can go and release the C hold. Gently pull the bottom of the cup until you can feel like there is a suction that has been made with the cup inside.
How do I remove the Diva Cup?
First, wash your hands, and sit down on the toilet to remove the cup. Use your muscles to help push the cup out, as if you were having a bowel movement. Once the cup close to being out, put your finger in your vagina to break the suction seal from the cup. (No, it won’t be all bloody and disgusting. The cup collects all the blood the bottom, and the rest of it is clean.)
Dump the contents from the cup into the toilet, and then wash the cup out. I tend to use soap and water in between each use, and when I shower I soak the cup in a solution of water and Loaslan (a cleaning herb) and then rinse the cup off before reinserting it. You can also just wash it with a mild soap and water or peroxide. When you are done with your cycle, the Diva Cup can go in the dishwasher to give it a full cleaning.
How frequently do I need to change my cup?
That depends on how much you bleed. I can go 12 hours before I can change mine. I know some people that have to change their cup every few hours the first day or so. The first time that you use it just check it the same amount that you normally would change your tampon. You will then be able to track how much you really need to change it.
If I do Yoga is it going to leak?
As long as you insert the cup properly, and achieve suction, it won’t leak, even if you do a headstand. For proof, put a little water in a champagne glass. Put your diva cup in the the glass, achieving suction. forming a suction to the inside of the glass. Turn the glass upside down, to see that it won’t leak. The cup works the same way in your vagina.
What about the menstrual smell?
Actually the smell using a diva cup is pretty much non-existent unlike using pads or tampons.
How long can I use the same cup?
Just use common sense here. The cup should last a few years, but replace it whenever it starts to look worn out. And remember, you’ll be saving a good chunk of change by not buying tampons every month.